How to succeed in fast-growing tours and activities sector: Arival

Tours and activities have to become mobile-first to better capture customers

With Arival bound for Bangkok come June 24-26, the organiser has released a teaser of the five top tips for business owners looking to tap into the fast-growing tours and activities sector.

Among the speakers and presenters sharing their insight and new data at Arival are Google, videc, CrescentRating and Dragon Trail.

Ahead of the event, Arival has unveiled some areas that will be covered by these expert speakers.

Tours and activities have to become mobile-first to better capture customers

Become mobile-first
Super apps, OTAs, direct digital bookings and ticketing tech are transforming the sector. Mobile-first brands across Asia are redefining just about every consumer industry. Tours, activities and attractions are no exception. Asia’s travellers expect same-day, direct-to-gate mobile booking, ticketing and more. And they’re going to choose those brands that can deliver.

Let a million experiences bloom
In-destination operators need to encourage immersive sensory experiences that connect travellers to a place, people, cuisine or culture.

Seasonal activities and one-off events now drive 50 per cent of travellers to book a holiday before flights or accommodation are sorted.

“The need for authentic experiences is forcing travel brands to create product that is more personalised, adventurous, aligned to local culture and takes travellers on a journey of self-discovery,” said Douglas Quinby, CEO of Arival. “Travellers want us to move beyond the one-size-fits-all discounted ticket model.”

Encourage sustainability
According to Virtuoso, travellers in their 20s and 30s are three times more likely to book a sustainable tourism product compared to those in their 40s and 50s.

“Tourists of tomorrow will increasingly care about helping host communities, respecting indigenous cultures, consuming Fairtrade local produce, conserving wildlife, reducing plastic use, and protecting coral reefs, forests and historic sites,” says Anula Galewska, responsible business manager at Urban Adventures.

“The challenge for tourism operators is how to integrate best practices into their day-to-day activities that support these sustainability goals and advance the business.”

Galewska will present a responsible tourism workshop at Arival, as part of a series of talks on sustainability and social enterprise in travel.

Harness the power of NTO marketing
“If an NTO kicks open a marketing door with its dollars, the private sector should walk through,” says PATA CEO, Mario Hardy, who will lead a roundtable discussion at Arival on the role of NTOs and how operators can work with them.

Hardy says the private sector should partner with NTOs, which often have an agenda – and budget – to promote secondary destinations, ‘sustainable’ tours, new attractions and cultural activities that reflect the destination in a way consistent with NTO marketing.

Innovate – even if it means failing
“You can’t grow if you’re not willing to risk failure,” says John Sharpe, founder of Riverlife Adventure Centre of Australia.

Most operators start with a passion, but then face essential questions: What’s next? How do we grow? Leaders from innovative in-destination companies such as Riverlife, I Love Asia Tour, Hello Tours, Hong Kong Foodie Tours, socialtours, Aquawalk, KidZania and more will share their stories.

Arival is an event dedicated to advancing the business of creating in-destination experiences. Arival aims to establish tours, attractions and activities as the most important sector of the global travel and tourism industry. Since its foundation in 2017 by Douglas Quinby, Bruce Rosard and Alex Kremer, Arival has held seminal, industry events in Las Vegas (2017 & 2018) and Berlin (March 2019).

The revolution continues in Bangkok (June 24-26, 2019), Orlando (October 28-31, 2019) and Berlin (March 1-3, 2020).

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