Podcast: SIMPLENIGHT’s Mark Halberstein on the evolving the distribution landscape

In the latest Travel is Your Business podcast, I fly solo in an interview with Mark Halberstein, CEO of SIMPLENIGHT. The concept of the company is actually quite simple: to provide the simplest way to book travel across whichever channel a traveler prefers. Like most simple things, this is far more complex than it sounds.

On its face, this is the kind of problem that the GDS was invented to solve: providing a single source of inventory for a multi-channel world. Yet channel proliferation has become one of the biggest issues facing travel suppliers, intermediaries, and the travelers themselves.

There are now just so many ways to book travel that it complicates inventory management, pricing optimization, and traveler satisfaction. Often, hotels won’t even realize that a wholesaler is undercutting its prices out on an intermediary — and sometimes travelers are then confused about which company actually is the merchant of record.

I sat with Marc to explore how SIMPLENIGHT’s ‘Global Experience Platform’ fits into today’s travel industry, as well as how it evolves the distribution narrative.

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Show notes from Mouth Media:

B2B2C global distribution platform for in-destination experiences with Simplenight…

Mark HalbersteinSimplenight discusses how destination experiences fit into an $800 billion global business, and how the tech infrastructure for searching and booking is fragmented, consumers have to use a number of sites and apps, which is inefficient and time wasting.

Halberstein, Founder/CEO of SIMPLENIGHT (a Global Experience Platform™ providing cloud based distribution, inventory management, merchandising and technology solutions for the travel industry) joins Marc Raco and Nick Vivion (tnooz) in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.

Defragmenting experiences, a GDS with various touchpoint, and what’s next in the mix

He discusses how destination experiences fit into an $800 billion global business, and how the tech infrastructure for searching and booking is fragmented, consumers have to use a number of sites and apps, which is inefficient and time wasting.

A GDS for in destination experiences, tours/activities, box office events, night life, etc., how this made them sellable, building a cloud-based one-stop shopping experience, offering an API, various touch points, OTAs, search engines, a layer of in-vehicle destination planning in the future, partnerships with Jaguar and Land Rover, how it can be a booking flow.

Banner ad, SMS, in the concierge desktop, and many other touchpoints, out on property and off property seamlessly to serve to the customer. How meetings and car rentals are on the radar as future sectors in the mix.

Creating an infrastructure, the name, and harnessing data and insights

How developing relationships and understanding pain points has been critical to growing the business. And that if you can design the proper infrastructure for distribution and hosting content across categories, the supply community will seek you out.

Origins and implications of the name SIMPLENIGHT, and how a great day leads to a simple night. Allowing people to arrange a superior and remarkable experience, business-to-business vs. consumer facing versions of SIMPLENIGHT, an original vision of one-stop shop for fun, looking at when data is shared, making SIMPLENIGHT smarter and knowing you better, anticipating desires and needs, and utilizing and harnessing data and insights.

Listening, experiencing the world, and becoming your audience

Personal Questions cover making sure to enjoy experiences at every destination, photography, the importance of listening and try to listen even more.

Becoming your audience, trusting your gut and being in tune with market. Halberstein is listening a lot to his wife and her influence, always being open to new opportunities and to meeting new people, and the reason to make sure and experience the world.

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Nick Vivion

About the Writer :: Nick Vivion

Nick was previously the Director of Content for tnooz, where he oversaw the editorial and commercial content as well as producing/hosting tnoozLIVE. Prior to this role, Nick has multi-hyphenated his way through a variety of passions: restaurateur, photographer, filmmaker, corporate communicator, Lyft driver, Airbnb host, journalist, and event organizer.

 

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