Category: <span>Travel</span>


Chasing Ghosts is Hard Work

Making the hard choice and putting in the work is easier said than done. Every day we are faced with the prospect of cutting corners or taking the easy way out. But eventually, those small decisions, whether good or bad end up having a huge effect on the work we do and the lives we lead. Michael Jensen is a man that doesn’t compromise when it comes to his work. He is the co-owner and operator of Haunted Key West Tours, an award-winning ghost tour in Key West, Florida. And you don’t have to be a paranormal medium to decipher his keys to success

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VELTRA IPO Gives Rare Insight on Financials for Online…

The revenue of the major online players in Tours, Activities & Attractions has always been a bit of a mystery. Beyond Phocuswright’s research on the sector, there is little publically available data to estimate sales volumes of the big players. Most companies are privately held, and key public online travel companies such as Expedia and China’s Ctrip do not break down data for the segment. TripAdvisor only reports “non-hotel” revenue. Although activities is believed to represent a significant portion of that revenue, it does include other segments such as restaurants and vacation rentals.

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Seeking Disagreement: How Challenging Assumptions Can Help Your Business

The best-laid plans of mice and men. Or so they say. Life rarely turns out the way you plan it. You can have goals that you work towards, but the path you take is often winding. One of the keys is to be flexible and embrace the chaos. It also means being willing to challenge preconceived notions.

For Tom Medin, that meant making a decision that would change his life in order to pursue his passion. He loved being a writer, and his hometown of San Francisco served as a great backdrop for the murder mystery novels he wrote.

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Merging the Past With the Future of the Tour…

Change is never easy. For in-destination operators around the world, the need to innovate has never been greater. Technology is transforming how we travel. More importantly, tastes are evolving rapidly, and the desire for more ‘authentic experiences’ that connect travelers to their destination are placing new demands on operators. For Dan Rogoski, President and Chief Revenue Officer of The Ride in New York City, that meant transforming one of the oldest types of experiences around: the sightseeing bus tour.

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Can a Tour Find Success in a Smaller Destination?

How one business grew in a small market, by embracing culinary and authentic experiences, using savvy marketing, and getting creative. Here’s their story.

Think tours and sightseeing, and the obvious destinations – New York, Paris, Rome – come to mind. But the rapid growth of tours and activities has seen new tour businesses emerge in many locales that don’t come right to mind for travel and tourism. But, it’s interesting that the broader industry trends are just as true in smaller locales. This speaks to a fundamental transformation in how everyone is traveling. From the fashionista in Milan to the business traveler in the Midwest of America, people are seeking authenticity.

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TripAdvisor CEO Stephen Kaufer Walks Back Statements on Preferencing…

Speaking at the Phocuswright Conference in Los Angeles on Thursday, TripAdvisor President and CEO Stephen Kaufer appeared to walk back earlier comments by TripAdvisor Experiences President Dermot Halpin. Kaufer said the company will not preference tour and activity operators that use Bokun – the reservation system provider it acquired earlier this year – over those that do not.

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Operators React to TRIP’s Sponsored Listings for Bokun Users

TripAdvisor this week announced a significant new effort in its quest to bring more Tour, Activity & Attraction operators into its ecosystem. It’s called Sponsored Placements, and it replicates what TripAdvisor has already been selling to hotels and restaurants: a way to get promoted above the usual TripAdvisor sort ranking. But, in a twist unique to its Experiences listings, it comes with a catch. Operators who wish to participate must use the Bokun reservation platform, which TripAdvisor acquired in early 2018.

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Ryanair Makes a Play For Event Ticketing

Purchasing a ticket to cheer for your favorite team may be getting easier. Ryanair, one of Europe’s largest airlines, announced last week a strategic partnership with Coras, a Dublin-based online ticketing platform. The partnership will allow Ryanair to sell football tickets directly to their customers, as they are booking their trip. Initially, La Liga games featuring, Atlético Madrid, Espanyol, and Málaga as well as Toulouse FC in France’s Ligue 1, will be available for sale with more teams to follow.

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More Funding for Attractions Tech

GlobalTix, a Singapore-headquartered software startup for attractions ticketing and distribution, fo has raised $9 million in series A funding from Tin Men Capital.

The funding is the latest in a series of investments into startups providing distribution and ticketing technology specifically for attractions and events. In November Tiqets and Festicket both announced new venture rounds, while Australia’s Roller Software raised $7 million this past summer.

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Dubai Plans Tech Platform to Link All Attractions

  • The goal will be to provide a common guest experience through Dubai for all tourists and a common platform to link resellers and streamline distribution
  • This could potentially provide more leverage with attractions and operators by negotiating with resellers together, negotiating better terms as a single entity.
  • If this works, this could provide a model for other destinations and their attractions to look at in the future. No doubt other destinations and major attractions will be watching closely.
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10 Reasons You Should Know Your DMO

Do you work with your local destination marketing organization (DMO)? If the answer to that question is no or ‘what is a DMO’, you are missing out on one of the most valuable resources to grow your business.DMO is an organization, typically affiliated with a local government, whose mission is to attract leisure and business travelers and promote the destination. This can be a visitors bureau or a tourism board and they work to help local businesses reach these potential customers.  

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How One Private Museum Grew Its Visitor Count 400%

Hachez, a German chocolate company, wanted to start to a museum called CHOCOVERSUM in Hamburg dedicated to their products. They figured it would be pretty easy. Everyone loves chocolate, and the company knew their product so it would be as simple as opening the doors and people showing up, right? As any attraction can tell you, just because you build it doesn’t mean they will come. Unfortunately, in 2011 after one year in operation, fewer than 50,000 people per year were visiting the CHOCOVERSUM.

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Booking’s Big Plans

The world’s biggest accommodation site has set its sights on our sector. In this interview, VP of Experiences Ram Papatla discusses’s plans for tours, activities, and attractions. While it’s still early days for the brand in tours and activities, their incredible size in hotels and accommodations around the world means they are one company we should all watch.

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Two Online Ticketing Platforms Land Funding

The sector of online booking for attractions and events is heating up. This week saw two companies that provide online booking and distribution raise significant investment. Tiqets, a Netherlands-based online ticketing reseller for attractions, raised $23 million in funding. This brings their total investment of outside capital since their launch to $45 million. Earlier in the week London-based Festicket, a portal and booking platform focused on music festivals, secured $10.5 million in series D funding.

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Five Big Predictions for Tours, Activities & Attractions

2018 has been a wild year for the in-destination industry. We’ve seen mergers, acquisitions, new startups, and companies fold, along with large amounts of money being raised, particularly in the booking tech space. As we spend time with our families during the holidays, it’s worth taking stock of these changes. More importantly, it’s also the time to look towards the future. In this video, one of online travel’s first visionaries Erik Blachford, a venture investor and the former CEO of Expedia, shares his take on the future of our amazing industry. If you think you’ve heard all the predictions, a few of these might surprise you.

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Redefining Branding in an Online World

GetYourGuide is reshaping the dynamic between operators and online travel agencies (OTAs) with its new branded tour experiences, called Originals. In this engaging talk Tao Tao, Co-founder & COO at GetYourGuide explains the role of branding in tours and activities and the launch of their branded tours initiative and raises key questions about branding that every operator must try to answer for themselves.

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