Tickets, Attractions, & Activities Programs

There are literally thousands upon thousands of local activities, attraction and event vendors around the world, operators who provide airport ‘meet and greet’ and other traveler transfer services, sight seeing tours, tickets to museums, fairs, historical sites as well as a host of other travel related attractions. This travel niche is extremely fragmented, both in the U.S. and worldwide.

There are few large firms with significant operations, assets and staff at leisure or business travel destinations around the world. Within the travel industry, these companies are referred to as Destination Management Companies (DMCs) or Destination Management Organizations (DMOs).  The same moniker is used to also describe the smaller players operating as at-destination travel and logistics specialists.  These smaller DMCs/DMOs sometimes wear ‘more than one hat’ as some entities also operate as local travel agencies, meetings & incentive firms, tour operators, bus companies or in some cases may simply be a savvy tour guide with strong business connections in the local travel community.

Likewise, the tickets and events market is also large, but based on the type of ticket or event one is seeking, the niche may be highly concentrated, almost monopolistic in scope (think what Live Nation, the US’ biggest concert promoter proposed merger with Ticketmaster, the largest seller of tickets for concerts, sporting events and other live entertainment, may result in…can you say Microsoft?), or wide open (e.g., quick…how many national or state parks are you aware of that sell their entrance tickets through 3rd parties?  Don’t feel bad, I couldn’t think of one either).

Nonetheless, these are BIG Niches (we don’t have reputable market estimates to quote…yet, but we’re working on it!), and, in our intrepid style, Travel Dividends will seek to profile the key current as well as emerging players for the edification of our travel affiliate and travel supplier readers.  What we know for certain is that these niches provide great opportunities for travel affiliates to make money!

As you peruse the player profiles below, and you recognize one of your favorite Activities, Attraction, Event or Ticket Broker site is missing, let us know…we’d love to add them to our list!

Local Travel Attractions and Events Providers

To further your understanding of players in the ‘Local Travel Attractions and Events’ niche, we suggest you visit the following sites:

For a solid look at a DMC/DMO regional affiliated network with an international perspective on the business, check-out euromic.com.

For a trade profession perspective, you may want to visit either Destination Marketing Association International or The Association of Destination Management Executives.

Though none of the three sources specifically address or mention affiliate or performance marketing, by exploring these sites, Travel Dividends believes affiliates who are interested in selling local travel activities will be better informed and prepared to successfully work in this large and potentially financially rewarding niche.

Major Players

?   Viator - If a traveler is looking to book a local travel attraction, product or related service (other than an airline ticket, hotel room, car rental, cruise or tour) anywhere in the world, then Viator may the site they should check first.

Viator aptly describes itself as a “one-stop-shop for researching, planning and booking destination activities in more than 400 destinations worldwide.” Based in Australia, but having a global footprint, this is a ‘go-to’ site to book a wide range of activities such as private, guided and self-guided tours and sightseeing, ‘Hop-On Hop-Off’ bus tours, hot-air balloon rides, dolphin swims, sky diving, and theater, musicals & show tickets on Broadway or the West End, to name just few.

Their model is different than most travel activities based sites; as Viator states on their website:

“…unlike many destination sites that aggregate content from disparate sources, Viator is not a paid listing or advertising site“, instead their activities “…are provided by reputable local operators, hand-selected by the company’s in-house travel experts who routinely review and validate these activities for quality of experience, overall value and superior service.”

With more than 5,500 trip activities available in some 400 cities in 75 countries, these guys pretty much have the world covered.

Does Viator sound like partner material to you? If so, check out their travel affiliate program here.

?   Isango.com - Another leading provider of at-destination experiences and services, Isango offers leisure and business travelers a choice of more than 4,500 activities in some 60 countries around the world. Their products span many lifestyle and life-stage travel categories like family, wildlife, romance, seniors, luxury, culture and adventure travel.

To determine if Isango’s product line is a good fit with your travel strategy, click here for the Company’s affiliate partner page.

?   OctopusTravel.com - The former ‘twin’ of Gullivers/GTA, Octopus Travel remains today one of the world’s largest online travel companies specializing in offering travelers with a wide range of travel activities and discounted hotels in some 121 countries worldwide, as well as apartments, their own branded travel guide books – Octopus Travel Guides – and other travel related services.

As one of the oldest travel activities and content aggregators, Octopus has product for every type of traveler, from the budget minded to those seeking the finest travel luxury experiences.  Octopus Travel is owned by Blackstone, one of the largest private equity firms in the world (who also own Galileo, Orbitz, Gullivers, Hilton Hotels, among other travel assets).

To see all that Octopus Travel has to offer, check out their UK/EU affiliate page here
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?   CityDiscovery.com – This aggregator of at-destination travel content boasts having some 3,500 local sightseeing, tours and attractions available in more than 300 destinations around the world. CityDiscovery’s product range is huge and there is something that satisfies every travel taste, no matter how unique that might be.  For example, they offer ‘Hop On, Hop Off’ city bus tours, Segway and walking tours, photography tours, food, wine and gastronomy tours, just to name a few.

CityDiscovery is able to deliver all of this as it has contracted with 3,500 travel agencies in Europe, Asia, the Americas, Oceania, and Africa, and they manage these relationships through offices in France, Greece, Hong Kong, Italy, Philippines, Singapore, United Kingdom, and the United States.

To find out more about this large travel activities aggregator and how you can leverage CityDiscovery products for your business, click on Distributor Application page, or alternatively check with ShareASale, their preferred affiliate network partner.

?   Priority PassThe leading provider of independent, fee-based airport business lounge and clubs for frequent travelers, Priority Pass offers travelers with access to 600 lounges in 300 cities in over 100 countries around the world.  Their program is simple and straight forward, but value laden, particularly for those travelers who don’t fly enough on one airline to qualify for free access to that airlines (or their partner’s) airport lounge network

To evaluate Priority Pass’ travel affiliate program, and whether I fits with your travel sales strategy, click here.

?   London Pass - A division of the Leisure Pass Group, a tourism specialist, creating and managing smart card pass systems, London Pass is the premier bundled attraction discount program, offering pass holders free or deeply discounted entry to a large number of top visitor attractions throughout the greater London area.

London Pass includes free entry to over 55 attractions, including the Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Windsor Castle, HMS Belfast to name a few.  Each Pass comes with a free copy of a comprehensive London guidebook, available in five languages.

Leisure Pass Group also offers attraction discount programs in Paris (Paris Pass), the Great Britain Pass, York Pass, Philadelphia Pass and New York Pass.

See if this leading activity and attraction provider fits with your travel product strategy; for London Pass, click here; click here for Paris Pass, or for the New York Pass affiliate link page, click here.

?   GoCard USA – Offering a similar product to Leisure Pass Group, GoCard offers a wide range of discounted attraction passes with unlimited access to museums, tours, and attractions in top U.S. cities like Orlando, Miami, Chicago, New York and Seattle.

A division of Smart Destinations, details about Go Cards & the Explorer Pass travel affiliate program can be found here.

?   ParisTrip.com – A top minibus tour specialist in Paris with its own fleet of vehicles (a classic model of a DMC/DMO), Paris Trip picks-up its clients at their hotels and then shows them all that Paris, Versailles, Fontainebleau and other nearby tourist locations and venues have to offer through a number of well designed day, evening and multi-day tours and excursions.

To view the details of ParisTrip’s travel affiliate program, visit CJ, their preferred affiliate network.

?   Trusted Tours and Attractions - This provider of admission tickets to “… the top US sightseeing tours, world class attractions, museums and other amazing things to do while on vacation…. includes over 500 products in 23 top city destinations including New York City, Boston, San Francisco, San Diego, Las Vegas, Key West, Miami, Chicago, Washington DC and more!”

Among the types of travel activities and products Trusted Tours and Attractions offers are: traditional locals sightseeing tours, helicopter tours, whale watching excursions, bicycle tours and rentals and much more.

To review all of the remaining 496 products in Trusted Tours and Attractions’ portfolio, visit CJ, their preferred affiliate network.

Ticket Brokers and Resellers

?   TicketLiquidators.com – An aggregator of ticket and event sellers and distributors from around the U.S., TicketLiquidator specializes in ‘hard-to-find’ tickets around the world.  Boasting a database of more than 3.2 million tickets to some 60,000 events, true to its name, TicketLiquidator ‘liquidates’ (or resells) these tickets, many times at low prices.  Since starting the company in 2003, TicketLiquidator has had explosive growth, and today ranks as the fifth largest overall seller of tickets in the US, and third overall in the reseller space.

To assess if you can mine TicketLiquidator’s database for your advantage, check their affiliate page here.

?   Ticketmaster - With operations in 20 global markets that provide ticket sales, ticket resale services, marketing and distribution through one of the largest e-commerce sites on the Internet AND additional reservation services through some 7,100 retail outlets and17 worldwide call centers, AND sales of more than 141 million tickets valued at over $8.9 billion in 2008, Ticketmaster is the preeminent “…ticketing services for leading arenas, stadiums, professional sports franchises and leagues, college sports teams, performing arts venues, museums, and theaters.”

According to Forrester Research, Ticketmaster had 30 percent share of the $21 billion ticket and events business market in 2008.  If Ticketmaster’s sales are more narrowly defined as concerts, then its market share approaches 70 percent, according Wall Street analysts Stifel, Nicolaus & Co (who also estimate that Live Nation, as a promoter of concerts, is three times the size of its next nearest competitor, the Anschutz Entertainment Group.).

They’re big, and they offer an affiliate program!

To see if Ticketmaster ‘got your ticket’…check out their affiliate program here.

Note: As an aside, Ticketmaster was part of InterActive, Inc., which also included travel assets expedia.com, hotels.com, tripadvisor.com, and hotwire.com to name just a few of the dozens of online assets headed by legendary media mogul Barry Diller.  Ticketmaster and the other InterActive SBUs were spun off into five separate companies in 2008.

?   StubHub – Billing itself as “The fan’s ticket marketplace”, StubHub holds the number one market share position in the secondary or reseller ticket market, and is number two overall in terms of primary ticket sales.

StubHub “…reinvented the ticket resale market in 2000… and the company’s unique online marketplace, dedicated solely to tickets, provides all fans the choice to buy or sell their tickets in a safe, convenient, and highly reliable environment.”

A fierce rival of Ticketmaster and LiveNation, Stub Hub, an eBay company, offers an affiliate program. You can explore their program features and benefits here.

?   TicketsNow.com – Acquired by Ticketmaster in 2008 to better compete in the secondary ticket and events distribution market, TicketsNow specializes in the ‘reseller’ and ‘hard to find’ sports, theatre and concert ticket markets.

Currently the second largest seller in the secondary market and fourth largest in overall market, TicketsNow, like its parent Ticketmaster, offers an affiliate program, details of which can be reviewed here.

?   Live Nation – the market leader in the concert industry (more than $4 billion in 2007 revenue) has an affiliate program currently under development.  Here’s their affiliate link…watch this space for their launch!

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