While the pandemic drove change in the tours segment in terms of contactless solutions and increased automation, much of the complexity of the market remains.
Often, tours and activities providers look to the retail sector for solutions and question whether similar technology could be applied to experiences, but the multiple different elements, pricing, availability, descriptions and travel modes mean that is not necessarily the answer.
The challenges of product fragmentation and technology gaps for the tours and activities sector were up for discussion during a panel discussion with executives at Phocuswright Europe 2022.
Travis Pittman, CEO of TourRadar, talks of changing the narrative around tours and activities so that consumers consider experiences part of the overall travel mix.
TourRadar’s recent distribution partnerships with Flight Centre is a step in the right direction, but Pittman wants to see multi-day tours with their own tab on the websites of online travel giants.
The company recently announced a white label partnership for lastminute.com to sell TourRadar’s bike holidays, which Pittman says will further help change the perception of the multi-day tours segment.
B2B distribution is also touched on by Frank Rosenberger, CIO and CEO of future markets at TUI Group, who discusses the growth and development of TUI Musement as well as its partnerships with OTAs including Booking.com.
While the distribution deals are for more mainstream tours product, TUI is also looking to get into multi-day tours, and Pittman offers some advice on keeping things as simple as possible and enabling instant booking.
Both also touch on the ongoing investor appetite for the tours segment with startups still attracting significant rounds.
Watch the full session with PhocusWire senior reporter Linda Fox:
Executive Roundtable: Transforming Tours - Phocuswright Europe 2022