Tripadvisor Experiences yesterday sent out a blast email outlining a new change in commission structure which left many of their tours and activities partners scratching their heads in confusion.

Tours and Activities veteran Peter Syme called the email ‘a masterclass in how to write something that raises more questions than it gives answers.’

One tour operator told us he felt the email was unclear and meant that ‘if we think we can sell your tour for more than you’re asking, we will, and will pocket the surplus”. Maybe I’m wrong. It is pretty unclear.’

Several tour operators we spoke to felt that if Tripadvisor Experiences increase rates, well above the prices the tour operators list on their own website, that could lead to some very angry customers.

We republish the email below and invite Tripadvisor Experiences on to the Tourpreneur Podcast to explain what exactly these commission changes mean for tour operators and for bookers of experiences.



Tripadvisor Experiences Email outlining new commission changes.

We want to let you know of an upcoming change that will impact your prices. Starting today, we will standardize our commission rates by destination and product type.

By doing so, we hope to create a more balanced marketplace with a single minimum commission rate for all operators of your type in your area. A balanced marketplace will allow travelers to focus on the quality and uniqueness of your experience.

What does this mean for you?
We will adjust the retail price of your product(s) to align with our new commission rates in your destination.

  • Commission rates may vary for different products and/or destinations
  • This will not change the amount you will get paid for bookings
  • If your product has an active intro offer or special offer, the retail price will not change until the offer has ended
  • No other aspect of your product(s) will be changed
  • You do not need to take any action

Every weekday we send out a curated ‘whats happening in tours and activities’ email to almost 1000 subscribers. We share career opportunities and it’s free to list your vacancies in the world’s only daily email focusing on the tours and activities sector. Details here.

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.