In recent months, we have seen a revolution in the distribution of tours and activities. Traditionally sold offline, tours and activities are increasingly becoming available on online distribution platforms. In fact there is a a series of investments happening in the distribution of tours and activities online, such as the fast changes of OTAs having to invest in new ways in order to take a piece of the travel cake. The recent monster investment rounds of Klook, or Get your Guide are perfect examples of this ,
We are excited about all of these changes, it has taken some convincing for OTAs to get on board with TTA distribution, but now it seems they have clearly understood they must follow the lead of the big Travel online players such as Booking, Tripadvisor, Air Bnb Experiences, but most of all ,the biggest threat out there, often called the elephant in the room, which refers to Googles ambition to grow in this arena and disrupt the industry with no commission on distribution on any of the travel commodities.
I know, it is scary, but we have to say, for us in Soundwalkrs it is nothing but exciting! As it puts out a clear message that innovation is not a luxury, it is and should be at the epicenter of business.
As a start up, we can see a significant shift in the hunger for innnovation, and with it our growth as a company. More OTAs willing to distribute our products, a proliferaton on new players that want to take the stage on this growing industry, and we have seen it happen in the events we participated in recently.
As the industry is shaken, many look to re-invention, innovation and new solutions to find a way to survive. It is important that companies get startegies to navigate inevitable disruption, and integrate with innovative ideas to create disruptions of their own.
It has not been easy to integrate self guiding services to the platforms for TTA distribution, but many have seen the potential of our product and its capacity to complement the already existing Tours and Activities; which is why our team has been working hard in preparing the startegies and alliances that will lead us to global distribution for the Soundwalking experience in 2020.
The last two weeks we have been participating in a series of events where travel professionals have gathered together to discuss, analyze, connect, integrate and of course talk business, and here we would like to share some highlights.
We begun in Utrecht, Holland in Vakantibeurs, where we had the chance to listen to Amadeus talk about the new generation of travelers that are seeking more digital experiences within ther trip, and urging B2B and distributors to look for alternatives to integrate opportunities in cross selling and ancillary services.
The following week we were present in FITUR, where not only this message was delivered loud and clear, together with the importance of data driven solutions, AI, and the most important highlights for hotel revenue managers, who are of course excited about Googles announcement of zero commission. We were especially interested in the talks related to the importance of VOICE technology in the industry, and how an emotion based approach to providing experiences is ever more important.
We still remember when not long ago Skift said that “about 20% of in destinations inventory is bookable online”, we wonder how much of that has changed, and we are keen to learn this on the upcoming Arival event early in March 2020.
Moreover, we are even more excited since one of the topics on Arrival this year is how self guided mobile tours can complement tour operators.
Today we begin a new month of 2020, and we are happy to announce that last week we were awarded the Best New Digital Product in Travel Tech on the Product Hackers awards 2019 in Spain. What a way to begin the year!
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