News & Opinion

OCTO standards in sightseeing – the case for and against

September 23rd, 2022 by Alex Bainbridge

Niche topic, perhaps only of interest to technologists, however…. lets summarise the case for and against OCTO standards. What are the OCTO standards? When you connect a rez tech with an OTA, you have to make the product data continually align between the two platforms. This is tricky, e.g. on booking cancellation terms, how are […]

Five sightseeing industry technology topics I want to hear about at the Arival conference

September 19th, 2022 by Alex Bainbridge

I haven’t been to a sightseeing industry conference, physically, for years. I haven’t even travelled outside of the UK for 3 years (!). So it is with some trepidation that I am off to the Arival conference in Las Vegas in October. I will be speaking (more on that below) but beyond that, I thought […]

Should day tour operators compete on price?

June 29th, 2022 by Alex Bainbridge

Consumers love a cheap price and entire sectors of the travel industry are focussed on helping consumers save money. Much of the sector’s advertising is proclaiming how one platform’s prices are better than others. This works where a product is a commodity (like hotels, flights or attractions), but experiences are not commodities, experiences are moving […]

I quit bus sightseeing

June 20th, 2022 by Alex Bainbridge

The project to transition bus owning sightseeing tour operators to autonomous vehicles is no more. I published my original industry transition proposal in 2018 and you can still read it. Fundamentally, since then, I have failed to convince any bus owning tour operators to the point of committed action. This article explains the mistakes I […]

Tour operators, rez tech & OTAs – what is your long-term technology challenge?

June 14th, 2022 by Alex Bainbridge

2022 summer, by many accounts, seems to be a blockbuster for bookings. However under the surface the question remains, can this booking volume be carried into 2023 and beyond, or is this just a 2022 post COVID phenomenon? Beyond preparing for the market to go either direction, there are longer term issues bubbling away that […]

Tour operators – have you created a digital assistant strategy?

May 23rd, 2022 by Alex Bainbridge

The in destination travel industry, as a whole, is not ready for the digital assistant future. This article lays out some of the challenges with designing and naming your digital assistant character, including beyond vehicles. Lets cover vehicles first: Vehicles LG with their Omnipod vehicle prominently incorporate a digital assistant into their leisure focussed autonomous […]

What could a GetYourGuide “defense position” strategy look like?

May 16th, 2022 by Alex Bainbridge

Does GetYourGuide need to make a strategy correction as a result of the recent downturn the global macro market position for VC backed and stock market listed startups? Only they and their backers know. SoftBank, one of GetYourGuide’s major backers, is certainly suggesting that SoftBank should take a “defense position” following a 27 billion USD […]

9 discussion topics on sightseeing & experiences industry structure

March 11th, 2022 by Alex Bainbridge

We need to talk about industry structure. The current online travel agent (OTA) > rez tech > tour operator architecture is no longer fit for purpose however it is close to impossible to change it unilaterally. A pay to attend conference may not be the right place for a deep discussion on industry architecture as […]

Tour personalisation – how can we collectively fix distribution to better delight customers?

February 9th, 2022 by Alex Bainbridge

Personalisation, or personalization, is key consumer need that we as an industry are really poor at digitally solving. This article outlines the current state of play and proposes a new cross-industry approach, using web3 & blockchain, that we collectively can adopt. Personalisation matters to consumers For our sector, personalisation is in two parts. Some examples: […]

The “commoditise the complement strategy” and the sightseeing technology sector

December 2nd, 2021 by Alex Bainbridge

This strategy, from 2002, remains a classic that any senior commercial executive at travel technology companies will have internalised: Demand for a product increases when the price of its complements decreases. In general, a company’s strategic interest is going to be to get the price of their complements as low as possible. The lowest theoretically […]