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Last-Minute Tour Bookings Next Big Opportunity For Portals
Tuesday, 12th March 2019
Source : Michael Scaturro - Exclusive at ITB Berlin

Dynamic pricing for last-minute tours represents the next big opportunity for the tourism industry, said one expert at the ITB in Berlin.

“Major resellers of tourism products can’t do last-seat availability,” said Mark Rizzuto of Livn Group. “This is a big deal – in the U.S. alone, 53 percent of bookings take place in the last 72 hours, and 48 percent in the last 48 hours. This is the opportunity.”

Nearly all of these bookings will be made on mobile devices, Rizzuto said.

Though air and hotels comprise 73 percent of total travel spending, tours and activities – at currently 10 percent – “Are going to accelerate. We are just at the beginning,” Rizzuto said.

Tours accounted for $159b in sales in 2018, but could grow to $183b by 2020, Rizzuto said, as once-in-a-lifetime experiences become the most important consideration when choosing a vacation.

Livin connects to 23 reservation systems of tours and activities, and plans to add 25 more in the coming year, Rizzuto said.

He says this will allow dynamic pricing of some 700,000 products sold via 15,000 tour suppliers.

Rizzuto, who joined Livin from Virgin Australia, where previously he was General Manager of Distribution and e-Commerce, said he is using a model he developed at Virgin.

“At Virgin, I put as little in front of the core product as possible,” Rizzuto said. He marketed relentlessly to customers post-purchase since “there’s already a relationship, so people won’t ignore you.”

Rizzuto sees hotel concierges sales and weather-based recommendations powered by AI (artificial intelligence) as developments to watch out for.

“And then there is en route marketing,” Rizzuto added. “Selling to people on the plane will replace duty free – it’s the next big opportunity.”

This is strictly an exclusive feature, reprints of this article in any shape or form without prior written approval from 4Hoteliers.com is not permitted. Michael Scaturro is reporting exclusively for 4Hoteliers.com at ITB Berlin 2019 - www.4Hoteliers.com/itb.

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