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What are the Differences Between Viator, Tripadvisor, and Tripadvisor Experiences?

In the past, we understand that operators may have been confused about the differences between Viator, Tripadvisor, and Tripadvisor Experiences. We haven’t made it clear enough how the three brands are related, and more importantly how that impacts where your tours and activities are sold. In this article, we’ll answer your questions about the relationship between these three brands. 

Let’s start with Viator. Viator is the world’s largest online marketplace for tours, activities, and attractions. Viator is a Tripadvisor company and was acquired by Tripadvisor in 2014.

When you sell your tours and activities on Viator, they’re automatically distributed and sold on Viator’s over 3,500 partner network, too. This means your products may also appear on our partners’ sites like Tripadvisor, as well as airlines, hotels, travel publications, and more. One Viator listing gives you access to millions of travelers around the world via Viator, Tripadvisor, and our vast network of partners.

Tripadvisor is the world’s largest travel website. Travelers can research, plan and book their whole trip on Tripadvisor, from flights and accommodations to in-destination activities like dining and – yes – tours, activities and attraction tickets. Over 8.7 million businesses worldwide have a Tripadvisor listing. When you sell your tours and activities on Viator, your inventory is also automatically distributed and sold on Tripadvisor (your products make up much of what is on Tripadvisor’s “Things To Do” pages.) Simply put: Tripadvisor is part of Viator’s distribution network. As an operator selling on Viator, you’re automatically also selling to Tripadvisor users, too.

Now, let’s talk about Tripadvisor Experiences. This brand was introduced in 2018 and is the name for the part of Tripadvisor that sells tours, activities and attractions tickets (the ‘Things to Do’ pages on Tripadvisor). It’s also the brand we’ve primarily used to communicate with you – in emails, on this blog, and in your Management Center.  This is now changing as we refocus and reinvigorate the Viator brand. 

This means, moving forward, you’ll now see our communications to you, including our Operator Resources blog and your Management Center, branded as Viator instead of Tripadvisor Experiences. Your products have always been a part of the Viator marketplace. This will not change how we do business with you and there’s no need to update anything on your end. Your products will continue to be distributed on Viator, Tripadvisor, the Travel Agent Program and our network of distribution partners.

Our goal is to provide travelers with the highest quality experiences, and work closely with you to form a partnership that brings those activities to the world. Viator will continue to promote your products on its network, including Tripadvisor. In the coming months, we’ll be branding all communications channels to Viator. The resources you visit – like your Management Center and this blog you’re reading right now – will be rebranded as Viator. Again, don’t worry, our rebrand will not impact how we work with you or where your tours and activities are sold. 

We’re extremely excited about the future of Viator, and we hope you are too. We’re moving to a marketplace that values quality over anything else. Because that means we not only give travelers what they want – memorable experiences – but it gives operators like you a better chance to stand out among the crowd. 

How to Book Tours on Viator

Booking tours on Viator is relatively simple, as their website is easy to navigate. Users can search for their destination and enter the dates (tentative or not) they’ll travel in the area.

You can then browse all the tours; it’ll probably be a lot, especially if you’re heading to a popular area. Or you can filter based on the type of tour, attractions, and nearby locations.

Each tour or activity has a detailed description that provides valuable information about what guests can expect on the tour, from various sights and sounds to places the tour stops during the day. As you browse, you can filter your search based on the availability of your party size, the dates you’ll be in town, and the dollar amount you’d like to spend.

Viator Search Results

The search results page on Viator, pictured above, will provide basic information about each tour, from price to duration of the trip and a brief description.

Viator Trip Description Details.

As you can see in the image above, clicking on an individual tour will take you to its unique page, with photos and details about what to expect, what you’ll see or do on the tour, what’s included, the name of your tour guide or company, departure and arrival details, and much more. Users can also see what the cancellation policy is for the tour, along with other details about refunds.

If you’d like to see and read the latest reviews of the tour, keep scrolling past the tour details and information.

Viator Traveler Reviews

At the top of the page, you can fill in your travel dates and party size to check the tour’s availability. Selecting the date and desired time of the tour, then clicking Check Availability will take you to the checkout page or allow you to select from the tours available (some tours have add-ons you can select or opt out of).

Check Availability Section in Viator

Viator Review: Key Features

The features that set Viator apart from its competitors are the filters, search functionality, and suggested tours based on traveler interests.

These key features help travelers find tours that will improve their trip and provide them with unique experiences in cities where they may not otherwise have had the means or knowledge.

Let’s discuss the key features of Viator that keep travelers booking time and time again.

Tours & Information

Viator offers over 300,000 tours in cities all over the world. From touring the Colosseum to a private tour of Stonehenge and Windsor Castle, embarking on a dinner cruise in Paris, or swimming with turtles in the stunning blue waters of the Caribbean, travelers can choose from an impressive variety of unique tours, no matter where their destination is or what their budget limitations are.

The details provided for the excursion and activities listed on the Viator website are likely why so many people are attracted to this site. As mentioned above, the information you get from clicking on an individual excursion through a local tour operator is far beyond what other travel booking sites offer.

When clicking on an excursion, you’ll see an overview of the trip, which includes all the stops throughout the day, the full itinerary, tour guide information, the meeting spots and endpoints, information like what meals are included or what expenses you’ll be expected to cover additionally, an FAQ section, reviews from other travelers, and more.

Fellow Traveler Reviews

With more than 100,000 reviews, travelers get the full picture of what to expect when booking a tour on Viator. This puts travelers back in the driver’s seat rather than having to trust the suggestions of a travel agent without knowing much about the tour or excursion they are paying top dollar for.

That’s not to say there aren’t brutally honest reviews on Viator; trust us, there are! Travelers do not hold back and explain in detail their bad experiences, disappointments, and other parts of the trip that they dislike.

Reviews benefit people new to the area who don’t know what to expect. With these honest reviews, both positive and negative, you can decide what tours best suit your tastes without wasting any money.

Filter & Browsing Options

Viator’s filter and browsing options will open travelers’ eyes to the possibilities of their destination. Let’s use Naples, Italy, as an example.

When you type “Naples” into the search bar on Viator, the search results page comes up with pages and pages of things to do, attractions, and excursions. This is one way to find things to do, but the filters Viator offers are the secret weapon of this site.

Select Tour Preferences on Viator by City

At the top of the Naples page, you’ll find clickable options for relevant, popular types of tours in the city. These vary by city and country and can help travelers prioritize what activities are meaningful for them in each city they travel to.

For Naples, these tour options include Walking Tours, Cruises & Sailing, Shore Excursions, Cooking Classes, Bus Tours, Historical and Food Tours, Underground Tours, Archaeology, Ports of Call, and more.

Clicking on one of these options will take you to the highest-rated tours of each category. Then you can browse the options and make an informed decision from a generous selection of activities.

Popular Filter Options on Viator

Additionally, travelers can browse through popular filtered options, including tours with limited interaction with other people, kid-friendly tours, and experiences with increased health and safety measures.

Filter Excursions by Price, Duration, and Rating

You can filter and organize tours by price, ranging from high to low-priced activities and budget-friendly tours. Filter out the activities outside your price range and focus on the ones you’ve allocated a budget for or want to splurge on.

You can also select only to view tours and attractions that offer deals or discounts to find the lowest price and best bang for your buck!

Shoppers can select to see tours likely to sell out, new additions to Viator, offer free cancellation, skip-the-line tours, or private tours for a more intimate experience.

Filter Options per Excursion

If you have time constraints on trips, filters can help you find tours that fit your time frame. Filter by the duration of the tour, including 1 to 4 hours, 4 hours to a day trip, 1 to 3-day tours, or 3+ days.

You can book tours depending on the time of day, like morning, mid-day, or evening tours, that meet your travel needs and handle any jet lag you may experience while abroad.

Lastly, suppose you rely heavily on user reviews. In that case, you can filter Naples travel activities by fellow traveler reviews, whether high or low, to see what people loved or found unsatisfactory about each tour.

The Final Verdict: Is Viator Worth It?

For new travelers and seasoned veterans, Viator is worth exploring for adventurous tours worldwide. Travelers should do their due diligence and read the fine print, ensure they’re satisfied and comfortable with the terms and conditions, and know the details about the tour before they book.

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