LONDON, ENGLAND - Holibob, an innovative technology company solving the difficult challenge of collecting, curating, and distributing tours and attractions in a way that helps travellers easily find the ideal experiences for their trips, announced that it has acquired TourismSolved, a content and marketing platform for tours and attractions.. With more than 40 years of combined industry experience, most notably in leadership roles at Viator and Tripadvisor Experiences, the TourismSolved team will bring deep relationships and expertise to an already talented and accomplished Holibob team.
“As we partnered with the TourismSolved team over the past half year, it became increasingly clear that their experience and passion for solving hard problems would make them a great addition to our team," said Craig Everett, co-Founder and CEO of Holibob. “This is a big step forward in our mission of enriching travellers’ lives by simplifying the discovery and booking of experiences online, which has remained unnecessarily complicated and cumbersome for far too long.”
Over the past two years, and in the midst of an industry-wide downturn due to the Coronavirus pandemic, TourismSolved has consulted with over 300 tour and attraction operators to improve their content, rebuild their websites, and drive growth with efficient digital marketing campaigns. The technology and relationships built over that time will give an immediate boost to Holibob’s business, which itself has grown 600% over the past six months.
“When we started TourismSolved two years ago, we had a clear vision of using our industry expertise to help tour and attraction operators grow their businesses and increase profitability, “said Robin Harnish, co-Founder and CEO of TourismSolved. “As we spoke more with the Holibob team, we realised their technology and team would help us greatly expand the scope of our impact and accelerate our ability to transform the industry in ways that are crucial for both operators and experience seekers.”
In addition to bolstering the capabilities Holibob offers its SaaS and distribution partners, TourismSolved’s existing business - offering a Success-based Marketing platform for tour and attraction operators - will continue to operate under the direction of Harnish. The combination of these three offerings will uniquely position Holibob to transform the experiences industry, which has traditionally lagged behind the rest of the travel industry in the creation and adoption of cutting edge technology.
“Across our business there’s a keen focus on developing innovative solutions that truly improve the lives of both operators and their customers,” summed up Everett. “By doing that in a way that is both human and effective, we will massively improve operators’ businesses and move our industry into its next phase of growth.”
TourismSolved’s Harnish will assume the role of COO at Holibob, overseeing operations and customer service as well as marketing and content as she did during her tenure as VP of Marketing at Viator/Tripadvisor Experiences. TourismSolved’s remaining partners will join Holibob as well, applying their specific areas of expertise to the business as follows:
- Jeff Lewis, former CTO at Viator and the architect behind some of the tours and attractions industry’s earliest APIs, will spearhead innovative technology projects and industry engagement for Holibob.
- Andrew Aley, former Head of EMEA Supply at Viator, will lead Holibob’s efforts to increase direct supplier relationships and support suppliers in growing their
- Michael Lattig, former head of brand marketing for Viator/Tripadvisor Experiences and the former CMO of StubHub, will oversee brand and marketing while leading Holibob’s efforts to build efficient, effective eCommerce solutions.
In addition, industry veterans Kate Cornell (former Head of Content for Viator/Tripadvisor Experiences) and Stephen Joyce (former CEO of Rezgo) will transition from their respective roles at TourismSolved to help Holibob become the most effective and innovative distribution platform for tours and attractions globally. Susan Mason, who has held marketing and operational roles at Dollar Rent a Car and Tripadvisor, will lead implementation for the company’s Success-based Marketing clients.
“We know that content is king in terms of driving effective product discovery and bookings - both for our distribution partners and directly for operators,” added Harnish. “We’re excited to add our technical and creative expertise in that area and more to ensuring Holibob is uniquely able to deliver the right products to the right travellers at the right time.”
With the addition of TourismSolved, Holibob will have three core lines of business focused on achieving its mission of enriching peoples’ lives by connecting them with the ideal things to do - anytime, anywhere.
Software as a Service: Providing a complete, powered-by-Holibob “experiences” infrastructure for travel brands, destination marketing organisations, and others who want to add ‘Things to do” to their product offerings.
Distribution Partnerships: Providing travel brands and others the ability to provide curated ‘Things to do” to their customers, and delivering the marketing that efficiently delivers those curated experiences to the right person, at the right place, at the right time.
Direct to Supplier: Providing a Success Based Marketing platform that enables tour and attraction operators to grow their direct business and increase profitability.