Below are answers to some questions you may have about the recent path forward that was announced for Viator and our community.

Is Viator moving back to a niche or curated marketplace?

In our 25 year history, we’ve gone from a curated marketplace to, more recently, an open marketplace. Our path forward strikes a balance between the quantity of experiences we offer and the quality of these experiences. We’re not moving back to a niche or curated marketplace; anyone can continue to submit products for listing on Viator. But our customers – and yours – deserve high-quality products, so we’re doubling down on that. We have bold opinions on quality and that will be reflected in our marketplace moving forward.

Will my products continue to appear on Tripadvisor?

Yes, your Viator-listed products will continue to appear on Tripadvisor. 

How do I manage my products on Tripadvisor?

You can continue to manage your products via the Management Center as you would normally.  

What’s the relationship between Viator and Tripadvisor?

Viator is the place where your tours and activities are sold to the world – including Tripadvisor. Travelers use Viator to find the best selection of experiences in the world, no matter where they go. While Viator powers the distribution of your tours and activities to a vast network of distribution partners, Tripadvisor is where travelers go to plan every aspect of their trip, from flights and hotels, to in-destination activities like eating out and tours and activities. 

Will Viator’s product standards apply to Tripadvisor?

Yes. The Viator marketplace powers the distribution of your tours, activities, and attractions tickets to Tripadvisor and our vast network of distribution partners. In order for your products to appear on these partner sites, they will need to be listed on Viator’s marketplace and meet its product standards.

Product Standards

What are Viator’s product standards?

Viator’s product standards are the standards all bookable products must meet to list, and stay listed on Viator. You can learn more about them here.

When do the new product standards come into effect?

All new operators who sign up on Viator will now be required to meet our Product Standards. Any new products submitted for listing that do not meet the new standards will not be accepted on Viator. 

If you’re an existing operator, we encourage you to review them and align any existing and planned products with these standards. Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll reach out to existing operators and advise on any action required to meet the new standards. We’ll provide plenty of time and help to make necessary changes. 

Your quality standards indicate minimum reviews and ratings. How does this work for new products?

New products submitted for listing on Viator will not be measured against minimum ratings and reviews during the quality review process. Provided all other product standards are met, new products will be eligible to be listed – and remain – on Viator until they receive a volume of reviews and ratings so their scores would be representative of the traveler experience.

Your quality standards indicate minimum reviews and ratings. Will you be enforcing these given the current climate (COVID-19)?

No. Given the current travel climate with COVID-19, we are not currently enforcing minimum reviews. Provided all other product standards are met, we will only enforce minimum ratings in cases where a product has received enough ratings so their scores would be representative of the traveler experience.

Product Quality Review

What is the product quality review?

The product quality review is a new process we’re implementing that all new products submitted for listing on Viator will go through. All new products will undergo a manual review within 7 days of submission by a member of our team to help operators improve their listings, setting them up for success from the start, and ensure they meet our new product standards. You can learn more about our quality review process here.

Is there a warning system in place when I create my product to tell me if I’ve made a mistake in the process?

We encourage you to read through our updated product standards and ensure any products you wish to submit for listing on Viator meet these standards. As you go through the process to create a product, any fields that you need to complete which haven’t been completed will be flagged before you can submit the product for review.

Is there a cost to this quality review?

Yes. Starting August 1st, there will be a one-time cost of $29 USD per product submitted for listing on Viator. Please note that the cost for the quality review may differ in other currencies. This cost is non-refundable.

Will I have to pay a fee to keep my existing products live? 

No. There is no fee to keep your existing products live.

Why are you introducing a fee right now, when so many operators are struggling to stay in business?

The ongoing spread of COVID-19 is impacting your business, and ours. We understand that this is a confusing and difficult time, you can learn more about how we’re responding to this crisis here

These changes are not related to COVID-19. We’re heard from operators that our open marketplace created an environment in which it was hard to stand out. Conversely, travelers were overwhelmed by choice. We’re making these changes to strengthen the quality of products in our marketplace so that we can provide a better experience for our customers – and yours.

Travel will return, and when it does traveler trust and confidence will pave the way forward. In improving the quality of experiences on Viator, our goal is to help our great operators reap the benefits of the changes we’re making. 

If my product is deactivated do I lose my Tripadvisor listing?

No. Your products and your business listing on Tripadvisor remains separate. While you may continue to manage your business listing on Tripadvisor via the Management Center, any products you have that are made active or inactive will not have an impact on how you manage your Tripadvisor listing. 

Is commission factored into the quality of my product?

No. In order to list on Viator, your product must meet the minimum commission rate in your destination and category. This remains the same, whether your product falls within the ‘Good’ or ‘Excellent’ level in our Product Quality Standards. 

Does quality impact your product rankings?

Our product rankings and search results are determined by an algorithm that takes into account factors like traveler interest, quantity, quality, and recency of reviews. This is nothing new and is not changing. While our new product quality standards do incorporate some of the same metrics, they go beyond this – providing clearer guidelines to operators on what it takes to create an excellent product.  

Rewarding Quality

What benefits do I receive for ensuring my product quality is “excellent?”

We know travelers value quality, so right now, we’re working on a free program to reward all “excellent” products on Viator and set them apart from the rest with enhanced visibility. Products that fall in this bucket can expect to receive recognition for their excellent quality standards. Providing travelers with an excellent experience leads to great reviews, which then results in more bookings. 

COVID-19 Resource Page

Visit our continually updating COVID-19 resource page for:

  • More information on our efforts to support you
  • Links to industry news
  • Ways to prepare today for tomorrow

Click here >

About the Author: Matt Ellis

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