Tours and activities are coming online… softly, softly

BeMyGuest are specialists in technology and distribution for Asia’s travel experience industry – attractions, tours and activities. On the eve of ITB Asia, Blanca Menchaca, CEO, BeMyGuest, shared research at WIT Singapore into the state of the tours & activities sector in the region, and where it could be headed. We asked her how she gathered her data.

BeMyGuest is a B2B company, partnering with multiple brands who are reselling travel activities, offline and online. This gives access to a huge amount of consumer data, from online partners connected to our system via API or consumer data from offline agents selling over the counter to consumers using the agents’ marketplace. The data has been coming in primarily since 2016, so we decided to do some research and analysis on Asian consumer behaviour in this way.

There are huge differences between the markets. Tell us about your findings.

There are vast differences. Our research shows just how unique and complicated this region in the world is to navigate. There are cultural differences, language differences, and currency barriers. The behaviour of one nationality versus another, even though they may be neighbours, is extremely different between Singaporeans, Malaysians and Indonesians, and even more so for the Chinese.

How are local tour bookings evolving?

OTAs who are selling travel activities have so much access to technology, they know how to optimise their websites, even doing personalised offerings if they have your data from social media. But on the operators’ side there is still a huge gap. It’s a sector that is just starting to come online, from literally being pen and paper business. OTAs are contracting them on pen and paper and them helping them digitise their products through their teams. But it’s on the operators’ side where the biggest opportunities still exist.

What are you primarily presenting at ITB Asia?

We have a stand with three core products. One is our software – our reservation system for operators. We also have an API for distributors who want to sell products, and we have an agents’ marketplace for offline buyers who want to start buying online.

Photo: Blanca Menchaca, CEO, BeMyGuest