OTA GetYourGuide has announced a major new change to the way ‘suppliers’ can communicate with customers who have booked via their platform.

We’re updating the emailing system between you and customers. Once a booking is confirmed, you can write to customers directly by email.

Your email address as well as your customers will be anonymous thanks to a temporary email address.

GetYourGUIde

GetYourGuide maintains that activity and tour operators can still email customers but only by using the ’email address provided in each booking for up to 7 days after the activity has taken place. The email will be sent from a temporary auto-generated email address.’

Chris Torres of Tourism Marketing Agency is not impressed with the email change.

In a post on the Tourpreneur Facebook Group, he outlined six ways this could negatively affect tour operators who work with GetYourGuide.

  • Impossible to market direct to this customer later.
  • Communications only open for 7 days after the tour or activity.
  • What happens if they leave a negative review on day 8 and you can no longer respond?
  • Ultimately means, you are more of an Uber driver than a tour business.
  • As you don’t own the customer data, the sale value of your business decreases.
  • As the email is not yours, they could be picked up more easily by spam bots.

Responses from other tourpreneurs to the news:

Even setting aside the value of the sale to the business, this is a worse experience for the customer.

Almost everyone can communicate via an email app on their phone in 2020. Not everyone is as well-versed in a potentially buggy or glitchy 3rd party system.

Rob Pitingolo – triphacks dc
How to Price Private Tours

It’s annoying but frustrating as it may be, it is not technically your customer. It’s their customer. We know this when we sign up to a TA and surf on their marketing. Driving your own direct sales is the only solution I guess.

Alun Evans, EvansGuide Munich

TripAdvisor/Viator has been doing this forever. I’m surprised GYG didn’t do it sooner.

I like how they wrap that with « better customer service ». BS

It’s their customers, keep the email secret if you wish, but stop with your UX nonsense.

Not everyone is against the move, Christian Watts of Magpie Travel came to the defence of the OTAs.

‘I don’t see the problem.’ he wrote

‘You can’t expect distributors to share customer contacts. 1. Its illegal. 2. They paid to acquire the customer. I don’t know retailers in any industry who share customer data so that their customers can go direct for the next purchase – it just doesn’t exist.

If you want to communicate directly with the customer (and you should ) why not just collect the email directly from the customer when they are with you?’

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Shane Whaley is the Producer and Host of the Tourpreneur Podcast. He is also the curator in chief for the Tourpreneur Daily Brief. Shane has worked in the travel industry for almost twenty years.