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Babbel Travel: New venture is one to watch for competitors like Duolingo

The company behind the language learning app Babbel launched its first foray into the language travel industry in June, taking its Babbel Travel site live in Germany. The move follows the company’s acquisition in November last year of LingoVentura, a booking site for holidays organized around language classes and learning activities. Babbel Travel is currently partnered with language schools in 35 countries, and the company will hope to connect these schools with its pre-existing app user base. If it can successfully convert users of the Babbel app to the travel site, it will have diversified its educational offering far beyond those of its competitors.

Babbel, a market leader in language learning apps, has launched Babbel Travel, a booking platform for language-oriented holidays. The company will be hoping to leverage the strength of its digital infrastructure and brand both to maximize the potential of the language travel industry and to meet its own users’ demands for more immersive learning experiences. To the question of how Babbel can integrate its teaching and its travel businesses in a way which preserves the integrity of its brand, the likely answer is that Babbel Travel will go hand-in-hand with overseas learning experiences. The ideal Babbel traveler will walk out of their language school and head to the beach with Babbel in their pocket.

Babbel Travel is an outside-the-box approach to a challenge which also faces its competitors: how to supplement a convenient online course with more authentic content.  If the company can successfully convert users of its app to its travel site and vice versa, it will integrate further into the learning process than any language app has before. The current needs and desires of language learning consumers would seem to be fostering a favorable market for such a move. Users have been shown to have genuine travel- and career-oriented goals, and the traditional path of formal education remains a costly and time-intensive means of attaining these. Travel is traditionally part of the formal education offering, and could make for an attractive addition to the Babbel brand for professionals looking to get ahead.