Livn is positioned in the sweet spot of the world’s most exciting travel sector according to a new Whitepaper from Phocuswright called Escaping the Sidelines, Tours & Activities Get Going (Free Download).
The report says the Tours and Activities (T&A) sector is growing faster than the overall travel industry and will be worth US$183 billion by 2020. It estimates the sector has a 10% share of the global travel market, ahead of rail, car rental and cruise.
Offline bookings account for more than 80% of all T&A sales, says Phocuswright, lagging way behind hotels and airlines, while online resellers account for just 3% of transactions.
Most are sold through traditional travel agents, many of whom have poor access to product, much of which requires phone calls or emails to confirm arrangements. “As a result, a large share of the industry is missing the huge opportunity associated with last-minute or close-to-departure bookings, while travelers often have little choice but to purchase in-person on the day of the activity.”
But this will change, says Phocuswright, as technology from industry leaders such as Livn – which offers travel retailers access to more than 15,000 tour operators and 700,000 global products – revolutionises the sector.
“By providing agents with access to live, bookable inventory, tour operators can significantly reduce or eliminate some of the gross inefficiencies that have long plagued the offline distribution of their products. And with better access to suppliers’ live inventory and far more efficient processes for handling bookings and confirmations, travel agents will be more inclined to sell these types of products.”
A recent survey of more than 1,500 destination activity businesses found that one in five bookings occur on the day of the activity, and that an additional 33% of transactions occur just 1-7 days in advance. “This presents a huge opportunity for suppliers and intermediaries, provided they are enabled with live inventory that they can make available to their traveling customers. The last-minute potential is enormous.”
When choosing a technology partner, Phocuswright advises due diligence. “From a technology standpoint, flexibility and transparency are key. The platforms and application programming interfaces (APIs) currently offered by T&A aggregators and reservations systems vary considerably. Though many appear to offer pure online bookings, what’s happening under the hood tells a different story.
“Often, systems will provide access to a supplier’s inventory, but the inventory itself is not live and therefore activities cannot be booked in real time. Instead, some human intervention (often in the form of an email or phone call) is needed to confirm availability and complete the transaction.”
“As B2C online resellers and B2B reservation technology companies refine their boundaries, other companies continue to pursue innovation in the T&A segment. Sydney-based Livn has created a unified API that connects more than 20 reservations system companies directly to travel agencies, OTAs and other resellers,” Phocuswright says.
In conclusion, Phocuswright says that “The T&A segment languishes no longer. At their core, tours and activities are what motivate travelers to get up and go; travel activities now represent the third-largest travel segment worldwide, and the category is growing faster than the overall travel market. And despite some notable challenges, change is clearly afoot in the segment.
“The big names in travel know a good opportunity when they see one, and more than a few are taking tours and activities seriously, acquiring or partnering with technology providers to deliver consumers a powerful online T&A shopping and booking experience.”
“Despite this lingering uncertainty, one group will come out on top: travelers.”