TTME FEB 2019 - PG -9

‘In-destination services’ at Tryps.Tech

Nabil El-Shafeay, CEO, Tryps.Tech shares information and special aspects of the first and only online distributor specialised in the in-destination tours, activities, attraction tickets, transfers and airport lounges, etc, worldwide fully localised in Arabic.

TT Bureau

Share a brief of the ventures undertaken by Tryps.Tech.
Tryps.Tech is the first and only online distributor specialised in the ‘in-destination services’ for tours, activities, attraction tickets, transfers and airport lounges. Also, it is the first online distributor worldwide to provide thousands of tours and activities fully localised in Arabic. With our innovative technology, we help resellers from online and offline travel agencies, hotels and airlines connect with more than 2000 providers of tours and activities at more than 600+ destinations in 130 countries. We are empowering online travel agencies through our API and white-label solutions in the region and in Europe. Besides, we are also in discussion with some local carriers who are interested in selling ‘in-destination services’ to their clients.

Please explain about the online tours and activities market in the Middle East.
Tours and activities in the Middle East generated US $3 billion by 2018. Our region is the fifth in terms of numbers of providers of tours and activities right after Europe, LATAM and APAC, but is bigger than eastern Europe. The Middle East is diverse, big and is the fastest growing worldwide in terms of outbound. The number of tours and activities in the region is less than 2000, but if we add the rest of the ‘in-destination services’ like attractions, lounges and events, then the number could reach the 3000 things to do. On one hand, the number of tours and local experiences is growing while on the other, with most of the suppliers still working offline, bookings are taking up to 24 hours to get confirmed, as they can’t grant access to real-time availability and thus, instant booking confirmation.

Does it earn enough revenue?
Absolutely! The travel industry tends to focus on what is happening in aviation and hospitality since they drive 75 per cent of the global travel market, but the reason why we travel is the experience on the ground. After air and hotels, tours and activities segment is the third largest in the travel industry. It’s estimated to generate US $250 billion by 2020 globally. Also, margins are up to 50 per cent but in most cases, it’s 20 per cent to 25 per cent, which is much higher than what online travel agencies could earn from selling flight tickets or hotel bookings.

What are the key challenges faced?
Resellers of tours and activities from online and offline travel agencies, hotels and airlines have no reliable way to contracts for tours and activities from services providers worldwide. They deal with a fragmented and mostly, offline sector, with multiple currencies, complex contracting terms, different payment conditions, several booking processes, continuous content updates and a gap of real-time availability and thus, lack of instant booking confirmation. At the same time, thousands of service providers need an online hub where they could reach the final customer and increase their sales. These are the major hurdles that we are solving right now.

Could you share some of the travel behaviours of ME?
Middle Eastern travellers are last-minute bookers; 70 per cent of them are booking their things-to-do from 3 to 1 day before the activity date. Some other services like skip the line are mainly booked on the same day of the activity. The average booking value is US $100 and it’s for 2 travellers per booking, 60 per cent of the region outbound comes from the GCC. Their top destinations are London, Barcelona, Paris as for Europe; Dubai, Istanbul, Cairo as for ME; Bangkok, Singapore, and Hong Kong as for Asian destination.

What are their requirements and are the operators able to provide them the same?
Resellers of tours and activities must adapt their services to the customer’s needs and profile (age). Since 80 per cent of online travel bookings are made through App, mobile or tablet, they must be mobile-friendly. Also, technology advancement has contributed to making the middle eastern travellers become more demanding. They want to book tours and activities with instant booking confirmation and with access to real-time availability. The reseller must support the last-minute bookings and offer personalised service and experience to the travellers such as localised content, match of service expectation and price sensitivity.

Do these tech-savvy travellers get enough technical help?
Middle Eastern travellers are heavily into technology. They are into all tech trends — food is ordered online, goods are bought online, people are engaged into social networking with a daily average of three hours, especially on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat followed by Twitter. So, as they get more into technology, online resellers have to work hard to match their expectations.

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