If you’ve recently started a travel blog or you’re interested in tapping into this extremely generous niche, you might be looking for fresh ways of monetizing your media property.
If that’s the case, you’ve ended up in the perfect place since today’s article is going to be a review of the Viator affiliate program, complete with everything you should know about it, from the Viator affiliate commission payout to how you can become an affiliate with Viator.
Viator Affiliate Program Review
What is Viator?
One of the first things that we would like to note about this company is that it is now affiliated with TripAdvisor, one of the largest travel websites in the world. It initially started as a review site for accommodation and experiences, but it ended up being the so-called ‘middle man’ for selling these travel services, too.
Viator focuses on activities more than anything else. That’s why people interested in vacationing somewhere and making the most of the time they are going to spend in that specific location will go to Viator and purchase experiences, whether guided or not.
Since it is always a good idea to check out what the brand is all about before even deciding to become affiliated with it, we suggest performing a few simple searches on the platform to see how it works and what experiences you will come across.
What services or products can you recommend to your audience?
This isn’t your typical affiliate program, and it doesn’t come with subscriptions or physical products, so you need to have a more flexible mindset in that sense.
The experiences are categorized depending on what travelers can achieve with them. For example, you can find anything in the art and culture category, or you can actually enroll in a class or workshop and experience the local culture in a very hands-on way.
Others range from food & drink with the locals to seasonal or special occasions, tours or cruises, and sightseeing to travel and transportation services.
What we liked about the platform is that it seems to be very user-friendly. At the top, you have your language, currency, and your account, along with all of the bookings and suggestions regarding a trip.
On the left side, you can find the dates for the trip, the categories that we just mentioned, the duration of the experiences (which can be customized within the range of up to 1 hour to up to three days), the time of day, the ratings, and the price range.
Specials range from deals and discounts to free cancellations, private tours, or Viator Exclusives.
To give you an example, if you perform a search for Bucharest, Romania, for whichever dates you (or your referrals) might prefer, you get prompted with experiences such as seeing Dracula’s Castle for under $50, a private day trip lasting for up to 12 hours which consists of pretty much all of the castles of Transylvania (for under $150), a tour of Communism that lasts for three hours and costs just $24 (at the time we’re writing this), or a walking food tour that lasts under six hours and costs under $100.
Naturally, the cost of all of these experiences tends to vary depending on the specific location, with those in North America being a lot more expensive compared to those in Europe, even in the top locations.
How to become an affiliate with Viator
If everything that we have described in the previous section sounds great to you, becoming a Viator affiliate should make sense to you, especially if you know for a fact that your audience might be interested in booking such experiences.
There’s a page on the brand’s website called Partners where you can find pretty much all of the information you need, including how to access the program.
We’d say that the biggest drawback that Viator affiliate partners have to deal with is the fact that the program is self-managed, so you aren’t going to encounter it on a platform like Impact, CJ Affiliate, Awin, ShareASale, or anything else you might have worked with in the past.
How much does the affiliate program for Viator pay?
This is what anyone that might have ever wanted to use affiliate marketing as a means of increasing their online income is interested in. With Viator, you get a commission rate of 8% on all experiences booked through your affiliate link.
You have more than three hundred thousand experiences to choose from if you’re out of ideas about what to suggest to your followers.
The program also has a 30-day cookie duration, which is pretty much the industry standard at this point — and it’s a lot better than what other brands have to offer (see in the section where we give you a few alternatives).
There’s a wide range of affiliate tools that you can tap into thanks to Viator’s API, including a widget builder and a preview tool.
There is a payment cycle that you should be aware of – Viator pays you on the 20th of every single month. However, in order to be eligible to receive your earnings, you need to have reached a threshold of $50.
From what we have gathered while researching this affiliate program, it seems that the company can pay you in two main ways – PayPal or wire transfers. It’s a good thing that there are two methods since not all affiliates are partial to one or the other (particularly PayPal, what with its hefty fees these days).
Pros and cons of being a Viator affiliate
When it comes to affiliate marketing and pretty much any new program you might be interested in joining, you need to carefully assess the benefits and the drawbacks before making your decision. It does not make sense to join a program that is not going to be lucrative for you.
The Viator partner program seems like a decent option, but there are better choices out there, which we will highlight in the next section of our article.
The 8% commission, along with the $50 payment threshold (which isn’t too high when compared to what other companies have) are two reasons to consider this opportunity.
The cookie lasts for just 30 days, which can be a pro or a con depending on how you’re looking at it.
As for how successful you can be, there are plenty of Viator affiliate partners out there that are perfectly satisfied to recommend the service. In the end, you do need to consider that Viator sells experiences more than anything else, which means that it is quite limited.
And while there are more than 300,000 experiences available that you can recommend through the Viator affiliate program, you can find plenty of those on larger travel sites such as Booking.com, too.
One con that we came across is that the affiliate tools that you gain access to after you become an affiliate tend to be quite complex. In other words, it can be a bit of a challenge for complete newbies to tap into all of the perks of the program and recommend the products appropriately.
Viator affiliate program alternatives
We might have mentioned TripAdvisor in some of our previous posts, and it is a good alternative to Viator — but now that the latter has been acquired by the former, you should look into it strictly for diversifying your income streams.
As a TripAdvisor affiliate, you make half of what the company is paid by the booking partners it relies on to do its business. In other words, when someone clicks on your affiliate link, is redirected to TripAdvisor and then to, say, Booking.com or Expedia, you’ll earn half of the commission of that experience, whether it’s accommodation, a flight, car rentals, or anything else.
The main drawback of this program is that it comes with a 14-day referral window, and for expensive experiences, some travelers might need a bit more time to make up their minds. On the upside, this one works through CJ Affiliate, so if you already have an account there, it might be worth your time.
The Expedia partner program works through a different affiliate network called Partnerize. If you haven’t heard of it before, you will need to create an account in order to access the possibilities of being an affiliate.
What we do have to note about this one is that you really can’t use it to get rich fast since the commission rates range from 2% to 6%. To make things slightly worse, the cookie lasts for just one week, so there’s nothing worth writing home about on that end.
Perhaps the single and most important reason to consider this program is the company’s recognition – Expedia is widely known across traveling communities these days and they do have a nice mobile app and they offer plenty of special offers & discounts on a regular basis.
We’ve written a concise review of the Booking.com affiliate program if you want to check it out.
While it is still one of the most popular options out there, it’s not going to surprise you when we say that the commission rate offered by the brand is lower than what other companies have to offer.
You get a rate of 25%, which sounds fine in the beginning, but then you find out that it’s actually a share of what Booking is earning. It all comes down to the cost of vacations that your referrals will be purchasing, of course, especially since the brand takes about 15 to 20% of each of those transactions.
There’s a wide variety of payment methods you can pick from with this one, though, whether that be direct deposit or PayPal. We’d say that the Booking.com affiliate program is still worth considering strictly because it is such a hugely popular known website that many people go to for their travels.
This one is slightly less affiliate-friendly in that the rates tend to differ depending on your location and the area the booking is being done from. The cookie lasts for just seven days, which is much worse when comparing it to what other programs are offering right now.
And finally, the rate is 4%, which is not exactly a reason to be over the moon. Believe it or not, there’s yet another limitation to this one in the sense that if you join the program from a specific country such as the United States, for example, all of your commissions are going to come from that location – if someone from the UK makes a booking through your link, you’re not going to earn anything from it (at least based on the info we found on it).
The Skyscanner affiliate program works through Impact Radius, a network that we have previously reviewed and recommended. If recommending flights to close or distant locations is something right up your alley, you may need to consider this one since it’s one of the largest platforms currently used for booking flights.
Every sale that you refer to Skyscanner will bring you a commission of 20%, which is not bad at all, especially when comparing it to the rates of other programs mentioned here.
A commission rate of 5% is what you can expect if you decide to join the Agoda affiliate program. You can find this opportunity on the Impact platform.
There are a few reasons to avoid becoming an Agoda affiliate, though, and the most important one by far is the fact that the cookie lasts for just one day. We’d go as far as to say that the only program that is as unprofitable is Amazon Associates.
So, is Viator an affiliate program that you should consider? That is a question that only you can answer, but we would say that it makes for a good choice if you’re looking to diversify your income streams and spice up your content strategy, too.
After all, there are plenty of travel blogs out there that focus on locations, but not as many that focus on specific experiences.
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