Three years is a long time in travel, not least when around half of that period has been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
But since the early 2018 scramble by many of the online travel agency giants to attempt to position themselves as leaders in tours and activities, there are fewer fences around the protectionist strategies of those in the market.
The latest example comes from a deal between Expedia and GetYourGuide for the former to distribute products for the Germany-based player.
Expedia's fairly recent new strategy to open activities to third-party inventory is allowing a partnership to exist between the pair, whereby customers can search and book GetYourGuide's content on the site.
GetYourGuide joins its arch rival Viator as a provider of product to Expedia.
"We are excited to unlock more unique and unforgettable experiences for Expedia's customers. At the same time, we are opening up new opportunities for our incredible local partners to grow and manage their businesses through the travel recovery without increased complexity," says Emil Martinsek, chief marketing officer at GetYourGuide.
The partnership launches this month and GetYourGuide will handle the technical and operational elements for suppliers to list on Expedia.
An Expedia official says: "We’ve been evaluating how best to provide activities inventory to travelers booking through Expedia Group sites.
We are now offering activities to Expedia Group travelers through third-party websites such as Viator or GetYourGuide. These offerings, in addition to our direct offers, will provide travelers with the best choice and content, compelling prices, and great customer experience.”
Expedia shut down its offline activities concierge business in December 2020 and confirmed its strategy to now source product from third parties.
Meanwhile, Amazon has expanded its virtual tours service to include small group experiences.
Up to seven customers can book and attend the same live experience together, but from different locations.
Products include virtual tours of Hong Kong, Argentinian cooking in Buenos Aires, coffee-making classes in Mexico and a dog rescue center in Costa Rica.
The addition of group tours comes almost to the day since Amazon Explore was launched at the tail end of the first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.