Australian attractions technology goes international
iVenture Card, the Australian-founded technology company which provides a simple and cost-effective way for travellers to do activities while abroad, has set its sights on significant expansion – and is also looking to grow its distribution as a fully commissionable product for travel agents. The system was established in Sydney but now offers products in 16 cities across the globe, including four in Australia – with many more in the works.
Billed as “the ultimate attractions pass,” the iVenture Card is purchased by travellers either while they’re in a destination or prior to departure. Available as a “Flexi” (with access to a set number of activities) or “Unlimited” product, the card can then be used as a prepaid pass to enter a range of attractions at significant discounts to the rack rate, and also in many cases enables users to bypass entrance queues. Unlike other paper-based or booklet ‘voucher’ schemes there is no payment required when visiting the attraction and no need to locate a particular coupon in order to access the discounts available.
iVenture Card International managing director Joost Timmer (pictured below), told travelBulletin the company’s background was in loyalty programs, with the developers having also created systems for major hospitality clients such as Rydges and AccorHotels. The iVenture Card technology involves deployment of a network of acceptance terminals at each participating attraction at a destination, with the iVenture Card itself being a smartcard loaded with the appropriate privileges. Visitors simply swipe the card to validate their entry and they are on their way.
Current international destinations on offer include London, Barcelona, Madrid, Hong Kong & Macau, Singapore, Dubai, Honolulu, Mexico City, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Cape Town. Seoul will launch this month and many more cities are on the drawing board. Attractions featured include Hong Kong Disneyland, the London Eye, Universal Studios Singapore, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai and Barcelona’s La Sagrada Familia – all places clients are likely to visit anyway so they will very much value the discounted entry available through the iVenture Card. Domestic destinations include Sydney, Melbourne, the Gold Coast and Tasmania.
There’s significant ongoing development of the product under way, with a smartphone app being created which will effectively enable ‘e-ticketing’ of the iVenture Card, while on the supplier side a tablet can be used to validate entry. The back end of the system is also evolving, with the company recognising the huge potential of travel agent distribution. Travel agents can purchase the cards for their clients up-front as an extra service, and effectively receive a commission on activities such as city tours, museum visits and even scooter rental while they are travelling.
A new industry portal has been created at iventuretravel.com where travel agents and tour operators can simply register to start selling the iVenture Card. The site allows agents to earn immediate commissions and receive instant confirmation. Timmer said the company already had preferred relationships with a number of Australian travel agency networks including Express Travel Group and Flight Centre, but any agent was able to register independently via the site. Some groups are using the iVenture Card as a value-add for key clients, or as an incentive to promote early booking. Travel agents overseas were also in the company’s sights, with the strong array of Australian product in the portfolio likely to appeal to members of Tourism Australia’s Aussie Specialist program in markets such as Hong Kong and China, Timmer added.