Viator News & Press Releases San Francisco, CA - Proving that travel really is about the experience you have once you arrive in your destination, the sale of travel activities, such as sightseeing tours, events and attractions in the United States outperformed the overall U.S. leisure travel sales market during 2009's market turmoil by 11 percentage points*, according to the soon-to-be released PhoCusWright study "When They Get There (and Why They Go)". This trend is expected to continue as online sales of activities in the U.S. are expected to grow by 13 percent this year and 11 percent in 2012, outpacing U.S. online leisure travel sales overall, expected to grow 8 percent and 9 percent respectively. Trip activities account for $26.8 billion** of the U.S. travel market, which is more than car rental ($14.2 billion) and cruise ($12 billion) - combined - and nearly three-times as much as packaged travel ($10 billion), according to the report.
Meteora The Katholikon of Holy Trinity Monastery, Meteora. History The Theopetra caves 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) south of Meteora had inhabitants fifty millennia ago. The oldest known example of a man-made structure was found within a prehistoric cave in central Greece, according to the Greek culture ministry. The structure is a stone wall that blocked two-thirds of the entrance to the Theopetra cave near Kalambaka on the north edge of the Thessalian plain. Tours and activities: Still looking for breakthrough company This is part two of our three part series on the online tours and activities market, focusing on the buzz around venture-backed startups in the space. Part one here. There are only a handful of companies that matter these days in selling tours and activities, and they are a mix of old-guard established companies, a hungry wannabe, and an online travel agency making some overtures.
GetYourGuide lands $2M funding round from Brent Hoberman group and Swoodoo founders More investment coming into travel startups this week, with GetYourGuide landing $2 million from a string of high profile investors. The round comes from PROfounders Capital, a European VC fund which counts Lastminute.com co-founder Brent Hoberman as one of its investors alongside Andy Phillipps (founder of Active Hotels) and Karen Hanton (founder of TopTable) Others investing in the tour and activity marketplace service include founders of Swoodoo, Christian Saller, Wolfgang Heigl and Lars Jankowfsky. PROfounders general partner Sean Seton-Rogers will sit on the GetYourGuide advisory board as part of the investment round. GetYourGuide’s only external investment so far had come in the form of $350,000 in 2010 from Zurich Cantonal Bank and Roland Zeller, founder of Swiss online travel agency Travel.ch. It has also since gone on to work with Kayak to power the tours and activities search channel on the metasearch engine’s mobile app.
Full body scanner Backscatter x-ray image of TSA Security Laboratory Director Susan Hallowell A full-body scanner is a device that detects objects on a person's body for security screening purposes, without physically removing clothes or making physical contact. Depending on the specific technology, the operator may see an alternate-wavelength image of the person's naked body, or merely a cartoon-like representation of the person with an indicator showing where any suspicious items were detected. For privacy and security reasons, the display is generally not visible to other passengers, and in some cases is located in a separate room where the operator cannot see the face of the person being screened. Unlike metal detectors, full-body scanners can detect non-metal objects, which became an increasing concern after various airliner bombing attempts in the 2000s.
Priceline’s Booking.com triples mobile booking transactions - Mobile Commerce Daily - Revenue The Booking.com Kindle Fire app Priceline’s Booking.com has seen the total transaction value of mobile hotel bookings rise from $1 billion in 2011 to more than $3 billion in 2012. In addition, more than 20 million mobile applications have been downloaded to date. The latest data is proof that mobile bookings are growing – especially because of its convenience. Making money from tours and activities on the web NB: This is a guest post by Johannes Reck, CEO of GetYourGuide. We have all read the buzz around tours and activities recently, spurred in part by a study revealing the vertical is actually bigger than cruise and rental car combined. The report and subsequent travel industry interest was grist to the mills of evangelists and niche players in this field. But are we seeing the rise of a marketplace with vast distribution potential, similar to what the hotel category has been in the past 15 years?
Awkward Travel Moments (Photo above: A girl awkwardly ruins my photo) I’ve had a few “Awkward Travel Moments” in my past few years of traveling and have heard of a few as well that I am sure we can all relate to. Please share yours in the comments. You are sleeping on a plane in the aisle seat and you wake up to your single serving friends crotch in your face as they try to climb over you to get to the washroom.That moment when you walk into a “spa” in Iceland / Jordan / Turkey / Istanbul / Insert name – wearing your bathing suit and everyone else is stark naked looking at you oddly.
GetYourGuide raises $14M for tours and activities push in new markets In what could be one of the biggest investments so far in the growing online tours and activities sector, GetYourGuide has grabbed $14 million from Spark Capital and Highland Capital Partners Europe. The company says the Series A investment round will be used help with “rapid growth” into new markets. Spark has previous invested in companies such as Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare and Akamai, while Highland’s portfolio includes Lycos, MapQuest and VistaPrint. The level of investment in GYG signifies the major interest in the tours and activities segment of the industry. Previous high rounds included $7 million into US-based Zozi in May 2011. Despite attracting $2 million from PROfounders Capital, Andy Phillipps (founder of Active Hotels) and Karen Hanton (founder of TopTable) in March 2012, Europe-based GYG has been active on the capital raising circuit since late last year.
Kayak ends tours and activities on mobile via GetYourGuide, cites low popularity with users Mobile users with tours and activities – a perfect match, right? Perhaps not so obvious after all, with Kayak deciding to end its partner deal with GetYourGuide. The US-based travel search service discontinued its contract with GetYourGuide after realising the idea of being able to book in-destination things-to-do and attractions had not resonated with users. The Most Awkward Moments in Travel My gate was set to close in 15 minutes. In my frantic dash through the airport, I attempted to breeze past an older woman on a moving walkway, but accidentally clipped her with my backpack. "Sorry!" I called over my shoulder with an apologetic wave. "EXCUSE YOU!"
TUI and GetYourGuide Join Forces to Revolutionize Travel Agency Distribution Press Releases TUI and GetYourGuide Join Forces to Revolutionize Travel Agency Distribution Exclusive partnership offers benefits for travel agencies and vacationers GetYourGuide to be sole provider of tours and activities to TUI agents Travel agents working with TUI in Germany will have their pick of tours and activities by way of a new supplier after the tour operator turned over responsibility to GetYourGuide. As a result of the deal, TUI has stopped sourcing its own supply lines of attractions, things-to-do and tours for customers booking via offline agents and will only source product via GetYourGuide. The partnership has the potential to be a substantial one for GetYourGuide as agents in Germany are currently booking around 30,000 city sightseeing tours 20,000 cards and 10,000 attraction tickets alone through its network of 9,000 shops across Germany. GetYourGuide, which recently closed a funding round of $14 million and has 18,000 products on its system, says it hopes to extend the partnership to other parts of the TUI empire in the long-term, including online channels. TUI will remain the merchant of record in the transaction.
Falling asleep on a stranger, taking the wrong seat and screaming children: The most awkward moments on a plane revealed Falling asleep on a stranger has been named as the 'most awkward' situation on board a plane. It's one of those incidents where if it's you using your neighbour's shoulder for a nap there's deep embarrassment, but when others do it, it's a platform of entertainment. New research by a flight comparison website in the UK has discovered the top 10 most awkward scenarios that Britons have encountered or witnessed whilst travelling by air. Scroll down for video