As the tours and activities market expands, big players are starting to emerge. While everyone aims to be different, competition is tough and Online Travel Agents (OTAs) come and go without making much of an impact.
However, this is not true as far as Viator is concerned. As a pioneer in the field, Viator has been one of the top online travel agencies for over 20 years. After its $200 million acquisition by TripAdvisor in 2014, Viator’s position has solidified even more due to the expanded reach and resources.
In this post, we’re going to look at what it takes to become a Viator supplier and what you need to know about this channel to get started. We’ll explore key facts around the company as well as the competitor landscape. You’ll find out what commission fees to expect and how to sign up as a Viator supplier in a few easy steps.
So without further ado, let’s dive in.
What is Viator – key info at a glance
Viator is the undisputed leader among OTAs when it comes to marketplace size. Including TripAdvisor, it has the most developed distribution system out of all big players in the market. Consider the following data:
- Monthly visitors across network: 455+ million
- Number of affiliate partners: 3,000+
- Number of travel agents: 175,000+
- Supported languages: 11
- Supported currencies: 8
- Number of destinations: 2,000+
- Number of activities: 60,000+
Founded in 1995, Viator is a pioneer in the “things to do” market and the numbers reflect that. The company has two big advantages – it’s dominance in search engine results and it’s strong reputation among travelers. Viator appeals to customers with its handpicked selection, low prices, and 24/7 support.
Viator competitors and how they stack up
When it comes to the number of online listings, Viator’s closest competitor is GetYourGuide. However, research from Skift shows that Viator’s share is bigger than the next 5 OTAs combined.
Nevertheless, it’s hard to stay ahead with big players like Expedia and Airbnb. In addition, GetYourGuide’s popularity among users and considerable funding are important factors to consider. Klook and Peek, on the other hand, position themselves as experts in Asia and North America, respectively.
As the “things to do” market gets more competitive, having a clear differentiation is crucial. This is valid from both a consumer perspective and how OTAs serve suppliers and partners.
Why become a Viator supplier
We already covered Viator’s massive reach. Apart from giving you access to more people, there are other advantages to working with this OTA.
1. TripAdvisor integration
As a TripAdvisor company, Viator is the only platform that directly supplies the reviews giant with bookable tours and activities. TripAdvisor visitors can find offers, check availability, and make purchases without being redirected to Viator’s website. Moreover, the redirection was removed for main competitor GetYourGuide after the acquisition in 2014.
2. Search engine ranking
As an established online player, Viator ranks highly for many relevant search queries. The platform’s reputation and the fact they’ve been in business since 1995 ensure a steady influx of organic traffic. That’s boosted further with both TripAdvisor and Viator’s user-generated content in the form of reviews and recommendations.
SimilarWeb data shows more than half of Viator’s traffic comes from search engines (Update: March 2023).
3. Advertising dollars
Where search engine authority is not enough, Viator has the cash to boost your offers with targeted ad campaigns. The platform makes use of Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Facebook as advertising partners, among others. So if you’re not keen on creating and running your own ad campaigns, Viator can take good care of that for you.
Viator supplier commission
Of course, selling and marketing your offers isn’t free. Viator charges a variable commission depending on the deal you make with them. You can expect the platform to keep around 25% of the sale price.
Like with other OTAs, it’s good practice to consider things like seasonality and the type of activity you offer. Viator is a great source of last-minute bookings to fill capacity that would otherwise be wasted. However, selling through your own website and direct channels should take priority so keep that in mind when you decide on the number of booking slots you offer on the platform.
Viator cancellation policy
Okay, so what happens if a customer who booked your experience through Viator decides to cancel?
The good news is you’re not at the mercy of Viator’s cancellation policy here. You can include your own cancellation and refunds terms which will govern the rules of the booking.
However, if you don’t include your own terms, the Viator cancellation policy takes effect. This requires you to issue a 100% refund for cancellations made at least 24 hours before the start date of the experience. If a customer cancels their booking within 24 hours of the start date, no refund is expected.
So if you want to adequately plan ahead and reduce no-shows, it’s a good idea to include your own terms in your listing.
How to sign up as a Viator supplier
Since Viator was acquired by TripAdvisor in 2014, the marketplace is open for most tour and activity providers. However, the screening team still reviews individual applications so getting listed on Viator is not guaranteed.
To make sure you have the highest chance of success, include high-quality photos and describe your offer in detail. It’s a good idea to look at a few competitors that are doing well on Viator and follow a similar model when creating your offers.
One of Amsterdam’s top attractions includes a video as well.
Registration is free and available on the Viator supplier page. Once you fill in your business and contact details, a Viator rep will reach out via email within 48 hours. They may ask you clarification questions around the commission rate you’re willing to accept and whether or not you have liability insurance. If needed, you can contact Viator via email on [email protected] at any point during the registration process.
If you’re a Regiondo customer, you can activate Viator from the Channel Manager in your account. You can also connect 140+ other OTAs such as GetYourGuide and Musement. This way, you can control your bookings and availability for all channels in one place instead of going through each listing manually. If you don’t have a Regiondo account yet, you can start your free trial now.
All in all, Viator is still the undisputed leader in the tours and activities market. Despite heavy competition, the TripAdvisor subsidiary maintains a strong position with its wide range of product offerings, search ranking power, and advertising budget.
With standard fees for an OTA, Viator has the potential to provide you with above-standard results. Although not guaranteed, sign up is free and easy, as long as you keep best practices in mind such as creating a compelling and clear offer.
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