Johannes Reck on Changing the Travel Game at TechCrunch Disrupt

January 10, 2020
Careers Team
Share this article:

(Header photo from

Johannes Reck, CEO, sat down with Ingrid Lunden, news editor and TechCrunch Moderator, at TechCrunch Disrupt in Berlin in December. Our company co-founder explains how GetYourGuide made tours cool again and how we cater to the on-demand travel economy. Watch the video and read the highlights below.


How we got tours trending again

Ingrid begins the interview by saying tours were for uncool and boring people back in her day and says GetYourGuide has transformed tours to be trendy and millennial, “How did you do it?” she asks.

Johannes says, “We’re not just selling the next ticket to the Eiffel tower, it’s not just the next tour. It’s all about the experience. The last decade has been about a shift in the overall travel industry.” There are two types of travel companies, he explains:

  1. Old companies like Expedia and are commodities you can buy everywhere
  2. Experience companies like GetYourGuide, which is all about what you do when you travel

So to answer how we made tours cool again, Johannes explains that what you do has just become more meaningful than where you stay or how you get there.

How we changed the travel game, thrice

When asked about our marketplace model, Johannes explains how we’ve changed the game three times in the past ten years:

  1. Bringing the experience industry online, getting a global footprint of suppliers online, giving suppliers the tools to sell.
  2. Moved travel discovery mobile. In 2014-2015 when the roaming charges came down, and suddenly, our European market changed. Everyone was bringing their mobiles with them on trips, and they started to search for travel on mobile. That led to a tremendous growth spurt over the past few years.
  3. We went beyond online. We started to look at not just great personal experiences, but also improving the experiences in the destination. We launched GetYourGuide Originals, which is all about creating new experiences that are geared for what people already love to do.

How innovation in storytelling gives us a competitive edge

Ingrid asked, “How far are you going to take the Originals idea? Will people be able to create their own ad hoc tours?”

Johannes explains that our history goes back to peer-to-peer. He tells the story of how two guys from England had these Harry Potter walking tours. Their tours were not easy to find on GetYourGuide. Then, our local London destination managers found, based on our data, that everyone actually wants to do Harry Potter tours.

“So we went to these two Harry Potter tour operators and said we can improve your business by a factor of 10x. We said, ‘Let us provide you with the itinerary, languages, and the entire experience of how you can improve your tour.’ They were entrepreneurial and willing to change their experience,” says Johannes.

Within three months, we multiplied their sales by ten, and it’s now one of our best selling experiences in all of London. “It’s amazing what you can do with great storytelling, and I believe the future of travel will be all about that, creating an entertainment product, not selling the next hotel room.”

Why the new GetYourGuide Originals for day-trips is going to win over travelers

Johannes announced that we’re expanding our GetYourGuide Originals to one-day tours and multiple-day trips. Day trips are the single biggest vertical in experiences, from a day trip to Potsdam from Berlin or a journey to the Baltic Sea. “We have worked with our travel curators and experts and data analysts on picking the top day trips worldwide and improving itineraries.”

To this announcement, Ingrid asks, “With day trips, you guys are inherently changing your core competency — you’re now handling transportation, as well as the experience, and at some point, your day trip will turn into a two-day trip, so there’s the overnight aspect. The experience will be the whole holiday. How will you guys handle that?”

Whether it be hotels, transportations, or tours, our key strength has always been to create a seamless travel journey by marrying technology with experience. Johannes explains, “We will be making operators better by providing our knowledge, data, and capital. We’ll be offering customers vetted and recommended experiences. Being able to serve high-quality entertainment is our superpower.”

Other articles from this series
No items found.

Featured roles

Marketing Executive
Full-time / Permanent
Marketing Executive
Full-time / Permanent
Marketing Executive
Full-time / Permanent

Keep up to date with the latest news

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.