kid attitude
3 years ago
 

Can the newbies of tours and activities sweep aside the old kids on the block?

Recent fundraising by GetYourGuide and Peek is good news for the tours and activities sector. These investments reflect the growing awareness that “the things you do when you get there” are a crucial component of why people travel.

They shouldn’t be treated as an afterthought by travel sellers who have traditionally focused on how you get there, and where you stay.

NB: This is a viewpoint from Viator founder and former-CEO, Rod Cuthbert. Since 2012 he has been CEO of Melbourne-based startup Rome2rio. This article reflects his personal views on the market.

But I have a nagging suspicion that these investments may turn out to be courageous rather than well-timed. I’m fighting that suspicion, hoping it’s not some form of confirmation bias, but I can’t shake it off. Here’s why…

A quick glance at the T&A marketplace reveals many new entrants over the past few years, but further research reveals most have quietly faded from view. Expedia and Viator are prospering as the market leaders—Tnooz reports that Viator has annual sales of $280m, and Expedia is likely higher.

No other entrants have gained enough traction to put a dent in their market share.

This isn’t the only sector in our industry where it’s become immensely challenging for new entrants to attract customers – travel is a universe where the market leaders act like the major planets, exerting massive gravitational pull that inexorably sucks in all the passing traffic.

The problem is particularly severe in the T&A space, where the proliferation of small, independent suppliers means there are only a few larger suppliers who exert any influence at the retail level, a far cry from other sectors where global brands compete head on with resellers to create a more balanced marketplace.

So Expedia and Viator dominate, with well-established footprints in SEO and SEM, all the supplier relationships they need, and plenty of momentum. New entrants find it hard to gain traction and end up being acquired (Isango) or continuing as profitable but boutique operations (City Discovery).

GYG and Peek enter the space with young, smart and enthusiastic management and market pitches that talk about disruption. So far so good.

But GYG’s early attempt at that disruption, the acquisition of peer-to-peer tour operator Gidsy, didn’t produce the momentum expected. Less than a year later it’s a largely forgotten topic, with Gidsy founder Edial Dekker gone to Eventbrite and no mention of peer-to-peer experiences anywhere to be seen.

Peek, on the other hand, is talking about a distribution platform for suppliers as the key element of its disruption strategy. That may turn out to have a shorter half-life than peer-to-peer experiences: there’s just too many good companies in this business already, with TourCMS, Rezgo, Rezdy and Zerve all offering robust, proven systems.

While I applaud the idea, I think entering this business is under-researched and a little too late to have any impact.

The other thing that might be a plus for GYG and Peek is their line-up of savvy investors: well-heeled, plenty of online travel experience and certainly capable of follow-on funding.

Having said that, Room77, Travelpost and Hopper each have all-star investor lineups and that doesn’t seem to be helping them. Maybe there’s no real connection between who your investors are and how well you perform?

So I’m still not seeing any evidence that we’re going to see a change the status quo of the T&A sector anytime soon. That’s a pity: disruption is a force for good, keeps the market leaders on their toes and gives consumers new options, expanding the market for everyone.

I guess we’ll see that Airbnb/Uber/HotelTonight type of disruption in this space eventually; we’re just not seeing it yet.

NB: This is a viewpoint from Viator founder and former-CEO, Rod Cuthbert. Since 2012 he has been CEO of Melbourne-based startup Rome2rio. This article reflects his personal views on the market.

NB2: Kid attitude pic via Shutterstock.

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About the Writer :: Special Nodes

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  1. Georges

    About getyourguide.com:

    getyourguide really lacks of everything, from talent to originality and professionalism.

    1. Try to call their customer service or to email them. You will never get anyone on the phone nor will you get a reply.

    2. Try also to find anything about the people working there or their address or the management. Good luck. It looks more like a scam than a business.

    But the main issue is the low value of their main product: their so called guides. For having lived or visited in some of the place they pretend to know, I can tell you how poorly informed are their guides and how they lack of originality.

    To top it all, it does look like they have copied Lonely Planet in both the content and the appearance of their web pages.

    Last but not least: what is the use ? Who needs a pre-chewed thinking, ready to go thought or idea to travel ? Idiots, brainless consumers ?

     
  2. Sunil Ayyappan

    I am co-founder of Trips-idea. Great article and awesome comments. It is very interesting to read through different perspectives. We are a small startup trying to solve the problem of planning a trip in the last minute. We are not heavily funded, but we have found a unique way of making the planning experience smarter. We claim that using our web-app, you can plan your trip and print out an itinerary in 10 minutes. Our mobile app is getting launched during mid-may and that could help users plan their trip while on the go. The most important thing about our app is that we bring in deals from different deal providers such as Groupon & LivingSocial through which users can save lot of money. Our motto is “Spend less & Travel More”

     
  3. Tony Carne

    Thanks Rod for being the catalyst for more great discussion about the T&A sector. From our viewpoint on the supplier side it seems the majority of concentration of effort seems to go into the issue of fragmentation of the supply side. A build it and they will come strategy of bringing offline businesses online. For sure the egg is fragmented and maybe the opportunity is there to bring to market a really interesting and diverse product offering not accessible to the competitors by bringing them under your technological wing but to do so you’d need to prove your worth to those suppliers by filling places quickly (so they don’t just work with everyone) and therefore be extremely busy in getting distribution set up. Ultimately this is why Viator and Expedia – as Rod points out – tend to rule the roost currently. Their concentration on B2B distribution through affiliate relationships + longer time in market building direct customers, gives them a great advantage in finding the customer and it is this chicken which is way more fragmented than the supply side.

    Finding the customer costs money. We are all slicing a tiny pie to get to those customers online and we all want to make some money ourselves. Airbnb disrupted by creating a ubiquitous brand that delivers a better product at a cheaper price (than hotels) by utilizing a redundant asset. I don’t see this perfect storm in the T&A sector. I presume that most are working medium term to build the connectivity to live allocations that can tap the only real redundant asset in this space (which is definitely not people’s time as in the P2P area) but rather the last minute unfulfilled capacity of seats on a tour that is departing and then adding that to mobile. In this scenario the customer could get the same product at a cheaper price (or equal to the in destination price of similar/same product Stuart is alluding to) and still maintain the margins for everyone. Even when this happens, I’m not sure the Jurong Bird Park (or most on the “activities” side of T&A) has a yield manager looking at numbers of pre sales on any given day to adjust their price based on capacity? Maybe selling this as part of service to suppliers could be the way in to access to unique supply. Maybe someone already has this as part of their dashboards?

    I know some are close to having the connectivity but doubt 2014 will be the year anything explodes on this front. The perfect storm for T&A is likely to be wrapped up in not only what everyone in our own sector is doing to achieve this but also tied to the when of someone disrupting the roaming charges issue for travellers. My guess is that at least some are already heavily testing US product for the US audience where this scenario doesn’t exist. I also guess that what those tests might find in 2014 at least – is that at least half of the market still think of their mobile as a phone first and not a device to book online. That will change over time to reduce costs and increase margins.

    This will probably mean that a few arrive at the same point, at the same time making ubiquity harder and unlikely any single business can bolt from the pack unless they can do something significant from a brand building point of view in the mean time or get there before the incumbents and use the first mover advantage to lure affiliates across by offering them the same advantages via simple integrations into their systems. From the supplier side we definitely appreciate everyone’s continued efforts and innovations to fill more seats.

     
  4. Ken Frohling

    It’s evident many TNooz readers share Rod’s passion for the tours and activities sector –as do I. Though removed from its day-to-day excitement for some time, Rod’s personal insights are impassioned and thought-provoking; gravitational pull and all. We understand the sector is full of opportunities and complexities and Veteran or start-up – we all share that same passion. Yes, Viator has been at this longer than most (p.s. – we’re really happy about that), but that doesn’t mean were resting on any laurels. On the contrary – it gives us a unique perspective into understanding all the opportunities that remain.
    It’s incumbent on all of us to raise awareness and bring online booking of tours and activities into the travel zeitgeist. But that will only happen when the booking experience is easier, faster and better than booking offline. Each of us is working on that in some way as are some others… Google, Groupon, TripAdvisor, etc. Bottom line – the competition is healthy for our sector and great for consumers.

     
  5. Peter Syme

    Also should have mentioned, no one has mentioned the elephant in the room as well which is Tripadvisor. There tours and activities reviews are used pre departure and last minute in destination. Yes customers can then book via GYG if the company is tied in but in our experience it that is not happening. What is happening is the customer is doing that old fashioned thing and phoning or emailing us.

     
    • Valentin Dombrovsky

      GYG has vast amount of referral traffic from Tripadvisor – don’t know how it works for them though (source – http://www.similarweb.com/website/getyourguide.com).
      Tripadvisor information is unstructured – it’s really tailored for hotels – not for activities. That’s from my point of view. However, I know that last year they started to look at other verticals (restaraunts) and activities are to come. However, I think that it will be done the same way as with hotels – major suppliers like Viator, GYG or Excursiopedia will be included as well as activity providers themselves (like in Hotel Connect).

      Btw, speaking about “old-fashioned way” – unlike other platforms Excursiopedia lets the traveller to send a message directly to activity provider and to ask him about all the details. We know that our users like this opportunity.

       
      • Kevin May

        Kevin May

        @valentin – how about a comment that doesn’t mention Excursiopedia 😉 Come on, I know you can do it 😉

         
        • Valentin Dombrovsky

          Sorry, Kevin, as Excursiopedia wasn’t mentioned in the article, I have to do it here. 🙂

          And well, I try to make it useful – we’re comparing market players here and I know at least one of them very good. 🙂
          Btw, maybe we should invite Johannes to speak about GYG and Ruzwana to speak about Peek – it would be fair, I guess. 🙂

           
        • Kevin May

          Kevin May

          @valentin – one of Peek’s investors has commented already, but I absolutely invited both respective CEOs to chime in here with their own POV.

          Not sure why Excursiopedia wasn’t mentioned in the original op-ed, maybe Rod hadn’t heard of it 😉

           
      • Peter Syme

        As you mentioned GYG is getting all that traffic Valentin but a huge % will not be converting as TA also offers the customer the opportunity to contact the company direct. It may not be structured well for activities and tours but it does have the traffic so if it does get the structure correct it will be it difficult for new start ups in tours and activities to find traction.

        Your point on customers contacting the activity provider is critical. In our experience no matter how good the copy is people still want to ask questions, lots of them also if you are group driven like we are online bookings are like hens teeth. They want to deal with a person. We are currently running at 82% conversion for the last qtr and 76.5% conversion for the year to date ( conversion to us means once we have a lead be it online, phone, email etc not website conversions) the more we speak to people the more we convert. New online offerings need to understand tours and activities are different! Then when you add the upsell and cross sell opportunities which happens offline that represents a huge % of small suppliers business and you can see why small suppliers are not rushing to spend time on this issue as no online system so far can deal with that well. Chicken and egg.

         
    • Oliver Nuetzel

      Let me jump into the discussion. Talking about a multi-billion USD / EUR market, I personally don’t believe that any of the players mentioned did succeed in the market yet. And even Tripadvisor is more exploring this market and trying to find a way of how to best monetize it.
      And this also means that there is enough room left for new ideas or improving existing ideas to be successful on this market. The market potential itself is huge.
      On top, the tours & activities market is not comparable with accommodation or transportation services and needs a different approach. Products are much more heterogenous and variety is much bigger.
      And for the transparency, I work for http://www.regiondo.com / http://www.regiondo.de

       
    • Valentin Dombrovsky

      Just came across this comment once more. What a wise words about “elephant in the room”! Can you share your crystal ball with me, Peter? 🙂

       
  6. Peter Syme

    A view from the supplier coal face. We are probably in the top % of suppliers with regards to reservations systems and ability to deal last minute with customers. We current are taking bookings up to 1 hr before travel. However, like all small suppliers we have limited resources on the marketing/content management side as our focus has to be on operations. To date although we distribute via many online sites that are being discussed here the return on our investment and time is minimal. In our experience a supplier still gets much more ROI from investing in their own online offerings via search and social media and building a network of online and offline agents in the destinations.

    I am not for a minute saying it will always be this way as mobile is and will continue to have a huge impact but to date no platform or even a group of platforms are inspiring us enough to invest time and money compared to other routes to market. I am pretty sure all the VC money that has been thrown at this sector would not have been if the VC’s had gone and spoken to enough suppliers!

     
  7. Ranjan Singh

    Rod…a nice and contrarian take on the otherwise unbridled optimistic reports on the sector. It is a tough sector no doubt, as Viator’s own journey of over 18 years to get to the relatively modest revenue levels suggest. Also, I couldn’t help but notice the traction comment on isango!. I guess you never considered the fact that great traction leads to acquisitions as well. Our CAGR of nearly 100% in the 5 years pre-acquisition was a key driver of our exit. Having said that, I think we were an exception. This sector is tough not just to operate….but to materialise exits – Viator knows that better than any.

     
  8. Rod Cuthbert

    Hey, Many thanks to everyone who has taken the time to read and respond to this post. Alex Kremer is right: it’s early days in this sector and things are sure to change; our discussion here will make interesting reading in a few years time!

    If anything, my piece is about the frustration I feel at not having seen more innovation by now, and my genuine hope that it will come soon. I agree with Alex there is only one household name in the business, but I stand by my view on the topic of “gravitational pull” and the power that market leaders commonly enjoy. Simply put, it’s not too hard to start a business in this sector, but it’s proven very hard to build a business with annual sales over, say, US$50m.

    As for Stuart’s comments on finding lower-priced airport transfers: you’re right. In fact, in almost every category of product you’ll find lower priced alternatives in-market. Whether those suppliers have the necessary licenses, insurance, customer service and reliability that the online sellers (and their customers) are looking for is another question. But you are right, Stuart, there’s always a cheaper product out there somewhere.

     
    • Stuart McD

      Just to clarify, my Singapore comment was related to Jurong Bird Park. Via the official website you’ll pay S$28.75 (less for Sg residents), with Viator/GetYourGuide you’re looking at around S$41-42 (inc transport to park) Thru our hotel front desk it was $22 – all they did was hand us an official ticket (not a travel agent coupon etc). The bus to the park from downtown costs $5.

      As far as I’m aware Jurong Bird Park does have the “necessary licenses, insurance and customer service” that most online sellers would be looking for.

       
  9. maurizio

    Interesting article and interesting point of view.
    It’s indeed true that it’s a crowded place and that many of the sites are doing the same kind of job.

    We, as Kicktraveler, are trying to make some disruption in this world by attempting to propose a new way of traveling.
    We like to say that Kicktraveler is where crowdfunding meets traveling.
    A trip is thought as a campaign while the rewards consist of other travelers willing to join a trip.

    The way it works is really simple.
    If you are a trip creator looking for other people to travel with, you simply post your trip(s) with all the information, pictures, videos and so on and you tell how much the cost is.
    If there is a traveler interested in your trip he will be able to pay 10% of the total costs directly on Kicktraveler while the rest of the payment will be arranged directly with the trip creator.

    On the other side, if someone wants to join a trip, he can browse our site, pick a trip that best suits him/her and book directly online.

    Check us out at http://www.kicktraveler.com and if you have any feedback please do not hesitate to contact me!

     
  10. Stuart McD

    But what about the travellers?!

    By using any of these services the traveller will often pay well over the going rate for organising the trip/tour/adventure/AIRPORT TRANSFER, compared to just arranging it at the destination. On a recent trip to Singapore booking through either Viator or GYG was close to double the cost of via the front desk for a very similar service.

    What you’re seeing here are margins upon margins with travellers left holding the can, so I guess there is plenty more scope for disruption.

     
    • Manuel Suárez

      You’re quite right, very often that’s the scenario, with online activity distribution websites acting almost like classic incoming travel agencies, or working directly with them instead of the final supplier of the activity.
      Personally I think empowering the supplier is the key to success. Giving them the tools to manage the offline inventory on a more efficient way than what they are doing at the moment is the first step to being able to offer features like real-time availability, dynamic pricing, etc. Online distribution layers? yeah, that’s great, but as a supplier 90% of my sales are still offline, I can’t be spending 1-2 hours a day updating my availability on all different platforms.

       
      • Carl Pihl

        Manuel,

        I couldn’t agree with you more, empowering Supplier to manage their live inventory in one place is the way forward…

        TicketingHub does just that as well as enables resellers such as Viator, GYG, Nor1 (Flextrip) and PEEK to innovate with Mobile redemption, barcoded tickets and last minute inventory.

        We have no set up fee, lengthy contract and enable them to manage all their distribution from one place… Tickets can then be validate using our Scan Hub (£150), computer or I-pad.

        We see ourselves as the Shopify for Attractions, Tours and Activities and have an app store to connect to third party services, so that suppliers can pick and choose their services to suite their immediate needs and create their own custom enterprise solution.

        Please take a few minutes to look at our presentation: https://vimeo.com/88734515.

        Your feedback would be greatly appreciated.

         
    • Valentin Dombrovsky

      Don’t know about Viator and GYG – can say about Excursiopedia. We don’t put any comission above the price that our provider has selected for his tour – we just have 15 % comission from him for each booking. We can’t do anything if provider wants to sell his services for higher price on our platform, but as far as I know it’s pretty rare case in our system.

       
      • Stuart McD

        Yes, you look to have the same rates as they do related to the pricing I mentioned above, so you’re also close to double the cost of what I’d pay over the hotel desk for a very similar product. Why bother?

         
        • Valentin Dombrovsky

          It depends on what destination you’re looking at. In Asia the price may be not that good – in Europe it’s better.
          And as I’ve mentioned, we invite everyone to join our platform and we’ll try to attract people who provide cheaper activities as well. Only if they’re to be trusted, of course (having opportunity to find trustworthy providers is one more value that internet platform gives to the traveller).

          Well, and one more thing is the selection that you get,of course. Opportunity to choose is something that internet brought us. 🙂
          This market is still emerging, especially in some parts of the world, that’s why you might not have large choice in some areas at the moment. But why say that new tech is bad if it’s only at emerging stage?

           
    • Stuart L

      Same in Bangkok – airport to downtown hotel
      Private transfer next Friday

      £17.08 Expedia
      £17.18 Viator
      £43.58 GYG

      Ouch. Netto cost of a public cab with tolls £7–£9
      Nice markups in T&A…

       
  11. David Urmann

    The “dream concept” here is to cut out the middle man (travel agent) with the goal of lowering cost and highlighting the best providers to travelers. How else to democratize travel? the best providers raise (local tour operators and individual guides) to the top in the results as they get best reviews as well as the largest number. If the idea is to do for “tours and activities” what Airbnb did for renting extra space then you need to allow lots of providers and let them list similar products. It appears to me that GYG actually pivoted away from the p2p concept when they stopped highlighting the provider on the website.

     
    • Alex Bainbridge

      Hi David
      Absolutely disagree – no point cutting out the travel agent when travel agents (in tours & activities) produce such an overall small % of the industry transactions. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking what will work for hotels and flights must work for tours & activities 🙂
      Instead, lets work out how to make travel agents work for suppliers as much as they work for consumers.

       
    • Valentin Dombrovsky

      I agree with Alex that agent are rather to help travellers – we need to teach them to work with different platforms if it’s hard for traveller to deal with them. I’d say that our solutions are here to make agents even stronger (small high street agency can have access to all the offers that were only available for large tour operators).
      Speaking about p2p vs. not p2p – my opinion is that you shouldn’t focus on either side. At Excursiopedia we try to build this kind of solution (and we show providers).

       
  12. Robert McLarren

    I’m confused about something… GYG and Peek are not materially any different than Viator… Sure, they are both prettier (which might be enough to usurp the throne, because – DAMN – Viator is fugly), but ultimately sell the same exact things and are competing for the same clicks. Can someone please explain how these companies differ?
    Point illustrated:
    http://www.viator.com/tours/Paris/Skip-the-Line-Paris-Louvre-Museum-Guided-Tour/d479-2050_PA
    http://peek.com/activity-p14538504-skip-the-line_the_louvre_museum_paris/
    http://www.getyourguide.com/paris-l16/skip-the-line-guided-tour-of-the-louvre-museum-t3393/

     
    • Ken Frohling

      Hi Robert – Sorry to hear you think Viator is fugly. Taste is subjective, I suppose. Hmmm…how are the sites different? For a start – look at the exact product you suggest and check availability:

      1. Viator – booking was open for a same day booking and every day there after (except the dates the tour does not operate
      2. GetYourGuide – booking was not available until Sunday (a 72-96 hour lead time)
      3. Peek – well you could choose two available days to make a booking in March.

      If mobile is to be a game-changer in the space as some suggest, the ability to transact while IN destination is critical. That means booking for today or for tomorrow, not booking 2 weeks out.

      That’s my first stab at a difference. I could probably come up with a few more.

      Ken

      PS – Robert, you should share with us your company so we can understand your perspective. All the other posters did!

       
      • Robert McLarren

        Thanks Ken. You kind of supported my point though, that Peek and GYG aren’t really doing anything new, other than a pretty UI. Not sure why all the hype.

        I’m not in the space and have no company affiliations that are relevant. Just really interested in it from an investment and academic standpoint…

         
  13. Robert McLarren

    Gidsy was acquihired right before it would have shut down. GYG had no “early attempt at that disruption”, but rather agreed to a soft landing for friends.

     
  14. Nadav Gur

    The disruption in this space was supposed to come because now, through smartphones, travelers are connected at the destination and at the last moment – which is when they decided if the weather is nice enough to take a cruise, or they are exerted and want to sit through a performance. So mobile was supposed to be the driving force here. Not prettier websites or founders 😉

    Frankly it doesn’t look like the new entrants mentioned have a business that’s materially different than Viator’s, and while the sites are better designed in some cases, that’s not exactly disruptive. I think you’re absolutely right, Rod.

     
    • Valentin Dombrovsky

      Although, I believe in mobile, I don’t think that here it may be the main source of disruption. Major players on the market have mobile apps that they continue develop. Everyone understands the value of “in destination booking” for T&A and someday someone will “crack the code” of this niche with mobile. But it’s just a UX – not something that you should be focused on here (well, it’s important, but not the main thing, I’d say).

      You’re looking on websites and say that they’re similar. Yes, indeed – the UI is pretty similar as much as Airbnb’s UI might seem similar to UI of hotel booking website. 🙂 In fact, the services are different – all you need is to look “under the hood”.

       
    • Cameron Yuill

      “Not prettier websites and founders”.

      The “founders” comment is inappropriate and highly offensive. Being a founder is incredibly tough, requires massive sacrifice and is, very often, a fruitless journey. You should respect that. Period.

       
    • Cameron Yuill

      “Not prettier websites and founders”.

      The “founders” comment is inappropriate and highly offensive. Being a founder is incredibly tough, requires massive sacrifice and is, very often, a fruitless journey. You should respect that. Period.

       
  15. Alex Kremer

    So, to summarize 582 words into a few: You don’t believe some startups have a chance because other people are already doing what they’re trying to do.

    With the exception of Expedia, it’s laughable to suggest that any of the above named brands are household names. Even then, ask the average traveler, and they’ll draw a blank stare when asked about where they would book things to do in their destination.

    The suggestion that this market is sewn up, that anyone has “massive gravitational pull” is ludicrous. The truth is, for all the noise made in this sector, there’s still a lot of work to do. Denying that reality reeks of a rather sad attempt to build a moat around a molehill.

    Startups in this space naturally have all the confidence in the world. So do existing players. But perhaps it’s a good idea to remember that even after 14 years in the market (for some), we’re still in the first quarter of a very long game.

     
    • Stephen Joyce

      Stephen Joyce

      Although I don’t fully agree with either Rod or your summary Alex, I do agree that we are in the very early stages of this segment. A new airline or hotel, for example, wouldn’t think twice about investing in reservation or distribution technology, but the same is not true for tours and activities. Anything that we can do collectively to draw attention to the segment will help. With only 14-20% of businesses having any kind of reservation system or online capabilities, there is still a ton of work to be done. So, my suggestion is, let’s put aside the hyperbole, the hype, and ego stroking and let’s educate the businesses on the supply side because without them, there is no supply regardless of the prettiness of the retail websites trying to sell that supply. When it comes to the mom and pop shops that supply the tours, they don’t care what VC invested in what company or how pretty your website is, they care about bums in seats. The companies that can help them do that, are the ones that will stick around. The rest are window dressing.

       
      • Valentin Dombrovsky

        Fair point. Stephen.

         
      • Kim Korte

        Stephen,

        I applaud your comment, “When it comes to the mom and pop shops that supply the tours, they don’t care what VC invested in what company or how pretty your website is, they care about bums in seats. The companies that can help them do that, are the ones that will stick around. The rest are window dressing.” We are a startup food tour in Napa and looking for a site to support our business. I came upon this article while investigating online booking software/services. Our current provider looks slick, but none of the promises came true, booking issues arose because of lack of communication when software updates were released (or the releases were fully tested), and, only upon our announcement to leave did we learn of new offerings that might have enticed us to reconsider to decision to change. We paid our fee every month and never received one client from their pretty site. Lipstick on a pig.

        TripAdvicor was where we got a lot of referrals. Now that they bought Viator, it will be interesting to see the impact on all of the other service providers.

         
  16. Andy Ryan

    Interesting viewpoint, though I think it’s too early to make a bearish call on GYG and Peek. I have a feeling that GYG in particular is quietly building *the* long-term disruptive platform in this space. Expedia may still have an immensely strong gravitational field but it’s one that was built on a model that was never designed for the specifics of the T&A market, and so likely not that well suited in the long-term.

    I guess one also has to take the article with a pinch of salt since the company you are suggesting will emerge as the winner is one you presumably still have a sizeable equity stake in.. so it’s very much in your best interest to discourage newbies from stepping on your toes.

     
    • Valentin Dombrovsky

      Andy, you’re wrong when you speak about Viator’s role on the market. It has a very specific business model that makes it hard for newbie to be its competitor. It’s much easier for newbie to be its partner.
      We like working with Viator very much for many reasons.

       
  17. Valentin Dombrovsky

    Well, hello everyone.
    The market is really very complex (you can check latest article by Kevin May on this topic: https://www.tnooz.com/article/tours-activities-comes-age-challenges-may-take-age-fix/) and there are some problems to be solved. We, at Excursiopedia, think that we’ve found the right approach and gained some traction without being heavily funded. We’ll test our hypothesis this year and see how it works.

    Btw, we are not competitors to Viator or Expedia – rather we are partners. And we are happy to partner with anyone playing on our space.

     
 
 

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