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?
The one-stop-shop nature of the Amazon site means it's often the first choice for consumers and this invite-only public beta to users in the U.S. will no doubt provide great insights into consumer behaviour, habits and preferences with live-streamed experiences.
Many of the experiences are being offered by local tour operators.
If the Amazon Explore initiative proves popular, profitable and scalable - why not apply the same innovation for 'hotel travel experts' and re-invent what traditional travel agents have done for decades, but within the Amazon online retail experience?
Amazon could become a virtual travel agent platform with expert hotel recommendations, with a one-on-one information-sharing experience, just like the Amazon Explore trial is testing. Why become an OTA when you can offer a better experience than any other OTA?