ONLINE COMMERCE

Tour and activities suppliers are getting serious about digital.

Rapid consumer adoption of online and mobile travel shopping and booking is transforming how travellers make decisions about the things they do in destination.

PhocusWright analyst Alice Jong reports that while other travel sectors have made significant shifts to online commerce over the past two decades, tours and activities suppliers have been slow to adapt.

From reservations to redemption, tours and activities business is still largely manual and offline. Many suppliers rely on email or pen and paper to run their day to day, and in-person, offline sales (a traveller walking up to a ticket booth) is still the most common point of sale.

Suppliers are embracing change, however, as they recognise the need to be present where travellers are increasingly researching and buying travel – online. Online selling is a clear business priority for suppliers: 75% will have a desktop website with live online booking by the end of 2017, and 61% will have a mobile website with live booking.

More suppliers are looking to online distribution to drive additional sales and reach new markets, and more are investing in technology to enable their online endeavours.

All these shifts are driving up online penetration and will make online channels the fastest growing sales channels in the coming year.