Uber stepping into travel advisory and concierge services

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Uber is on the road to diversification. The global ride-hailing company may be the first many think of today when they want a ride, but it appears its management wants the firm to take on another role: Uber as travel service and concierge.

As Uber gears up in China to gain market share in the face of Chinese-owned rival Didi, it has added two additional services to the newest version of its ride-hail app: UberLife and Uber + Travel, according to TechCrunch. Kate Wang, who is Uber China’s VP of Operations and Regional General Manager of Central China, said, “This reminds us that Uber is a global service serving global citizens,” Wang said. “It is rooted in each of the cities.”

The key to both UberLife and Uber + Travel is the smartphone app. Uber has determined that once riders get into an Uber car they stay in the app for an average of 90 seconds. Accordingly, if Uber wants to provide additional services, that 90 seconds is extremely valuable both as a way to add value to customers, and to add potential additional revenue streams.

The purpose of UberLife in China is to help people “live a better a life,” said Wang. Acting in the role of a concierge, UberLife recommends location-specific sports events, art events, plays, and other activities.

Uber + Travel can help people connect with various transportation modes in the area. Boats, bikes, and even hot air balloons are among the current or planned connections.

Wang said the Chinese market demands all-in-one solutions, which is a driving force behind Uber’s new apps in the country.

A broader look at information Uber is now supplying on its website and in newsfeeds suggests the concept of Uber as concierge service and travel authority is not limited just to China. The Uber Newsroom destination info section recently featured articles on A Movable Feast: How to Execute the Ultimate Boston Foodie Crawl, $36 in Washington, D.C: Day-tripping from Sculpture to Sculpture, and The Top 5 Farmers Markets in Toronto.

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