Hermes Torres built Happy Fish Catamarans, one of the most successful boat tour businesses in Punta Cana, from the ground up. He grew up in Luperón, a sailing town in the northern Dominican Republic, where he learned everything there is to know about running boat tours and developed a sixth sense for customer satisfaction.

As Viator reviews reveal, Happy Fish Catamarans delivers on every customer promise: top-quality cocktails, unbeatable ocean views, and the industry’s friendliest and most knowledgeable crew. With such a sparkling reputation, it’s no wonder that the tours were named to Tripadvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards Best of the Best list in 2020, and, most recently, the Viator Experience Awards: Top 20 for the Caribbean

So when it came to the strategic expansion of his business on Viator with a third, slightly larger group sailing trip, Hermes followed the same process that worked in the past. He crafted an offering built on known traveler preferences: limited guest occupancy allowing for ample personal space, local seasonal snacks and drinks, and expert service. Though customer feedback for the new sailing tour was favorable, the tour had difficulty achieving the same popularity as his other two tours. Hermes wondered if exposure to a broader global audience would uncover some untapped demand beyond his predominantly North American customer base. 

Hermes has always kept a close watch on digital trends in the tourism and hospitality space and embraced digital transformation to meet changing traveler needs. When Viator Accelerate launched, he welcomed the opportunity to give targeted visibility to each of his products, but especially his newer small group sailing trip, which he knew could become the next Best of the Best given the right boost in exposure. 

Opting In

The newer small group sailing trip was an ideal candidate for Viator Accelerate. It received the Viator Badge of Excellence, which meant that the product listing contained a detailed itinerary and relevant photos. Traveler reviews were nearly all five stars, and customer communication had been proactive and timely.

Given the importance of product quality for Viator Accelerate eligibility, the only thing left for Hermes to do was to opt in. 


“We’re happy about the bookings we’ve gotten from Viator Accelerate. We’re seeing a good product finally get the exposure it needed.”

— Hermes Torres, Founder, Happy Fish Catamarans

Within one week of opting in, Hermes noticed an increase in bookings for the small group sailing trip. After a month, bookings for that product more than doubled. Over that first month, combined bookings across all products grew by 40%, a dramatic increase over pre-opt in levels. Many of those bookings came from different countries in Europe- a new market for Happy Fish- which Hermes credits to the greater global reach Viator Accelerate provides.

“We’re seeing our product position increase. We’re getting feedback and people are booking again. It really feels like the global reach is bigger.”

With his third Viator product finally getting the attention it deserves, Hermes can focus on growing his business with the same care and customer-centricity that elevated his flagship tours. To him, competition is not beating out other boat tours in the region but achieving Happy Fish Catamaran’s full potential. He is well on his way.

About the Author: Victoria O'Keefe

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