It’s been a year since I wrote The Digital Battle for Tours and Activities, an article which I thought would be a one-off piece of content but now may become a yearly event. So much has changed during this last year, with the likes of Booking Holdings acquiring FareHarbor, AirBNB ‘investing’ in Tiqets, as well as the fight for our sector between these OTAs and Google.
Google is making big strides into the tours and activity space, testing the water with Touring Bird, which has now been closed and ‘folded’ into their travel team, making tours and activities bookable within Google search and maps, bypassing the OTAs – well the ones not also directly integrated… which I am still against, by the way. Everyone wants a piece of the tours and activity pie. No wonder, as it has a reported worth of $180 billion and it will only continue to grow.
However, this article is not intended to discuss who purchased who as with this article, I want to highlight a major and, in my honest opinion, dangerous situation many OTAs are giving tour and activity providers with in regards to competing for direct bookings. It may even have a detrimental effect on Google’s business.
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