News & Opinion

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 […]

What is the minimum viable industry in tours & activities? #ArivalEvent

October 3rd, 2018 by Alex Bainbridge

Much of the press and social media coverage from Arival Event last week in Las Vegas has focussed on the announcement from the stage that TripAdvisor Experiences (previously known as Viator) is giving preference to suppliers on their Bokun reservation system over and above other tour suppliers using other reservation systems. For example see this […]

Learnings from an Airbnb Experience during #ArivalEvent in Las Vegas

October 1st, 2018 by Alex Bainbridge

I wrote about Airbnb Experiences back in March this year where I outlined that their approach to experience delivery creates some significant challenges for their hosts but also significantly better service differentiation for their customers. Guaranteed operation, pain free cancellation, minimum booking size one and exclusive supply are really hard on suppliers (hosts) but for […]

Learnings from Uptaste – B2C tours & activities has very different challenges to supplier tech

September 18th, 2018 by Alex Bainbridge

I am about to jump on a plane for #ArivalEvent in Las Vegas next week where I will meet up with many friends, colleagues, partners, competitors and DestinationCTO readers from across the industry. I will be soft launching a new tech platform there as well as writing up analysis of the presentations for DestinationCTO & […]

Is metasearch in tours & activities a layer too far? Thoughts on Google TouringBird

September 13th, 2018 by Alex Bainbridge

Plenty of chatter in the tours & activities sector in recent days following Google’s entry into the sector with their TouringBird service. Launched with a reasonable 25,000 activities in 20 cities they are showing that they are taking the opportunity seriously even though not quite yet ready to apply the Google brand and expose all Google search […]

#Arival2018 – Questions I hope to hear answers to

August 29th, 2018 by Alex Bainbridge

The annual Arival conference (next in Las Vegas 24-27 September) has quickly added itself to the “must do” list of conferences for anyone who is serious about the tours & activities sector (or more generally, anyone with an interest in creating positive leisure travel experiences in destination). I ran 6 mini-conferences during London’s World Travel […]

The scalers vs the innovators

July 26th, 2018 by Alex Bainbridge

Within the digital end of the tours & activities sector, two distinct focus possibilities are clear – either focus on scaling or focus on innovation. The recent injections of venture capital funding and reservation system acquisitions in our sector appears to show that there is an industry wide scaling opportunity that can be unlocked with […]

GetYourGuide Project Incredible suggests the tours & activities travel agent / supplier era is over

June 19th, 2018 by Alex Bainbridge

For those paying close attention to the tours & activities sector, yesterday’s news from GetYourGuide that they are iterating on their brand and product proposition will not have been a surprise. Their new concept, Project Incredible, is to run branded sightseeing tours initially in 3 European cities, and expand to an additional 100 tours in 15 global […]

Is it inevitable that OTAs go to 50% of the tour & activity market?

June 7th, 2018 by Alex Bainbridge

Image: Status Quo – Wikimedia Last month I wrote about what may be next for tours & activities reservation systems following the news of Fareharbor selling to Booking Holdings and Bokun selling to Tripadvisor. A few more weeks have passed and the picture of how this will impact the sector is becoming clearer. It doesn’t […]

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 […]