Steve Martinez and Richard Taylor talk about bringing value to the experiences’ economy through technology.
Tours, activities and attractions, or in-destination experiences, (otherwise known as the experiences economy) are the third largest segment in travel after hotel and air. It’s predicted to be turning over $211 billion by 2027, so why is it still 10 years behind when it comes to technology?
Livn Founder and CCO, Steve Martinez sat down with The Travel Industry Podcast’s Richard Taylor and Ann-Catherine Jones to discuss the fragmentation in the industry, and this can be resolved through technology.
R: Let’s talk about the problem being faced in the experience economy right now…
Everything has changed in the experience economy, and users are expecting more options, flexibility, and instant bookings.
It’s no longer viable for travel agents to load and maintain a preferred catalogue of tour operators manually or to use disparate systems to book in-destination experiences to their customers.
R: What is the average ticket value we’re talking about?
Between $150 to $200 per person. These products are added to the customer basket at the end of a flight or hotel booking. Due to its relatively low value, agents aren’t bothering with it and are letting the customers book these products on their own.
R: So, what is the solution to this?
Technology, connectivity, and APIs.
R: Give us a quick rundown on what an API (application programming interface) is because I know this term will come up a lot.
An API is a direct connection between two systems. It’s a technology solution integrated in the backend of any sales platform (website and mobile apps) bringing structured content from the end travel service provider.
APIs allow efficiencies by providing access to real-time data including:
● Live inventory
● Live pricing
● The ability to make bookings in a couple of milliseconds
● Return vouchers with confirmation numbers in a couple of seconds after booking
R: Why is the experiences sector more complex than others like air or hotels?
The landscape in the tours, activities, and attractions is more complex because there are multiple reservation systems available for tour operators, around 200 worldwide. Therefore, any travel reseller has the challenge to choose and integrate to as many systems as possible to get volume and reach.
That’s where Livn comes in. Our solution unifies these disparate systems into one single API. We feed all that data into your sales application and process the bookings in a completely autonomous fashion.
R: Could travel resellers do these individual connections themselves?
Yes, but they are complex and time-consuming.
Companies are leaning into Livn because we have already done that work. Whether it’s a travel agency chain, mobile phone app or an OTA, they just integrate to our API which then connects them to all the downstream reservation systems and their preferred suppliers.
R: Can you share a real-life example of a Livn customer?
One which is quite innovative is Flight Centre which has thousands of preferred tour operators. Livn came in and brought all their tour operators together under one tech umbrella – the Livn API. Now, they're running their tours and activities vertical completely autonomously with the best and latest technology.
R: What about those who might not have Flight Centre’s resources, like small/medium organisations, what’s in it for them?
Livn isn’t just an enterprise solution, our customer base is fairly broad and some of our customers are a lot smaller including start-ups and mobile apps.
Although the integration might be seemed expensive at first, the alternative to not working with someone like Livn, is having to connect to several reservation systems individually. This could be 4-6 weeks of integration time for each of those systems. Whereas our customers take 3-6 weeks to integrate to our API, which is a much quicker and cheaper speed to market.
We’ve also made our API very well documented and easy to integrate. For more visit: https://livn.world/products
Stay tuned for Part 2 of the interview, coming soon.