With dynamic pricing becoming more prevalent in the experiences economy, it spells more complexity for travel operators and resellers. In Part 2 of Steve Martinez’s (Livn Founder and CCO) insights on The Travel Industry Podcast with Richard Taylor and Ann-Catherine Jones, he’s sharing what makes this segment so complex, and how a unified API could be the solution.
(If you missed it, view part 1 here.)
R: What is it about tours and activities that are so complicated?
The major complexity is the number of systems the tour operators are using. Travel resellers then need to integrate to a multitude of connectors to get automated access to these products.
The second challenge is the product structure. Different than a hotel or airline, the tours and activities products might have an array of variations. For example, if you are doing a reef cruise in Cairns, the variations could be:
- What hotel do you need to be picked up from?
- Do you want to do snorkelling on an introductory dive, or two introductory dives?
- Do you want Nitrox in your tank as an added extra?
All these variables might affect the final price.
R: How this complexity has been handled today?
Legacy APIs store every possible variation of a tour upfront and present those options, in a static format, to the users at the beginning of the booking flow.
However, the most logical way would be for these products to be built on the fly, depending on the answers to the questions. Just as you would if you were talking to someone in a shop. For example, buying a pair of jeans, you’d be requesting the size, colour, leg length, etc, and then the salesperson would recommend you the right product based on your preferences.
Our enhanced API does exactly that. You tell us what you’re interested in, and we’ll put you in live communication with the reservation systems of the tour operators to get all the answers they need to give you the correct product at the correct price.
R: So, who is the Livn solution most suitable for (Enterprise or SME)?
It’s suitable for a certain company challenge rather than the company size.
Companies that are looking to transition from selling a catalogue of products manually to a digitalised and automated manner. These companies already have their preferred suppliers and commercial arrangements. Livn does not interfere in these relationships, our API works as a tech enabler, supporting products to be stored, booked, maintained, and cancelled in real-time.
R: Other than backend ease, what are the other reasons what travel resellers should implement an unified API?
Users are wanting this level of complexity and flexibility in their products, so you need to be able to cater to this in-destination. But it’s not only for the customer service side, we also see agencies have a 5% - 7% increase in basket size. By simply adding a couple of tours in Paris which could be $100 per person, there’s an extra $400 on top of a $4,000 trip you’ve booked with them.
For the types of companies, I mentioned that are already doing this manually, you can get immediate value, very quickly, without the complexity that would normally come with it.
Also, other types of companies that would benefit are the ones already selling flights and hotels on an app or are a smaller OTA. If they are looking at getting into the tours, and activities vertical and want to get that global footprint and connectivity straight away, you can have that in 6 weeks. Allowing you to increase into this category in a scaleable way that won’t necessarily increase the cost of operating.
What scares a lot of people off is that they
look at the 50 different systems they would need to connect to, and don’t
realise that a solution like Livn already exist in the marketplace to get them
into this very easily.
To listen to the podcast original link, visit Travel Community Hub. Steve’ session starts at 40:26.
Thank you again to Richard Taylor and Ann-Catherine Jones for having
Steve on the Offloaded Podcast.