Having been in the tour and activity space for almost seven years now, we at TrekkSoft are very much aware of our competitors - who they are, what they're good at, what they're not so good at.
So we thought we'd share some of that insight with you.
As a whole, players in this niche industry offer fantastic customer support. Go on any software review site like GetApp or Capterra and you'll find customers singing praises about the support they've received at various stages of their businesses.Another thing I'd like to point out, and that I'm particularly proud of is that while the industry might be small, competition is fierce. TrekkSoft and our competitors innovate quickly. Everyday, there are announcements of new partnerships, acquisitions, features releases and more.
We do this to keep up with demands and simultaneously strive to forge a new path for tour and activity operators around the world.
Now, let's take a closer look at a few of our competitors in the tour and activity software space.
Established in 2010, TrekkSoft was founded in Interlaken by Jon Fauver (CEO), Valentin Binnendijk (CTO), and Philippe Willi (CFO/COO). Jon contributes his background of 20+ years in the industry, while Valentin and Philippe bring to the table their experience as serial entrepreneurs, founders, and board members.
Over the years, our innovations have led us to partner with major brands in the industry including Viator and Transfers & Activities Bank (TAB). We are also proud to be used by big tour companies like SANDEMANs New Europe (Europe's largest free walking tour provider) Bus2Alps (Europe's #1 student tour operator) and Fjord Norway (the official tourist board for Western Norway).
Pros: Offers a comprehensive suite of online and offline tools with the largest feature set on the market with more to come. Ideal for companies who generate a large volume of bookings online and offline, and require connectivity with other businesses to do so.
Cons: As an off-the-shelf solution, there's a learning curve for customers who want to customise it for their very specific needs. (Good thing we have an incredible team to ensure your success!)
Rezgo was co-founded by Stephen Joyce who is also the acting CEO of the company. Launched in 2007, they were one of the first companies to offer booking management solutions in the tour and activity sector. In this respect, we tip our hats to them.
Pros: Good software to start off with if you're thinking about testing out a booking software. It has enough features to keep freelance guides or small businesses running comfortably.
Cons: Not a one-stop solution as they do not offer a payment gateway for online payments. Customers are required to set that up separately and integrate both accounts.
Peek joined the travel tech space in 2012 with a consumer facing marketplace Peek.com as well as Peek Professional, a B2B booking software. Founded by Ruzwana Bashir and Oskar Bruening, the company raised $10 million in July 2016 to "continue to bring the best tour operators onto the platform" as reported by Tech Crunch.
While it is a bold move to build a marketplace and booking tools for tour and activity operators from scratch, it doesn't always work out. Evidence? Zozi's CEO, TJ Sassani left the company due to "strategic differences" and laid off 30% of their staff around the same time the company decided to focus on building their booking tools rather than grow their marketplace.
Pros: The company's recent funding round reflects growing interest in the tour and activities sector. With more money comes more talent so expect new features to be rolled out for Peek Professional.
Cons: While CEO Ruzwana Bashir has received a lot of press and has used it wisely to direct attention to her company, finding out about the actual software proved to be difficult (I had to dig through multiple review sites, news articles, interviews, videos etc.) Little information was available on their website - we don't even know how much they charge because different review sites claim different figures.
Update (19th April 2017): Since this article was published, Peek and Zozi have "come together" with Peek acquiring a portion of Zozi's assets and employees. Refusing to call this an acquisition, representatives of the companies say that the Zozi brand, both their B2C marketplace and their B2B booking solution, will be phased out and Zozi's customers will be moved (without consent) to the Peek Pro solution.
Family-run company FareHarbor started in 2013 with founders Lawrence and Zach Hester. The company caters specifically to smaller businesses and has been successful at targeting this niche so far.
Pros: Pay as you go model allows customers full access to all their features, perfect for customers who want to try out the software with no strings attached.
Cons: While they cater to mom-pop businesses, they don't seem to offer a one-stop-shop solution for those starting from scratch. Operators have to source a payment gateway elsewhere before integrating with this booking system.
Hailing from Australia, Rezdy recently secured $1.8 million in funding to expand business into America. The company started in 2011 and was co-founded by CEO Simon Lenoir and CTO Hugo Sterin.
Pros: They offer a pretty comprehensive feature set for companies looking to take their online bookings to the next level.
Cons: If you're not tech savvy or require help navigating the software, do note that they may charge $199 per software training session (on top of a monthly fee).
From Canada, founders Jason Morehouse and Grant Jurgeneit started the company in June 2010. Like the rest of us in the tour and activity software space, they too were frustrated at the lack of tools available for operators to deliver a professional experience online, which is why they started Checkfront. The company's website also features their adorable dogs Rogue and Kona.
Pros: They offer a booking software which integrates with a tonne of 3rd party apps like Constant Contact and Slack.
Cons: While integrations are good, the software itself doesn't come with a website builder or a payment gateway. This means that operators will have to source a separate payment solution and build their own website before integrating with this system.
When it comes to TrekkSoft, we want to provide our customers with the tools they need to connect with their customers, to each other, and to their resellers or agents. We believe that we are the ideal one-stop-shop for tour and activity operators who have a wide range of offerings and want to streamline their bookings and manage it better.
With a track record of serving customers in 134 countries in 7 languages, we're confident that we can provide you with the solutions you need to grow your tour or activity company.
So which software should choose?
Ideally, you'd sign up for TrekkSoft with no questions asked because we're clearly the best option. ;)
But of course this is the real world and you probably have quite a few questions. Here's what I'd advise you to do:
1. List down all the reasons why you need a booking and management software.
Here are some examples:
- You might be generating a lot of bookings and find it difficult to stay on top of admin
- You've overbooked a customer once or twice and to be honest, it's getting pretty embarrassing
- You want to be able to plan ahead of time and an idea of how many people to expect per trip would be useful
2. List down some non-negotiables.
What are some sign-up terms you absolutely will not agree to or features you absolutely need?
Perhaps you don't want to pay more than $199 a month, or you absolutely require a software that comes with a rental feature because you run a kayak rental company.
Eliminate companies who don't fit this bill.
3. Do your research
The list I've provided can be used as a starting point. There are a tonne of other companies out there and many more appearing each day. Narrow your results down to 3 - 5 softwares.
4. Sign up for a free trial or demo
Many companies will offer a free trial period where you can explore the backend of the software, or offer a live demo where a team member walks you through the different features available.
This is also the time where you should raise any concerns, ask as many questions as possible and even attempt at negotiating for a better rate.
Published by Nicole Kow
Having graduated from the UK, Nicole travelled around Europe before joining TrekkSoft's marketing team. She is now based in KL and regularly blogs about her travels at Next Train Out.