Amazon Explore launched recently, tries to capture consumer demand for experiencing virtual tours and activities in destinations, such as how to cook a dish, personalized guided tours of cities and attractions.

Some local experiences executives believe that this is Amazon's initial step toward entering in full force the highly lucrative and digitally-underserved "Tours & Activities/ Local Experiences" travel sector and that it would be an "easy implementation" for Amazon to become an online retailer/online travel agency in the local experiences sector and can do this "just by opening a category" on their site.

Other industry experts believe that these virtual tours are more like curated reality cooking and travel shows, more like Amazon Prime TV series, and not yet another attempt by Amazon to enter the travel business as an OTA and that the online retail giant does not have the expertise and technology to enter the travel space as a major player.

The question is, is Amazon Explore yet another attempt by Amazon to enter the travel space as a major player and online travel agency/retailer?

Mark Fancourt
Mark Fancourt
Co-Founder at TRAVHOTECH

it depends on how you classify 'travel'. 

If travel for you is a physical thing, then no. If travel for you is watching a travel guide, like yesterdays travel destination book or glossy and that extends into the physical experience then perhaps yes.

From the Amazon perspective it appears to be a variation on digital content that they are already well adept at providing to the consumer. In this approach monetized directly by the provider.

Another entry in to travel? I could see this in essence as an advertising platform that combines some style of 'taste test' about a product or destination launching into a booking lead direct to the provider. Perhaps just another revenue stream for the end product and then a way to draw eyes to Amazon for travel style content and some more transaction revenue.

From little things, big things grow.

View all 12 views in this viewpoint