- The goal will be to provide a common guest experience through Dubai for all tourists and a common platform to link resellers and streamline distribution
- This could potentially provide more leverage with attractions and operators by negotiating with resellers together, negotiating better terms as a single entity.
- If this works, this could provide a model for other destinations and their attractions to look at in the future. No doubt other destinations and major attractions will be watching closely.
Dubai Tourism announced a plan to launch an online hub for operators and distributors, called the ‘Online Marketplace’. The service will begin in January 2019. According to their announcement, the marketplace will attempt to connect the city’s attractions and experiences within a technological framework as well as to a global network of resellers. The product was developed by Dubai-based technology provider PrioHub, in partnership with PrioTicket technology.
The move could be a signal that more cities around the world may try to unify their attractions and experiences under one bookable platform. If it succeeds in Dubai, and more cities and countries try this model, it could end up providing more exposure for operators in the long run.
There are some glaring questions that the press release did not address. Who is paying for this? Do operators have to pay to participate? Or is Dubai sponsoring this for all its members? Is it mandatory for members? These are critical questions that need to be answered, but this move points to the importance that tours, experiences, and activities have for destinations trying to lure tourists. In fact, research at Arival shows that almost 100% of leisure travelers booked a tour, attended an event, visited an attraction, or did an activity on a trip within the past year.
Tourism Dubai declined to comment for this story.