My name is Peter Syme and I help travel startups grow and scale. I help established travel businesses disrupt their sector or respond to disruption. I have done several personal startups in the tours and activities sector in several countries. I have also purchased several businesses in the sector and sold some. I have had success and failure and both are learning journeys. A combination of addiction to travel, adventure and digital are what drives me.
What do I look for in order to get excited about travel businesses and want to help them?
🚀Potential for growth that seems impossible!🚀
1. Founders or Boards who know what they don’t know and are team driven.
2. Those that focus on execution more than the idea. The idea can develop and change as the business develops. Execution is a must-have ability in the team
3. Obsessive focus on the market fit and customer experience. 4. Digital and data-driven but with a story that inspires the team and the customers 5. The ability to scale using digital, platforms, communities
You Are Being Disrupted
Tour operators are in the forefront of disruption in travel. Especially if you are high volume city based. A combination of technology and innovative travel retailers are disrupting your business. I can help develop a strategy to embrace the digital customer and grow your business.
Time To Embrace Digital Fully
Large global technology companies have discovered you and they want to work with you. They can help but they can also hinder you. I can advise on how to work with OTA's and other distribution solutions in a way that makes you more profit.
The Digital Era
The Future Has Arrived
The future is here and the digital era has begun. You cannot hide you have to fully embrace digital in every part of your operations and your customer journey. I can advise and help implement.
Essential To All Of Us
What once cost serious money is now cheap of in some cases free. Travel technology is essential to all tour and activity operators. I can advise both operators and technology providers on adoption and use.
Commodity & Product Economy
High Volume Low Margin
Certain areas of the travel industry have become commodities and products which demand huge volume and deliver very tight margins. The airline industry falls into this.
The Service Economy
Margin Pressure And Disruptions
The hotel and accommodation sector of travel is currently in the service economy being disrupted by online platforms and is under huge margin pressure. Rapidly becoming a product and in some cases a commodity
The Experience Economy
A Great Place To Be But!
If you are involved in the commodity, product or service marketplace, it is all about saving time. If you are in the Experience Economy, it is all about spending your time well. I add to that it is about being efficient versus effective.
The Future Is Bright!
The Transformation Economy is not in competition with the Experience Economy. It is the evolution of it. This evolution is driven by the increasing desire of the guests to satisfy their highest tier of Maslow's hierarchy of needs: self-actualisation.
There is only one person on this planet I would trust to lead me on a 1,000 trek through the Gobi desert and that person is Pete. And no, that is not me volunteering to join the next one. It is what it says on the tin with Pete. Read his profile. It’s all there and true. There are probably 100,000 plus people on LinkedIn claiming to be ‘motivational speakers’. Pete is one of the few who are positively motivational. He is now top of my own list when needing speakers for my own workshops. What he doesn’t know about digital is not worth knowing. Honest, down to earth and no BS.
I've gotten to know Peter through Arival conferences and interviews for our market research. His insights and experience on business operations, digital marketing and distribution for the tour operator industry have been invaluable to me as we develop our content for Arival conferences and media coverage. His impressive on-stage presence, willingness to speak hard truths and tireless advocacy for owners and operators has caught the attention of the entire industry.
I have known Peter for many years and have always followed his advice and guidance when it comes to the Tours and Activities sector. He is not just a 'typical' owner of multiple businesses but actively educates himself if every aspect of a business from the practical, technical and the marketing to educate not only himself, but other tour and activity operators he mentors. If any aspect of the sector has been tried and tested, Peter has worn the t-shirt.
Peter was one of the few industry professionals we have talked to and received valuable advice from. Since then he was one of the top, if not the first person to reach out for advice and feedback. Peter is one of the most outspoken, connected and influential people in Tours and Activities industry, and not only. I would still reach out to him for advise and feedback, but closely follow his comments on Social media and public stages to understand the industry updates and insights. Beyond all that Peter connects with founder on very personal level and understands where the founder and company comes from, which helps to tailor the advise given.
2019 PhocusWire Interview
2018 PhocusWire Interview
Discussing Reservations Systems And Profit
Discussing Trends and Disruption
Discussing Social Media In Tourism
I gave Digital Disruption talks to several companies, MBA Courses, Executive Leadership Courses, Multiple Travel Events
Want To Work With Me?
I restrict my input to a small number of businesses each year. I only work in the tours and activities sector with operators and technology companies. My focus is on the experience and transformational economies. Some questions you should consider when working with all service providers.
1) How can you help us make more money?
2) How can you help us to avoid spending as much money?
3) How can you make it more likely that risks will be reduced and that we will succeed?
More than ever before all those providing services have to reduce the risk, increase the income or reduce the costs of the client. Preferably more than one of these.
Quick brief on what your challenges are and set up a video call.
1 hr video call
Where we discuss in detail your challenges and discover if I can help.
We work together over agreed timelines and objectives
I take payment in the traditional ways but I also work for equity and also on a performance basis
To help travel businesses thrive in the digital era.