Tours and activities specialists like GetYourGuide have a huge advantage over bigger brands like Google, Booking.com, TUI, and Tripadvisor because the complexity of the experiences business requires a singular focus.
That’s the opinion of GetYourGuide co-founder and CEO Johannes Reck, who spoke with Skift Senior Travel Tech Editor Sean O’Neill for Skift Forum Europe on Tuesday.
Reck said Google, which he characterized as a very good partner, should stick to being an advertising vehicle.
“I don’t think Google is actually the place where you should book,” Reck said. “You could see for yourself during the pandemic when the shit hit the fan, who was refunding the customers, who was manning the customer service centers. That was GetYourGuide, that was not Google, right?”
Asked about the threat of Google becoming a tours and activities booking platform, Reck was dismissive, arguing that tours and activities require ground operations, and real-time data.
“So I would take any type of Reserve with Google or any notion that Google becomes an OTA (online travel agency) with a grain of salt because they’ve just throughout the pandemic demonstrated that they cannot do that,” he said.
“They (customers) are coming back to us and they are not coming back to Google in the upswing,” Reck said.
Reck said GetYourGuide is seeing “phenomenal growth rates” across Europe, with Germany in the lead, although France, Italy and Spain are generating “very positive signs.”
BOOKING.COM IS APPLE MUSIC, NOT SPOTIFY
Asked whether he was worried about Booking.com’s strategy pivot into a new partnership with TUI’s Musement, Reck pointed out that just because a company can sell hotels doesn’t mean it would be successful hawking tours and activities.
He said Booking.com has not competed successfully against GetYourGuide in tours and activities because it requires a lot of tech, knowing the business complexities, and making it a company’s number one priority to scale globally.
NOT A FAN OF TRIPADVISOR LISTING FEES
Reck pushed back against Viator’s decision to begin charging tour and activities operators a fee for new listings beginning August 1. He said unlike Tripadvisor’s attractions brand, GetYourGuide won’t charge a listing fee.
Read original article