THE recent rapid growth of Viator is set to continue as the company pursues an expansion strategy to consolidate its position as the world’s leading online seller of destination tours and activities.
CEO Rod Cuthbert said the immediate focus is on bedding down Viator’s first acquisition, LookTours in Las Vegas, which brings the company head count to just under 100 staff.
Cuthbert said Viator will “certainly look at further acquisitions if they make strategic sense” as the company capitalizes on an injection of funding and expertise.
Carlyle Venture Partners and Australia’s Technology Venture Partners have invested US$10 million in the company over the past few months.
The funding has enabled Viator, founded in Sydney 10 years ago, to quickly create an eight person marketing / business development team in San Francisco headed by Barrie Seidenberg, former Chief Marketing Officer of Preview Travel.
“It’s also allowed us to add new resources to our Engineering team, which in turn facilitates further development on both the web site and the back-end systems,” Cuthbert said.
Meanwhile, LookTours gives Viator a major presence in the key Las Vegas market, which has 35 million visitors a year, and a foothold in other key North American tourist hotspots.
Cuthbert said LookTours has also fostered a reputation as a discount supplier, which compliments Viator’s mid-market positioning.
He said while Viator would continue to distribute through partner websites such as Lonely Planet, Opodo and Priceline, “we will have a greater focus on consumer direct business through Viator.com, and the LookTours sites.
“Meanwhile, there will further development of LookTours as the leading brand for discounted tours and activities.”
He said there will be an increased focus on the top 20-30 destinations (Las Vegas is a great example of this) out of the 450 destinations offered by the company.
“There’ll also be a continued focus on Asian markets, both inbound and outbound,” he said.