Online marketplaces moving faster in tour booking race

- A Monitor Desk Report 03 Mar, 2019 | 659 Views|-+
Dhaka: Tour and activity bookings through online marketplaces increased in 2018 compared to 2017, according to a report from TrekkSoft.

The tours technology specialist says total bookings made directly via operator websites went from 79pc in 2017 to 67pc in 2018, while the percentage of total bookings going to online marketplaces increased from 3.2pc to 9.1pc.

TrekkSoft attributes the increase in online marketplace bookings to the number of distribution partners it integrated over the period.

It adds that bookings made through agents, affiliates and local tourist offices also increased from 17.5pc to 24.3pc from 2017 to 2018.

Data on mobile bookings made across TrekkSoft’s booking widget and white-label applications reveals an increase from 52pc in 2017 to 57pc in 2018.

In its Travel Trends Report 2019, the company says the tours and activities space in 2018 was defined by bold investments from online travel agencies as well as significant funding rounds.

In April last year, TripAdvisor bought Bokun while Booking Holdings acquired FareHarbor.

Notable funding rounds in the segment include Tiqets $23 million raise in November, Klook's $200 million in August, TourRadar and Peek, which raised $50 million and $23 million, respectively, in June.

The report goes on to say that while from the outside the segment seems to be maturing in terms of online bookings, closer scrutiny reveals it is still hampered by “supplier inertia” in adopting technology and under-developed standards for API connections.

The research also claims that Viator continues to lead when it comes to bookings and revenue, bringing in 10 times the bookings of Civitatis and more than six-and-a-half times the bookings brought in by Expedia.

Survey participants were also asked which OTAs bring the best return for their business, with Viator coming out top at 41pc.

Interesting to note was Google Trips coming in second with 17pc of the vote. More than 62pc of respondents also said they would consider becoming resellers themselves.

Insight revealed in the report was gleaned from TrekkSoft’s own data as well as its 2018 Tourism Survey, which had more than 900 participants.

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