Tour Operators Respond as OTA GetYourGuide Follows Others By ‘hiding’ Customer Email Addresses.

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

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:

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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“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.”