Alex Bainbridge and Peter Syme join the Tourpreneur Panel to discuss a recent article written by GetYourGuide’s Tao Tao about OTA owned reservations systems.


Suppliers Beware : a threat lurks in tours and activities distribution, not my words, but the words of GetYourGuide Co-founder and COO Tao Tao. In an opinion piece published in Phocuswire, he slams the acquisition of Bokun and FareHarbor by TripAdvisor and Booking as not being ‘healthy for the ecosystem in the long term.’

Tao Tao also outlines four questions he feels tour operators should ask themselves before working with an OTA-owned reservation provider.

He goes on to announce GetYourGuide preferred partners where they’ve teamed up with Rezdy and BookingKit.

There is a lot in this article to take in, so I invited Peter Syme and Alex Bainbridge onto the show for our first ever Tourpreneur panel discussion.

UPDATEGetYourGuide Preferred Partner Programme – what are the wider issues asks Alex Bainbridge.

In this 45-minute Tourpreneur panel moderated by Tourpreneur host Shane Whaley. Peter Syme and Alex Bainbridge discuss several topics including:

  • Is GetYourGuide’s Tao Tao right to warn suppliers about working with Bokun and FareHarbor?
  • Why this probably means GetYourGuide are not going to acquire a reservation system.
  • Alex is pleased to see Tao blogging and hopes more OTA and Reservation company executives follow suit.
  • What do Alex and Peter think about GetYourGuide Originals. (One Tourpreneur listeners suggest GYG Originals is a bigger threat than the acquisition by OTAs of reservation systems.)
  • Is there such a thing as brand loyalty when it comes to tours and activities OTAs?
  • Peter Syme shares which OTA he feels is ahead of the game when it comes to building brand loyalty.
  • Does this article by Tao Tao mean that GetYourGuide will prioritize tour operators who are working with Rezdy and BookingKit?
  • And Much More!

Right of Reply

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The TourPreneur Panel

Meet Alex Bainbridge

Alex founded TourCMS, the original leader in tours & activities online travel agent distribution providing reservation system and distribution technology to hundreds of local tour operators, and ran that business for 10 years until its successful sale in October 2015.

Highlights of this period include working with the industry-leading sightseeing brand GrayLine providing online travel agent distribution services from 2012 onwards (TourCMS still runs this service today). In multi-day tour distribution, Alex created, with TourRadar, the first industry end-to-end solution connecting live reservation system availability with travel agent distribution.

Follow Alex Bainbridge.

Meet Peter Syme

Seasoned Adventure Travel and Expedition professional based in Scotland but operating globally via several small niche adventure brands.

Since starting we have looked after in excess of 100,000 adventure-seeking guests and our latest passion 1000MileJourneys.com is leading the way in challenging high-end adventure for ordinary people.

He also speaks at various industry events around the World on issues impacting on operators in the sector and also on digital transformation in the travel industry. He also acts as an advisor to startups in the tours and activity industry.

I highly recommend connecting/following Peter Syme on Linkedin. He often posts insightful articles on the tours and activities industry.

Highly recommend watching this video. Peter Syme discuss OTAs with PhocusWire‘s Kevin May at Arival 2019.

Meet Shane Whaley

Shane Whaley is the host and producer of The Tourpreneur Podcast and Tourpreneur Daily Brief. He has worked in the online travel industry since 2002. He spent 10 years at Booking.com opening their Nordic and West USA and Canadian markets.

He also served as Regional Director, Americas at GetYourGuide for 3 years where he set up the NYC, San Francisco, and Rio offices.

Shane also speaks at various digital marketing and tourism events and conferences including the first-ever Arival round table and at EyeforTravel.

Shane is a fan of history tours, running, reading, spy books, fishing and now donut tours.

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