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How Viator works

1. Introduction

When you book an Experience, Viator, Inc. (“Viator”) provides the Platform, but not the Experience itself. Viator is a company incorporated under the laws of Delaware, USA, with its place of business located at 400 1st Avenue, Needham, MA 02494, USA.

Some of the words you’ll see on this page have specific meanings, so please check the definitions in the Viator Terms of Use.

2. What does Viator do?

We provide a place for you to discover and book Experiences.

When you make a Booking on our Platform, you enter into a contract with the Supplier—i.e. the person or entity selling the Experience to you, who is responsible for providing the Experience.

Before being listed, Suppliers enter into a contract with Viator to allow Viator to promote and make those Experiences available for booking on Viator’s site and through Viator’s third party distribution channels. Experiences must meet Viator's Acceptance Criteria and Quality Standards to be listed, and stay listed, on the Platform. Viator may charge a non-refundable fee to review a new Experience submitted by a Supplier to be listed in accordance with the Acceptance Criteria and Quality Standards.

The Experiences you see displayed on the Platform are not reflective of all the experiences available either online or offline.

3. How does Viator make money?

We don’t sell any Experiences, and we don’t own any of the businesses you see listed on our site. When you make a Booking, the Supplier pays Viator a commission after you’ve had the Experience.

4. Our approach to searching, sorting, ranking, and recommending

We use various systems on the Platform to rank and recommend Experiences, to allow you to search for Experiences, and to sort and order what you see (we’ll refer to them as “Systems” here). We use Systems to present information on the Platform to help you discover Experiences we think you’ll enjoy.

Search list pages

We offer you the ability to search for Experiences, and we provide recommendations based on what you input into the search box, for example a geographical location. In presenting you with a list based on your search, we may sometimes also use information we have gathered based on how you interact with the Platform, including but not limited to your past searches on the Platform, or how you navigated to the Platform (for example, if you arrived on our site through a search engine).

When listings first appear as a result of a search, they will be sorted in a default order which may be labeled “Featured.” This default sort order recommends Experiences using a System that takes into account some or all of the following, depending on a range of factors including how you search and select a destination, and whether you filter your search: relevance, quality (assessed against Viator’s Quality Standards), reviews, ratings, photographs (quality and quantity), popularity, availability, pricing, bookings made through Viator, and payments made to Viator by Suppliers. We might also personalize the search results based on Experiences you have browsed or booked in the recent past.

Many of the above factors help the Systems decide which Experiences might be the most interesting and relevant to you. Some play a small role in that decision, while others play a big role, and the importance of each factor can change, depending on the features of the Experience, how you and other people use the Platform, and our analysis of how effective we are in showing you the best selection of Experiences.

If you would prefer that we show you Experiences based on different parameters, you can sort results in other ways, which might include:

  • Traveler rating: Experiences are shown in order of popularity based on the Experience’s overall rating, calculated using reviews and ratings submitted on both Viator and Tripadvisor.
  • Price: You can choose to see Experiences listed by lowest or highest price first.
  • Duration: Experiences can be ordered in accordance with their duration—either the longest or the shortest first.
  • New on Viator: Experiences are ranked by the date they were activated on the Viator site, with the newest displayed first.

Whichever way you choose to order your results, you’ll be able to narrow them down using different filters, which might include some or all of these:

  • Category: You can pick bus tours, water tours, museum tickets, or one of many other options.
  • Theme: You could choose to see Experiences that fall within a broad theme such as Food & Drink, Outdoor Activities, or Art & Culture.
  • Time: Select Experiences that only take place in the morning, or afternoon, or at night.
  • Price: Set a price range if you only want to see Experiences that fit within that budget. You can also choose to filter by Deals & Discounts if you want to see what special offers are available.
  • Free cancellation: Most Experiences offered through Viator are cancellable with a full refund up to 24 hours before the start time. You can choose to see only Experiences that come with this cancellation policy.

If you see Experiences on search list pages that are labeled “Promoted,” the explanation below (in the “Experience Shelves” section) will apply.

Experience shelves

We present Experiences in various ways on the Platform, including on horizontal shelves. Often, the wording at the top of the shelf will explain the primary basis on which Experiences are shown. For example, “Recently Viewed.” Where a shelf is based on your browsing history, we’ll order the relevant Experiences using one or more of the factors listed above in the ‘Search list pages’ section.

If you see Experiences on shelves on the Platform that are labeled “Promoted,” either individually or within a distinct selection, this means the applicable Supplier has agreed to pay Viator a higher commission in return for Viator providing them with enhanced visibility and additional ad impressions for their Experience on the Platform. You will see these Experiences because they are relevant to the page you are looking at.

5. Reviews

You can only submit a review or rating of an experience to Viator if you were the person who made the booking through Viator. Before publication, each review goes through an automated tracking system, which collects information for each of the following criteria: who, what, how, and when. If the system detects something that contradicts our publication criteria, the review is not published.

When the system detects a problem with a review, it may be automatically rejected, sent to the reviewer for validation, or manually reviewed by our team of content specialists who work 24/7 to maintain the quality of the reviews on our site. In some cases, we will also send you an email asking you to validate your review before it is published. All you need to do is click on the link provided in the email. It usually takes 24–48 hours for reviews to appear on our site. The process may take longer if the review needs to be examined in more detail by our team of moderators.

After publication, our team checks each review reported to it as not meeting our publication criteria. Tripadvisor reviews that appear on the Viator site are subject to the same checks and moderation processes as set out above. It is not necessary to have booked an experience through Viator (or Tripadvisor) to submit a review of an experience to the Tripadvisor site.

Your review will remain published on our site indefinitely. Your review will only be removed if you wish to remove it by contacting us or if our team of moderators has determined that the review does not meet our criteria for publication.

Reviews written in exchange for personal benefits such as gifts, services, or money will be removed. Suppliers are free to encourage customers to post their reviews when they return home. However, no Supplier may offer any incentive, discount, upgrade, or special treatment for a current or future Experience in exchange for a review. If someone has offered you a reward for a review, please let us know.

Once submitted, your review cannot be modified.

Once published, some or all of the reviews written by our users may be seen on our partner sites and/or in promotional materials.

Suppliers may contact you via Viator's private messaging system, which allows Viator users to correspond without providing an email address. Suppliers may use the messaging system to thank a customer for their review, to request additional feedback, or to make a legitimate attempt to resolve customer service issues, but they are not permitted to ask customers to remove a review. Harassing customers is also strictly prohibited.

6. Prices and payments

When you make a Booking, you will pay the total price of the Experience, inclusive of any taxes and fees. Suppliers are required to provide clear information in their listing about any additional fees that are payable for optional extras, or about mandatory fees that may be payable to a third party upon arrival at, or during, the Experience.

Viator or another company in the Viator group will process your payment for the Experience. For more information, refer to Section 13 of the Customer Terms of Use.

7. If things don't go to plan ...

If you book an Experience, Viator will provide customer support in the event of a dispute and will work with the Supplier to help the parties reach a resolution. However, Viator does not offer any guarantees or warranties in relation to any Experience or Supplier.

For more information, please see our Terms of Use. If you have any questions, or if something doesn’t go according to plan, contact us.