Sector: Tour guides

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 […]

#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 […]

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 […]

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). […]

Tour reviews – has TripAdvisor won already?

November 20th, 2017 by Alex Bainbridge

Why isn’t there a stand out day tour review site? Or is TripAdvisor already that site? Ultimately the reason may simply be that curated (hand picked) online travel agents didn’t initially need reviews to achieve significant consumer success. That model doesn’t require it. This is not to say that you can’t add customer reviews to […]

Elephant ride tour distribution – the whole market vs curated canary

November 13th, 2017 by Alex Bainbridge

When OTAs started they¬†curated (hand picked) the tours and suppliers they wanted to resell. This was because featuring a tour was a manual task – there were no APIs or distribution systems with content you could just plugin – and curating ensured focus was on where human time could make the most impact. Basic global […]