Viator is the largest online travel agency (OTA) in experiences, used by more than 50,000 operators to sell their tours, tickets and experiences. So I didn’t want to pass up an opportunity to sit down with Viator CCO Sarah Dines at Arival 360 | Orlando to learn about the latest developments and what that means for operators.
We went deep on a few hot topics in my conversation with Dines, who also spoke on the Hot Topics panel — though not as deep as the hottest place she has been: the mining town of Coober Pedy where residents resist the 113+ degree heat by dwelling underground.
In our conversation which I themed “things that are hot,” mostly for my own amusement (and hopefully yours), I put Dines in the hot seat on the challenges operators have with online travel agencies (OTAs) like Viator, how Viator is using AI, and what’s happening with Viator Accelerate.
“The feedback we originally got from Accelerate was ‘I don’t know what I’m getting for this,’” said Dines. Accelerate 2.0, which has launched in 12 markets in the U.S. and will be rolled out globally by early November, will provide “a lot more visibility on the number of impressions you’re getting for the commission that you’re paying,” according to Dines.
Second, Dines added, “Accelerate 2.0 gives you a very clear picture of where you sit compared to your competitors in terms of the commission that they’re offering and the ad impressions that they’re getting for that commission.” However, she emphasized “giving commission is not a way to buy your way to the top at Viator: the amount of impressions that you get is heavily influenced by the quality of the product.”
We also discussed the challenges for women in leadership positions in travel, the importance of intersectionality, and how leaders like Dines are working to support the next generation of women leaders rising in the experiences industry.
Watch the full conversation here:
Hot Topics and More at Arival 360 | Berlin
Better yet, join us at the upcoming Arival 360 | Berlin next March to dig deeper into working with OTAs, the latest hot topics for experiences in 2024, and so much more. We hope to see you there!
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