Tour & Activity Insights

Phocuswright has predicted that by next year, the overall tours and activities segment will grow to $183 billion. (Phocuswright 2019)

Arival – the in-destination event – shared that not only is the tours & activities sector now the third largest sector in travel, it’s the most memorable part of travel and the area with the most opportunity.

Finding an experience is happening in-destination

In June 2017, the EU removed data roaming charges to EU destinations. For countries further afield, most telecommunication companies opted for a daily charge to use your own calls, messages and data. The change has proven to increase the usage of mobile in-destination.

“Nine out of 10 [travellers] now have apps to make their life easier when at their destination with maps, airlines, weather and social media topping the list of favorites.” (Travelport 2018)

Greenberg analyzed over a thousand travellers’ online behavior and found that searches for activities are happening across devices in the three months prior to a trip, but shift significantly to 54% mobile when travellers are in-destination. (Google 2019)

(Google 2019)

Travellers are closer than you think

“The final untapped opportunity is to capture a greater share of the traveler’s wallet, even when they aren’t traveling. In fact, mobile searches for “things to do/activities” + “near me” have seen a 6X increase over the last two years.”(Google 2019)

So, operators need to be online to be seen

“The travel experience after the flight and hotel booking step is broken,” says Welcome Pickups co-founder and CEO Alex Trimis. “The

in-destination vertical is a multi-billion dollar opportunity that remains fragmented and offline.” (TechCrunch 2019)

“During a survey with over 700 operators, 35.4% said that they are not accepting bookings on their website. That’s a huge number! If someone is unable to book on your website, that opens the opportunity for them to quickly look elsewhere.” (TrekkSoft 2019)

Online Travel Agents see this as a big opportunity

In May 2019, GetYourGuide raised $484 million in its Series E funding. Johannes Reck, CEO and co-founder said; “GetYourGuide is already global, so for us, it’s about expanding our global coverage and broadening our inventory rather than tackling any one destination. That said, now that we’ve established ourselves as the clear market leader in Europe, Asia and the United States are our next big targets. We’ll be adding products and staff and acquiring customers at a rapid pace.” (TechDaily 2019)

In April 2019, Klook announced it has raised $225 million” in April 2019, adding to their previous funding round of $200 million in Autumn 2018. “The new funding will help Klook expand its roster of tours and activities to new places and spaces and continue to expand in its existing Asian markets. The growth is perfectly timed to help Klook carve out an even bigger niche in the Japanese tourist market in advance of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, where an estimated 40 million smartphone wielding visitors will descend upon the city hungry for tours and fun.” (FastCompany 2019)

Experiences are the best part of travel for everyone

“When it comes to family travel experience beats expense.” (Expedia Group 2019)

“Airbnb recently announced that they are partnering with the biotech firm,23andMe, to give heritage travel recommendations into their customers. Market research showed that “heritage travel” is on the rise. An April study commissioned by Airbnb, which included 8,000 participants from eight countries, found that more than 50% of Americans have traveled to at least one country of their ancestry. As have 89% of Indian people and 69% of French people.” (Forbes 2019)

Other survey results included that “57% of of survey respondents in the United States would give up alcohol for a year for a free heritage trip.” (Airbnb 2019)

“83% of people in Argentina said they considered heritage trips more valuable than a normal vacation.” (Airbnb 2019)

“Forget what you thought about millennials traveling on a shoestring,” said Karen Fuller, senior director of global market research at Vrbo. “Our results revealed that they are actually the most likely to go into debt for travel, which is consistent with the notion that millennials like to accumulate experiences, not things.” (Travel Pulse 2019)