Nearly Half of ANZ Operators Use a Channel Manager

Channel management use jumps among operators in Australia and New Zealand, while manual methods — extranet and email — remain prominent

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Operators in Australia and New Zealand are getting on board with channel management in greater numbers. Nearly half of operators surveyed for Arival’s report on The State of Experiences in Australia & New Zealand said they are using channel management, a huge jump from 2019. However, manual methods persist as many operators still rely on email and extranets to manage their bookings.

This new report — available at no cost to Arival Insider Free & Pro Access members — provides insights on the recovery and outlook, distribution and online travel agencies (OTAs), marketing channels, tech priorities, business challenges in 2024 and more, for the experiences sector in the ANZ region.

Conducted between November 2023 through February 2024 in partnership with ResPax and GetYourGuide, this survey received over 300 qualified responses from tour, activity and attraction operators based in the two countries. 

Keep reading for a few highlights from this study around channel management and connectivity, or follow the link below to read the full report. 

Connectivity Top Priority for ANZ Operators as Channel Manager Use Rises

Amid a drive to expand sales via distribution, operators say improving connecting to  third party reseller channels is a top business priority, and it shows. Nearly half report using a channel manager, up from 11% in 2019. That’s a huge jump from 2019 and likely speaks to the success of the Rezdy Marketplace as well as LIVN (recently acquired by ResPax) in the market.

A bar graph showing how Australia and New Zealand operators manage OTA/reseller bookings in 2019 and 2023 across various methods like booking system API, channel manager, email, Extranet, and other methods.

Despite the rise in channel manager use, many ANZ operators still depend on manual methods, such as email and extranets. However, there has been a decline in reported use of these manual services, as more operators adopt channel management.

Visitor attractions are behind tour and activity operators in this regard. Fewer attractions reported using an API or channel manager, and significantly more said they use email to manage bookings. 

What is a channel manager? A channel manager enables operators to use a single API or service to connect to and manage bookings across multiple OTAs and resellers. Operators who are interested in learning more about channel managers can check out the Arival Guide to Channel Management, which includes a directory of channel manager vendors to help operators and distributors evaluate potential partners. Available for free to all Insider Free and Insider Pro Access Members.

Learn more in the full report and join our upcoming webinar!

Learn more about the outlook for operators in ANZ, and get insights into everything from sales channel and pricing trends, to marketing channels and priorities, to booking software adoption and other tech priorities in The State of Experiences in Australia & New Zealand. 

Additionally, join us in an upcoming webinar to explore the report findings, presented by Arival Co-Founder and CEO Douglas Quinby, Head of Sales for ResPax Josh Mayer, and Meredith Rangel from Bookable Tourism. This webinar will offer essential operator insights on everything from the operator outlook for 2024, to sales channel and pricing trends, to marketing channels and priorities, booking software adoption and satisfaction, and other tech priorities including the use of AI. Arival Insider Pro Access members are invited to join us on Monday, June 24 at 7pm EDT / Tuesday, June 25 9am AEST. Register here.

promotional graphic for the outlook of experiences in australia and new zealand webinar with a person kayaking near a bridge

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