Skift Take

In an increasingly competitive segment of travel, Viator retains its positioning as the most popular platform and a significant revenue generator for Tripadvisor.

Last week we launched the latest report in our Skift Research Reports service, State of Tours and Activities Tech 2017.

In our latest report we explore the state of tours and activities, the key players and the untapped markets. While the sector has seen the shift towards online take place, challenges still remain for distributors and OTAs looking to establish themselves in the segment.

Below is an excerpt from our Skift Research Report. Get the full report here to stay ahead of this trend.

Despite numerous inroads in the past few years, the tours and activities market remains fragmented. Tours and activities suppliers use a variety of booking management systems, if they use one at all — many still operate using pen and paper or have their own homemade reservations systems. In some destinations, operators don’t even have their offerings online, and there’s yet to be a single online reservations platform that truly dominates the space, particularly on a global scale. However, in North America in particular, Expedia and TripAdvisor’s Viator dominate.

A 2016 survey by Rezdy, “Tour Operator Trends for Booking Channels,” found that Viator was the most popular platform among tours and activities suppliers selling through OTAs, with around 58 percent of operators surveyed using the platform. Expedia came in second, used by around 24 percent of U.S. and Canadian operators who sell their tours through OTAs. Other significant platforms used by respondents include Tours4fun, Museument, and City Discovery (though it should be noted that all three platforms are integrated with Rezdy).

Top Tours and Activities Aggregators

According to TripAdvisor’s annual report for 2015, the company’s “other segment,” which consists of attractions (primarily through Viator), restaurants, and vacation rentals accounted for 15 percent of the company’s approximately $1.492 billion in total revenue. Viator runs as an independent website through TripAdvisor’s main site; travelers using TripAdvisor’s top things to do in given destinations can also book tours and activities without having to navigate away from the main site.

Expedia’s tours and activities are offered via its main page (as well as on, which the company acquired in 2015), and while the company offers bundled deals with any combination of flights, hotels, and car rentals, tours and activities are only available when purchased individually. Expedia also runs an activities and experiences program, Local Expert, which provides customers with concierge services and advice for around 750 destinations, both through and at hotels in select major markets.

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This is the latest in a series of twice-monthly reports aimed at analyzing the fault lines of disruption in travel. These reports are intended for the busy travel industry decision maker. Tap into the opinions and insights of our seasoned network of staffers and contributors. Over 100 hours of desk research, data collection, and/or analysis goes into each report.

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Tags: skift research, viator

Photo credit: A woman on a Segway tour of Washington, DC. Viator retains its position as one of the more dominant tours and activities providers in the digital space. Wendy Harman / Flickr

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