By Taz Bareham — 10 Oct 2016
Updated June 2022 – Viator, a TripAdvisor company, is the leading global tours and activities provider for travelers. They reach 350 million travel planners every month through Viator, TripAdvisor, 3,000 affiliate partners and over 175,000 travel agents. With their global advertising programs on Google, Bing and Facebook, they reach customers speaking 10 different languages and 13 currencies. Online travel agency partnerships offer valuable opportunities for tours and activities providers looking to increase their online visibility and showcase their services on platforms that secure millions of monthly users globally.
There are a few things you need to do before you get listed on Viator, following the steps in this article will increase your chances to be listed.
OTAs such as Viator are one of the most popular tourism distribution channels for tour and activity providers as they boost marketing opportunities, increase online visibility and offer extensive integration capacities.
Here are some of the most compelling reasons why tour and activity providers decide to join Viator as a supplier.
Become a Viator supplier to increase your sales by distributing your products to 350 million monthly travel planners on Viator and TripAdvisor and over 175,000 travel agents. Be part of curated trip activities including tours, attractions, shore excursions, and private guides, in more than 1,500 destinations worldwide. Reach international customers through Viator’s websites and through their global advertising programs on Google, Bing, Yahoo and Facebook.
Viator automatically shares your availability with TripAdvisor. When you become a Viator supplier, you automatically receive a “Book a Tour” or “Check Availability” button on your TripAdvisor page.
The best example we can think of is the situation in Las Vegas:
Travelers that visit Las Vegas know about the casinos, shows, and the nightlife. But thinking about Las Vegas you wouldn’t necessarily think about the indoor skydiving you can do during the day.
There is a huge audience visiting Las Vegas that is unaware of this activity. Becoming a Viator supplier would put your product in front of this audience (travelers who don’t know of your existence). When someone is looking for “things to do in Las Vegas”. You want to make it on this list, to attract people you would never be able to attract yourself.
Because you only pay Viator per booking, and not per appearance in the list, you can reach the undecided traveler while keeping a good return on investment.
Viator suppliers don’t have to pay sign-up fees or cancelation fees should they decide to discontinue.
Viator does have a standard commission fee of 20% of the advertised price, which is on par with other OTAs.
The first step to becoming a Viator supplier is to create an account. As Tripadvisor acquired Viator in 2014, you can also sign up to Tripadvisor to start the process of becoming a Viator supplier.
When opening an account on Viator, you’ll have to provide certain details about your company, including company information, additional information, and contact data.
Once you’ve submitted your agreement to the terms and conditions, you’ll have to wait for Viator to contact you via email after they confirm your details. This can take approximately 24-48 hours. Viator will then request further information including an agreement to their commission terms as well as clarifications surrounding your company’s liability insurance.
Once you’ve finalized your Viator account signup process, you can then get started on adding your travel products onto the platform. You can do this by accessing the Management Center, clicking on the Products tab, and then selecting ‘Manage’.
The Management Center allows you to create your products, and add photos, pricing, availability, and other relevant information. After you’ve detailed all of your travel products on Viator and updated the products/experiences within your booking software, you can then select the option to publish.
In Viator’s Marketplace profile, you can set up your Negotiated Rate by clicking on ‘add agent’.
Within this tab, you will be provided with the relevant T&Cs – if you approve, click ‘Send Your Rates’, scroll down to ‘Rate’ and then select ‘’Negotiated Rate’’. After you’ve clicked on ‘’Add Agent’ – your rates will be sent to Viator.
You’ll need to update your booking software’s negotiated rates in line with Viator’s policy. There are numerous ways to complete this process that will depend on your current booking software. If you are supplying your products on multiple OTAs that require different fee percentages, you’ll want to make certain that your software is differentiating the commission you pay for each one.
Here’s how you can add or edit your negotiated rates on Rezdy’s booking platform.
Time to connect your booking software to Viator.
You’ll need to log in to your Tripadvisor Experiences Management Center to provide Viator with your booking software system. If Rezdy is your software provider, you will need to select ‘Rezdy as your system’ within the ‘Connect Now’ page, which is located within the Management Center’s ‘Connectivity’ section.
Within your Viator Profile, you will be able to locate your Rezdy product codes. You can then map your Viator products to Rezdy.
There are several things you have to account for to become a Viator supplier. Not every tour operator will be listed by default, but if you can offer the following, we think you’ll improve your chances of becoming a Viator supplier.
Viator/TripAdvisor offers its customers real-time booking confirmation. This means you need to be able to provide bookable spots for your tours or activity in real-time. Viator provides a calendar for tour and activity operators where they can update and manage their availability. Alternatively, most booking software providers (including Rezdy) have an integration with Viator, so you can link your availability from your software with Viator.
Allow last-minute bookings and specify how many hours before the tour starts can customers book with you. Of course, you need enough time to prepare your tour before people come but keep your minimum notice as close to the starting time of your experience. Viator attracts a lot of last-minute bookers that are looking for something to do on the day. You want to make sure your products are available to book, so make sure to push the minimum notice as close to the starting time.
Not only in technical but also for the customer experience. For starters, your booking software should have a solid API integration with Viator. You’d want to avoid manual work as much as possible. When sharing your availability with Viator, you want the booking information pushed into your booking software, so it automatically populates your CRM, sales reports, and manifest. This will avoid lost customers, making it easier to keep control over your bookings, even when it’s a large volume.
Schedule your availability for 2 years. Make sure people can book 2 years in advance. It’s good practice to make sure all your availability is published across as many channels as possible, but make sure it’s also available for a long time. The earlier you fill up your tours the better.
Viator attracts a lot of people that are exploring your destination. Travelers want to know what they’ll get to see and do in your destination before they book their hotels and tours. Some travelers take up to 2 years to prepare for their trips, so make sure you always have the availability to attract them to your destination.
A picture says more than a thousand words and makes your product stand out from the rest. Be aware that your product is listed next to your competitors’. The best picture is likely to receive the booking. Having nice high-resolution pictures and videos will help you stand out and make your listing always look professional, no matter where it’s being promoted.
Spend some time writing a special description for your tour specifically for Viator’s listing. OTAs want unique suppliers to provide a unique tour description because they are easier to get to the top of the list of search engine responses. Look at the listing of similar products already live on Viator, use this format. Don’t include inconsistent symbols, special offers, or your email address when you submit it.
Being a Rezdy customer will not guarantee that you will become a Viator supplier, however, Viator prefers tour operators using a real-time booking software provider that is integrated with them, as it will allow Viator to provide a better service to their own customers (thus, we strongly recommend you to mention Rezdy in the application process). Besides that, there are two other reasons to use Rezdy to integrate with Viator.
Firstly, when you receive a booking from Viator, your work has only just started. They’ll send you the customer information and the booking details, but you’ll need to manually import them into your manifest, reports and CRM. With Rezdy, all of this information is automatically pushed to all of these platforms. This saves you time and also ensures that you never forget a customer or forget a payment.
Secondly, when building your distribution network to 10 or even 400 agents, you’ll find out, that managing this network is a lot of work. Rezdy’s Channel Manager simplifies this. It doesn’t matter how many agents you have, you can update your availability for all of them in one app. This allows you to have a large distribution network. With Rezdy, you can connect with most agents in the tour and activity industry. Rezdy allows you to update your availability from one screen, which saves you time and enables you to get more agent connections and fill up your total capacity.
Have any more questions about how to get listed on Viator? Get in touch with the team at Rezdy to find out more about how your tour or activity company can use Viator to attract customers and grow your business.
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