In recent months, GetYourGuide, the Germany-based tours-and-activities platform, has been reselling advance tickets to Anne Frank House, in Amsterdam, at double the price the museum charges on its own.
Its queue-hopping offer became a hot topic in Dutch media on Tuesday after national broadcaster RTV NH reported that tickets sold by Anne Frank House at 9 Euro are resold at 18 Euro ($20) by GetYourGuide.
At first blush, it's not clear what the problem is. Wouldn't part of GetYourGuide's fee cover a guide's additional service of providing a historical overview and cultural context?
Apparently, the answer is "not really." The guide's historical and cultural presentation was brief, and not even touted in the tour description.
GetYourGuide's marketing emphasized the line-skipping feature, where the guide brings the customers to the special group entrance, to the left of the regular visitors' entrance.
Most of the hour was spent with the visitors touring the house on their own, without the guide. (The museum itself does not provide guided visits because of the house's tiny size.)
Anne Frank House told Dutch media that what GetYourGuide was doing was "strictly prohibited." The queue-skipping service is for large bus loads of tour groups. It was not intended for third-parties creating "unauthorized groups".
As of this publication, GetYourGuid has pulled inventory, with a message that says there are no more available dates for the tour.
Johannes Reck, the CEO of the startup, told Tnooz:
GetYourGuide offers skip the line products for a great number of top attractions around the world. Amsterdam is a big destination for us and our customers demanded a skip the line product for the highly popular Anne Frank house.
We have started to test the Skip the line Anne Frank house product in the past few months and it is highly popular and receives great customer reviews.
We have been in close contact with the Anne Frank house in the past weeks to review the current offering and to build a framework for a long term partnership.
As the tours-and-activities space heats up, with TripAdvisor's recent $200 million acquisition of Viator, third-party platforms have to watch how they can scale up their efforts quickly through open platforms that are light on the screening while simultaneously providing quality control.
GetYourGuide has raised about $44 million in funding, to date.