Latest articles

What next for tour & activity reservation systems and distribution?

May 11th, 2018 by Alex Bainbridge

I have been pretty quiet here on the blogging front in the last month or so due to concurrently digesting the news that Booking.com acquired Fareharbor and TripAdvisor/Viator acquired Bokun, as well as working flat out on a couple of industry changing projects that will announce soon. I did write my immediate thoughts about the […]

Airbnb Experiences – a threat to franchised suppliers, not retailers

March 5th, 2018 by Alex Bainbridge

Innovation when an industry is watching your every move is hard, especially so when you have to bring hundreds of partners with you so have to disclose what you are doing outside of your own business. You can either innovate in the open and hope to out execute and out market copycats – or you […]

Is Viator’s strategy fit for purpose?

February 7th, 2018 by Alex Bainbridge

Something isn’t quite right at Viator. Viator is the largest global retailer of local tours & activities and as such are a vital part of the tours & activities landscape for many suppliers, growth that has accelerated since their acquisition by TripAdvisor in 2014. However in recent months criticism of their strategy has moved from […]

Tour & activity API architecture for distribution is more important than it appears

February 1st, 2018 by Alex Bainbridge

As I was reading back through the tour & activity sector overview white paper I wrote end of 2013 and published last week I came across a few paragraphs outlining the two approaches that could be taken by tour & activity retailers (e.g. the leading online travel agents) when connecting to supplier systems via API […]

Introducing the auto-tour – autonomous vehicle sightseeing

January 26th, 2018 by Alex Bainbridge

If you follow technology news you will have heard about autonomous vehicles and self-driving cars. However we haven’t discussed the impact of autonomous vehicles on local tourism yet, either on this blog or more generally within the travel industry. I started speaking in public about this topic at World Travel Market 2017 but no one […]

A 2018 perspective on the tours & activities sector in 2014

January 24th, 2018 by Alex Bainbridge

For tour & activity sector aficionados only…..! Back at the end of 2013-early 2014 the tours & activities sector was in a period of change. Viator was about to sell to TripAdvisor (July 2014) which would result in Viator changing to an aggregator model in November (rather than curated as they were upto that point). […]

Hilton Hotels startup pitches – LikeWhere wins in London

December 19th, 2017 by Alex Bainbridge

Hilton Hotels, in conjunction with London’s Travel Tech Lab, last week ran a startup pitch competition. 50 startups entered and 5 were selected to pitch to judges. (I previously wrote about considerations for founders when applying to these opportunities) Summary of pitches Secret City Trails – city discovery games. Pitched based on increasing guest happiness, […]

Multi-day tour digital retailing 1999 to 2025

December 11th, 2017 by Alex Bainbridge

Broadly, the interest (& investment) for retailers selling local tours has been in day tours & experiences. They are easy to sell from the published itinerary. They are also nice upsells from a hotel or flight booking. Multi-day tours have been left to pretty much continue without significant digital retailer influences (I will talk about […]

Time to retire the phrase “live like a local” – I propose “undertourist”

December 6th, 2017 by Alex Bainbridge

“Live like a local” is travel industry jargon for a niche, long tail travel experience where a customer can really get under the skin of a destination and live like a local. Only, they can’t. A real “live like a local” experience ought to include many boring tasks,¬†such as filling out tax returns, and no […]

Tour personalisation – three different approaches by Klook, GetYourGuide and Ctrip

November 28th, 2017 by Alex Bainbridge

It’s been a busy few weeks in the tours & activities sector, with three significant announcements: Klook announced 60 million USD funding (now at 96 million USD total) GetYourGuide announced 75 million USD funding (now at 170 million USD total) Ctrip announced a strategic agreement with Big Bus tours (worth a read if you haven’t […]

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