Viator or GetYourGuide: Which is Better for Growing Your Tour Business?

When deciding between GetYourGuide and Viator — which is better for connecting your tours with more guests online?

For experience providers, building trust with guests helps ensure more bookings. One way to get in front of guests is by listing your tours and activities through OTAs (Online Travel Agents). This aligns your tour business with brands travelers already know, use and trust.

First, as online marketplaces, GetYourGuide and Viator host a wealth of tours and activities from around the world. Acting as the middleman, online travel agents connect you — the experience provider — and guests booking your services through their platform.

Distributing through an online distribution channel increases visibility and can lead to more bookings. In addition, connecting with each of these platforms can help to foster a feeling of trust for your guests. Whether you choose to sign up with GetYourGuide or Viator, you’ll discover how to make the most of these online platforms to sell more tours and activities. 

GetYourGuide for tour and activity providers

For some history on these online marketplace giants — both GetYourGuide and Viator are heavy hitters in the tourism industry. These companies operate as resellers, promoting tours and activities for experience providers around the world.

By aggregating a massive array of available bookings, these online distribution channels exist to enhance and simplify the customer journey. Travelers appreciate being able to book and purchase an experience online. The benefit for you as the supplier means you can: 

  • Sell more experiences 
  • Expand your reach to a global audience 
  • Have a designated platform for reviews 
  • Acts as a billboard to build brand awareness 
  • Fill capacity last-minute

It’s wise to diversify your distribution channels and travelers value saving time by having all the information they need in one place. In addition, these massive online resellers can process payments securely, allowing guests to book tours and activities in advance.

What is GetYourGuide 

GetYourGuide is an online tour booking platform where guests can book and research experiences in specific geographic regions. Guests use the search and book using options to explore available tours and activities.

Founded by four classmates, GetYourGuide was established in 2008 to act as an online travel agency and marketplace. When setting your prices on GetYourGuide, commission fees are wrapped into the final price displayed to the website visitors. GetYourGuide acts as a re-seller for tour and activity operators, curating available experiences to simplify the research phase for guests. 

How does GetYourGuide work

Travelers input their requested dates/activities into the system for their specific geographic area. Guests have the option to input a location and filter recommendations to see available experiences. These range from activities to attractions to tours and more options tailored to the individual’s desires. 

Another benefit for guests is in being able to apply filters for different trip types. This enables experience providers to better connect with your target audience. Seeing a range of tours and activities helps guests make faster, more informed booking decisions. 

From an experience provider’s point of view, GetYourGuide attracts guests who might not have come across your tour business directly. Instead of researching a wealth of tours and activities online, travelers have a wealth of options curated in one place. 

What is Viator

As the world’s biggest online marketplace, Viator boasts over 354 000 bookable experiences. Owned by Tripadvisor, the mammoth review platform has been backing Viator’s success.

Tripadvisor purchased Viator for $200 million back in 2014. As a result, Tripadvisor can funnel more bookings directly through Viator thanks to its existing success as a review platform. 

According to Viator’s supplier page, they have approximately 15 million website visitors annually. According to this article, they are “now matching more travelers with more experiences – and therefore delivering more bookings to our suppliers – than ever before”.

How does Viator work

Driven by site visitors to Tripadvisor, Viator makes tours available to book directly from the review platform. According to their FAQs, here’s what makes this online distribution channel worth exploring:

  • Reach 455+ million guests on Viator, Tripadvisor, and partner networks
  • Get a free listing on Tripadvisor to boost brand awareness
  • Easily manage reviews to build trust with guests
  • Curate your listing with photos, descriptions, pricing, availability and more
Viator for booking experiences online through OTAs

Comparing Viator and GetYourGuide

When comparing both GetYourGuide and Viator, you’ll want to have a sense of your target demographic.

Since the Baby Boomer generation (45-54) is the most active in using travel review sites, making up 32% to 42% of the user base across top travel review sites, you may want to consider going with Viator seeing as it’s owned by Tripadvisor — which has over 884 million reviews — and you get a free listing when you sign up

Both platforms are mobile-friendly which allows them to connect guests with last-minute booking opportunities. With dedicated customer service teams, each distribution channel can take some of the work off of your plate. 

Commission fees

When it comes down to it, the most significant difference between the two comes down to size. When comparing GetYourGuide and Viator, the key differences are the size of the partner network and commission rates. Both platforms charge suppliers a commission typically ranging between 20-30%.

If you’re looking solely at commission rates, GetYourGuide might allow you to keep more money in your pocket per booking, depending on what you’re able to negotiate, and compared to the Viator commission fee, which is a standard 20%. It’s also worthwhile noting that Viator introduced a new product quality fee of $29 USD for every new listing.

However, you’ll want to consider how Viator currently has a greater online reach when compared to GetYourGuide. While the commission fee is higher with Viator, it may be worth it, especially if it leads to more bookings.

Establishing an online presence

GetYourGuide invests in suppliers by helping create well-crafted tour descriptions. According to Tourpreneur, they won’t charge listing review fees to tour operators. This is different from Viator which charges a fee to operators for reviewing individual listings.

As part of your OTA marketing strategy, choosing the right channel for your tour business will depend on your goals. Despite missing out on the direct connection with customers until the day of their tour, signing up with an OTA may lead to more overall bookings.

One upside is how if there are any issues, it’s up to GetYourGuide or Viator to handle them directly. This may work out in your favour, primarily if you specialize in high-volume transactions or have multiple offerings. When deciding between the two platforms, GetYourGuide may be better positioned for targeting a European market with Viator aligning with the North American travel market.

Evaluating policies

When you choose to list on a website other than your own you’ll need to account for additional policies. Both GetYourGuide and Viator require suppliers to carry specific insurance as they do not offer liability coverage through their platforms. For guest cancellations, Viator has a few options available to tour operators including Viator’s cancellation policy here.

When it comes to changing or cancelling bookings, GetYourGuide tends to favour the guest. This gives travelers the ability to cancel a tour up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund, which can have a negative impact on the tour operator.

In comparison, Viator’s refund policy extends to one week for a full refund or 50% returned if cancelled 3-6 days from the booking. Preferring one distribution channel over another will depend on how flexible your business can be should a guest be forced to cancel their booking.

Travel partnerships

Each of these distribution channels rely on their vast network of partners to distribute and sell experiences online. Viator has relationships with over 175, 000 travel agents globally, whereas GetYourGuide has a slightly smaller footprint with only 30, 000 partner agents.

booking experiences through Viator

Connecting GetYour Guide and Viator with your booking software  

Checkfront is well-equipped to help you sell more bookings with both a GetYourGuide integration and Viator integration. Each of these distribution channels can pull pricing and availability through your booking software for display on their platforms.

To sign up with Viator, you’ll want to visit their Partner Information page. You’ll want to follow this setup guide to pair Viator with Checkfront.

Final Thoughts 

As with any distribution channel, it’s worth seeing which one feels like a better fit for your tour business. Experience providers taking advantage of multiple distribution channels can heighten their global reach, connect with guests at every point of their customer journey and see an increase in overall bookings.

Ultimately, you can explore both GetYourGuide and Viator to see which works best for your audience.

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