Launched in 2020 As Part Of Hornblower’s Investment in Technology, Anchor Reaches More Than $1Billion In Transactions
Becoming Its Own Independent Division Will Allow Anchor To Focus On Meeting Third-Party External Partners Needs As A Digital Ticketing Operating System Provider
New York, NY (March 29, 2023) –Hornblower Group, announced today that AnchorTM Operating System will officially become an independent division within Hornblower, supporting both the organization’s businesses as well as external partners. As digital adoption has become an instrumental focus in how businesses engage with their guests in a post COVID world, Anchor grew organically amongst partners as they experienced its unmatched digital ticketing capabilities. Since Anchor’s beginnings in 2020, the business has reached more than $1Billion in transactions as a premier digital ticketing & operating system provider. This shift to allow Anchor to become its own independent operator, will support its growth trajectory and partner demand with third-party external companies, while still continuing to work with Hornblower as an important client.
“A key element of Hornblower Groups’ growth strategy is the investment in, and continued innovation through, technology & software engineering,” said Kevin Rabbitt, chief executive officer, Hornblower Group. “The development of Anchor was a key pillar to support this growth strategy and our investment in technology and over the past two years, we saw an unprecedented demand as the company grew organically amongst our partners. In order to keep up with its expanding capabilities and new partner opportunities, we felt Anchor would need to become its own independent operation, while still having the ability to work with Hornblower. We are looking forward to this next evolution for Anchor as they continue to build innovative engineered based solutions for the travel, attractions, and transportation space and reignite new ways for guests to experience their brands.”
Over the past three years, Anchor has become the foundational ticketing and operating system across much of Hornblower’s business. The Anchor operating system provides an enhanced guest experience to reservation ticketing with a frictionless personalized journey through websites, ticketing and onsite apps, and extending the digital consumer journey for our guests visiting some of the most iconic experiences in the world.
As Anchor’s awareness outside of Hornblower has grown, Anchor has expanded to support external partners, powering the experiences of travel brands across the globe with clients ranging from Chicago’s Navy Pier to New Orleans Steamboat Company and API integrations including Google, Expedia, Viator and GetYourGuide. The integration between Hornblower’s Anchor platform and Bacardi Brand Homes – which operate the collection of visitor centers for the world’s largest privately held spirits company — marked the first direct integration with a major consumer brand. As Anchor’s partners increased, including on an larger international level, it required an expansion of its engineering team outside its homebase in Los Angeles, to extend its footprint with teams in both India and Mexico.
To enable further growth for Anchor, Hornblower Group will name chief technology officer, Nasi Peretz, as President of Anchor. Peretz’s career is deeply rooted in the engineering and tech development space. Prior to joining Hornblower, Peretz served as the vice president of engineering for Ticketmaster, spearheading major projects for the company including the original Taylor Swift verified fan on-sale and concert series. It was through his time at Ticketmaster where Peretz learned the optics and power of scaling software to reach millions of fans. Prior to his time with Ticketmaster, Peretz co-founded and ran his own ticketing company for six years, which was successfully acquired by publicly traded Cvent, Inc.
“Guest experience and operational-centric platforms are at the heart of what we do, and as we continue to develop Anchor, we are thrilled to expand our operations, while continuing to innovate for our largest client, the Hornblower family of brands,” said Nasi Peretz, president, Anchor. “Anchor redefines the guest experience as digital adoption has soared in ways customers engage in travel and experiences. We recognized that there was an opportunity to create a holistic and frictionless guest experience including new websites, ticketing and onsite apps and an extension the digital consumer journey, all delivered under one seamless operating system. We are looking forward to continuing to explore unique opportunities that will further meet both brands and consumer’s needs.”
To support the new structure of Anchor, the company will also be onboarding a VP of Revenue, as well as building a corporate sales and services team.
Anchor is more than a ticketing system, as it is a cloud-based operating system that manages integration of third-party partners, has over 700 features including dynamic pricing, drag-n-drop reporting, waivers, kiosks, and Salesforce integration. It is a platform which is instrumental in the production of developing centralized solutions that are designed to scale. Its overall mission is to provide a turnkey solution that will result in reducing overhead, creating additional revenue streams, and most importantly, optimizing the guests experience.
Some of Anchor’s top features and capabilities include:
- DYNAMIC PRICING & CAPACITY
- Managing the price based on demand yield and an infinitely expanded set of rules utilizing If This Then That (IFTTT).
- Managing capacity and distribution to partners based on a ruleset defined by the operator.
- POINT-OF-SALE SYSTEM & CONTACTLESS SOLUTION
- Rich POS that allows for the sale of food & beverage, merchandise, and gift cards with full support for all contactless payments such as Alipay, Apple Pay or Google Pay.
- DOCK ACCESS
- The ticket scanning tool, Dock Access, gives guest the ability to scan a QR code for easy check-in or to retrieve reservations and rosters in multiple ways, including group ticketing.
- IN-DEPTH REPORTING
- The platform delivers reporting that allows companies to save time, energy, and money by simply dragging and dropping fields. The system reconciles funds, distributes ticketing fees and allocations across multiple sub-accounts, and is able to generate credit & debit type reports with granular detail.
- PASS VALIDATIONS
- Via the validation APIs, guests are able to bypass the ticket window and head directly to entry. The integration automatically generates a receivable for each redemption as well as account for the attendance scan. Partnerships such as GoCity, CityPass and the Sightseeing Pass.
- WEBSITE INTEGRATION
- Using our Commerce SDk, it can embed the shopping cart right into the company site. It has multiple widgets that maintain the brand’s look and feel, while keeping conversion high.
- MANAGE MY BOOKING
- Guests have the option to manage their own booking whether it’s to reschedule, cancel, or invite a friend.
- CHANNEL MANAGEMENT
Tickets can be sold across multiple channels, versus relying on another system to do it, making it one seamless channel. More than 18 direct API integrations today and growing monthly.
Through technological investments, diversified operations and a broad array of expertise, Hornblower continues to explore various opportunities and platforms to add to its portfolio of businesses and will contribute to the company’s projected growth and future success. From the moment the guest purchases their ticket, encounters the experience itself to building long term guest relationships, the Anchor platform seamlessly threads a holistic end-to-end customer digital journey like no other.
About Hornblower Group
Hornblower Group is a global leader in experiences and transportation. Hornblower Group’s corporate businesses are comprised of three premier experience divisions: American Queen Voyages®, its overnight cruising division; City Experiences, its land and water-based experiences as well as ferry and transportation services; and Journey Beyond, Australia’s leading experiential travel group. Spanning a 100-year history, Hornblower Group’s portfolio of international offerings includes water-based experiences (dining and sightseeing cruises), land-based experiences (walking tours, food tours and excursions), overnight experiences (cruises and railways) and ferry and transportation services. Hornblower Marine, a subsidiary of Hornblower Group, provides vessel outhaul and maintenance services at Bridgeport Boatworks in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Additionally, Anchor Operating System, LLC, a subsidiary of
Hornblower Group and independent entity, provides reservation, ticketing and website integration services for clients in the transportation, tourism and entertainment industries. Today, Hornblower Group’s global portfolio covers 114 countries and territories, 125 U.S. cities and serves more than 30 million guests annually. Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Hornblower Group’s additional corporate offices reside in Adelaide, Australia; Boston, Massachusetts; Chicago, Illinois; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; London, United Kingdom; New York, New York; Dublin, Ireland; and across Ontario, Canada. For more information visit hornblowercorp.com.
Melissa Gunderson / Hornblower Group / [email protected]
Michael DeiCas / Hornblower Group / [email protected]