WAYN claims to be the largest platform of its kind with over 21 million members, while ITG claims to engage with nearly 100-million “thinking Indians” regularly through its properties across genres including 38 magazines, four television channels, seven Radio Stations, 12 Websites and 56 Apps across mobile and tablets.
Under the terms of the deal, WAYN will create a co-branded portal with Travel Plus, the travel arm of ITG and provide advertising solutions to the group’s client portfolio. The partnership will reportedly give ITG a direct access to WAYN’s four-million-strong Indian online community. This community, says WAYN, offers “a multi-layered, highly social and engaging platform”, allowing users to connect with one another and share aspirations, experiences and tips.
The partnership, say the companies, will help them reach India’s expanding online community, which is currently the third largest on the planet.
The new travel portal will reportedly showcase the exclusive and premium stories, pictures and videos of Travel Plus and allow the users to share them on their WAYN network. The portal will also provide all WAYN Indian users with more specific travel content and deals in a market that is seeing explosive growth domestically. From 2006 to 2011 there was a 132% increase in Indians travelling abroad (source: Indians travelling abroad has risen up to 132 per cent).
This increase is apparently predicated to continue with an estimated 50-million Indians expected to travel overseas by 2020. With increasing disposable incomes and a flourishing economy, Indian travellers continue to spend lavishly on travel and are keen to explore newer destinations through online mediums.
WAYN co-Founder and Chief Revenue Officer Jerome Touze said that ITG’s presence in India meant it was an ideal partner for the portal:
I have visited India on numerous occasions over the past few years, meeting with potential key partners and in terms of presence, appetite and understanding of social media, India Today Group was undoubtedly the best fit. There are numerous factors that suggest growth in India will continue, including rising disposable income levels (Asia-Pacific now houses more wealthy people than all of Europe), a younger demographic and increasing use of the internet… we are excited to tap into this market, develop ITG’s online presence in the travel vertical and build a long-standing relationship.
ITG Chief Synergy Officer Kalli Purie meanwhile said his companys was “super excited by this partnership … Given our strengths and access with the Tourism Boards and other advertisers in the Indian market, we are all set to monetise this opportunity to the benefit of both of the companies.”