In what has been a transformative year for tours and activities, perhaps one development stood out more than any other.
Booking Holdings bought reservation and tech platform FareHarbor in April 2018, signaling its expansion entry in the sector after quietly growing the Booking.com Experiences division in recent years.
The deal illustrated how seriously the burgeoning corner of the travel industry is to Booking.com, finally giving it a mechanism to attract more suppliers and move into other destinations around the world.
As a startup, FareHarbor was seen as a solid business in many quarters for its own growth rate and ability to scale without the need to dive into the waters of heavy financial investment (it raised an extremely modest $110,000 in its five years of operations as an independent company).
But now it's part of Booking.com, with CEO Lawrence Hester continuing to lead the team and figure out how it can help the mothership capitalize on the tours and activities revolution and accelerate its own supplier tech strategy.
PhocusWire spoke to Hester at the Arival Event 2018 in Las Vegas, covering everything from the anatomy of the deal with Booking Holdings to what it means for the wider sector.
PhocusWire @ Arival 2018 - FareHarbor on being acquired by Booking.com