Amazon Explore - Is This Another Attempt to Enter the Travel Industry?
— 12 experts shared their view
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?
Chief Digital Officer at Foundry | Marketing Instructor at the University of Nevada
In my opinion, it's highly unlikely Amazon is trying to move into the OTA space and become the next Expedia or Booking.com. They don't have the expertise or infrastructure currently and have other places to invest for growth. That said, there is a play in the local products and services market. Tour and attractions can fit into this nicely and it provides potential incremental revenue for Amazon. I believe it also helps de-commoditize artisan and local products and services to help them receive higher value and prices (e.g. Etsy). Probably a win-win. The other reality is that with so many people stuck at home and not traveling right now, in the worst case, this is a temporary campaign during COVID that's driving more traffic and engagement to the site with the possibility of generating sales. Really no way to lose here for anyone.