How a Cab Ride Led to a 6x increase in Bookings for Askos Tours

Founder weighs in on the impact of adopting an online booking system, the resulting growth, and other hot topics, from Arival 360 | Berlin 2023

Reading Time: 2 minutes 35 seconds

It’s not often a cab ride changes the trajectory of your business. 

But when Emiliano Tufano, Founder and CEO of Askos Tours, got in a taxi with Arival CEO Douglas Quinby years ago en route to an Arival after party, a conversation led to a “fundamental” change in his business. Tufano shared the story in a one-on-one conversation recently at Arival 360 | Berlin 2023

“He asked me ‘what’s your reservation system?’ and I said, ‘none, I don’t have one, I use a Google calendar.’ Douglas was shocked.”

“That shock on the face of Douglas,” explains Tufano, “made me understand that I really needed a reservation system.”

Tufano went home from Arival that year and adopted an online booking system. The impact to Askos Tours was “fundamental,” he shares: their reservations increased sixfold. 

Askos Tours’ Emiliano Tufano discusses the impact of adopting an online booking system

From 6x growth to 10x and beyond

“Askos tours not only survived the pandemic but came out stronger for it,” shares Tufano. “We decided in 2020 to focus on the internal market and European market and that was a winning choice.”

Before that fateful cab ride, Askos Tours was bringing in about 10,000 bookings a year. In 2022, after adopting an online booking system and making other improvements throughout the course of the pandemic, they blew past 100,000. 

“I can tell you that the first few months of 2023 marked a 300% increase,” shares Tufano. “This year I feel that our company will grow a lot.” 

In the full interview, Tufano also discusses post-pandemic growth, the OTA relationship and Generative AI with Arival editor Janelle Visser at Arival 360 | Berlin 2023

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The impact of online booking systems for tour and attraction suppliers and operators

Tufano’s experience is not unique: the potential for growth is out there for any operator that adopts modern reservation technology. 

Online booking systems are designed to help tour, activity and attraction operators and suppliers grow their online bookings and run their businesses more efficiently. The best reservation systems will save time and money by increasing efficiencies in other areas of the business as well, with many also offering features related to distribution (such as channel management), marketing (such as website design) and resource management (such as guide scheduling). 

Selecting a booking system can be a complex process, however. Hence Arival’s latest release, the Arival Guide: How to Choose a Booking System, which is designed to walk operators through the process of identifying their needs and the features that are the highest priority for them, then find the booking system provider which most closely matches their needs and priorities. 

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