News & Opinion

Booking Holdings makes land Grab for vehicle experiences

October 29th, 2019 by Alex Bainbridge

Booking Holdings is waking up. A year on from buying Fareharbor sightseeing supplier reservation system, they have begun to show their hand on what the bigger vision potentially looks like. As announced by David Adamczyk, Director of Strategy, via LinkedIn, referring to ride-hailing launch with Grab: This is a significant moment for ‪Booking.com – we’re […]

Sightseeing tour yield management – where are we at?

October 7th, 2019 by Alex Bainbridge

With conference season around the corner, and yield management likely to be on the list of discussions, it is worth writing an update as to where we are at on this topic: What is yield management? According to Wikipedia, Yield management is a variable pricing strategy, based on understanding, anticipating and influencing consumer behavior in […]

Should sightseeing reservation systems ban suppliers?

October 2nd, 2019 by Alex Bainbridge

As CEO of TourCMS I only banned a very few suppliers from using the leading tour & activity reservation system of its time: An Iranian ski resort (due to trade sanctions) A brothel (we weren’t that kind of T&A) As a tool maker my approach was to be lenient, certainly when it came to banning […]

Sightseeing industry distribution standards – 4 categories to focus on

September 30th, 2019 by Alex Bainbridge

I seem to have been debating the merits of technology standards for what seems like a very long time. The earliest mention I can find is me speaking in 2010 at an Open Travel conference. In tech terms in this industry, that seems like an eternity. Since then a great deal of debate but very […]

The beginning of the end of the sightseeing bus

September 25th, 2019 by Alex Bainbridge

Human driven sightseeing buses have had a good 100 year run. Throughout this period the urban consumer product has not changed – a city bus tour you took 100 years ago is pretty much the same as a bus tour you can take today. All the digital innovations and changes we have brought to market […]

OK, now we are a serious industry, lets agree on the name

July 26th, 2019 by Alex Bainbridge

The tours & activities industry in recent years has become the next big thing. But one aspect we collectively haven’t quite resolved yet is the name of the industry. Over and above that somewhat fundamental point, we also don’t have an accepted name for those tasked with introducing customers to product / services, nor those […]

It’s nearly over for tour & attraction retail and we were just getting started

May 14th, 2019 by Alex Bainbridge

I spend more time than healthy looking at the potential industry structures for tours, activities & attractions. It holds fascination to me because when you are building a new platform over a 5-10 year timeline, you have to call it right. In recent years I have swayed from thinking the online travel agents with hotel […]

Tours & activities in 2019 – the 10 key questions

February 19th, 2019 by Alex Bainbridge

The tours & activities industry is all grown up. Serious investments are being made, presumably with the expectation that serious returns will be made down the line. Conferences (like the newly expanded Arival now with events in Berlin, Thailand & USA in 2019 ) are attracting people from all over the sector. Booking numbers & cross-industry connectivity […]

Could customer service be a better innovation playground than bookings?

December 18th, 2018 by Alex Bainbridge

Now in December 2018 it seems a long time ago (April) that Booking Holdings acquired FareHarbor and TripAdvisor Experiences/Viator acquired Bokun (two leading supplier facing reservation systems). Perhaps time to look back at what happened and plot a course forward from here – where could we go next? I am personally interested in these exits […]

Tips for Tour Operators Podcast: “Self driving cars are coming for you”

October 26th, 2018 by Alex Bainbridge

A few weeks ago I was interviewed on the Tips for Tour Operators podcast all about my favourite topic of the moment – autonomous vehicles and the upcoming impact on vehicle based sightseeing, attraction bookings and how concierges (or their digital replacements) interact with local services such as shops, restaurants etc. It also covers my […]