OTAs are rising, so should you!

Ivan Ilijasic

CEO & founder at Orioly
A passionate traveler and entrepreneur with strong IT background in travel and financial industries. He built his expertise working for international corporations and leading projects in tourism. Former editor-in-chief of Croatian travel e-zine SvjetskiPutnik.hr. Ivan was consulting dozen of small tour companies in bringing their business online. For that reason he founded Orioly.
Ivan Ilijasic

For the past two or three months, exciting news came out shaking the online world of tours and activities business.

For those of you who are not familiar, GetYourGuide announced a new round of investment worth $484M (yes, M as a million). 

This investment is a large boost for upcoming operations planned by GYG. However, this news came as a potential shock for small tour and activity providers on a global scale.

Before that, we were talking about the news coming from Booking.com, Airbnb and how they plan to integrate listings of experiences to their hotel and B&B customers.

Google is working and offering more options providing a platform called “Reserve with Google“.

I am still shocked that nothing similar came out from Facebook or Amazon kitchen.

Should you, tour and activity provider, be worried?

The travel experience market now worth $150 billion and projections are showing it will grow to $183 billion next year.

GYG plans to use this investment for an aggressive expansion to North/South America market along with the Asian market, using their existing successful approach.

Also, they plan to push their own tours in 25 major cities worldwide. They already launched their own tour products last year in Rome, Paris and London.

I have been talking with our clients and partners and the fact is — even though it seems a bit frightening that at one point you could compete with a company that just got almost $500M of investment, at least, think about it!

Why this news is great for small companies?

I always like to say — IF someone invests a ton of money in your industry and business model, MAYBE, that seems you are working in the right area.

Tours and activities will grow by $33 billion within 12 months and you are part of it. I am pretty sure it is a good sign rather than margins dropping and investors looking for a quick exit.

How I will compete with a big fish in my city?

I am pretty sure you asked yourself the same question when CitySightseeing started doing tours in your city a few years ago. And yet, you are still here, live, kicking and growing.

If you are offering great service and unique local experience, I am pretty sure you don’t need to worry about GYG.

If you are still sleeping, wake up!

You should keep rocking, using the potential of OTAs, work with local partners, hotels, hostels and build your brand.

There are so many options available out there that you can leverage. Do not be intimidated by technology. Embrace it, leverage Google effort to make your business relevant on Google.

GYG will rise, however, others will do. That means, they will need to fight for audience and suppliers too.

Regardless, do not put all eggs into one basket. Use the technology to boost your sales, but also work with local partners, tourism boards, DMOs along with OTAs and Google.

To get good results, start by forgetting your pen and paper, as well as free web plugins that put more paperwork on your table and inbox.

All these OTAs and Google need companies like yours. So, do the homework and get onboard!

We believe this is the best time for you to start re-shaping your business and making it better and more fun.

If you need any help with this journey, feel free to leave us a message here in the chat!

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