Arival’s study tracks strong growth for travel experiences sector

Travel experiences in Asia-Pacific have returned to rapid growth as the region reopens to regional and longhaul travel, finds new Arival research.

Tours, activities and attractions – travel’s third-largest and fastest growing sector – will reach US$67 billion in 2024 and surpass the pre-pandemic peak to reach US$75 billion in 2025, according to its The Outlook for Experiences 2019-2025 research.

Travel experiences in Asia-Pacific will soon surpass the pre-pandemic peak according to Arival’s research

The findings are released ahead of the Arival Activate event in Bangkok, scheduled for June 12 to 14 this year.

Arival CEO Douglas Quinby said in a statement: “The Asia-Pacific region has borne the worst of the pandemic, with a broad regional shutdown in cross-border travel well beyond other parts of the world. But demand for travel in the region is now accelerating as many borders have reopened, encouraging travellers to return. As we saw when other regions reopened, travellers put experiences first in travel planning and spend. The challenge now will be for the global industry to get ready for the rapid influx of demand from across Asia-Pacific.”

The study predicts a surge in online bookings, with this channel bringing in 30 per cent of all tours, activities and attractions bookings worldwide in 2025, up from 17 per cent in 2019. Furthermore, online booking volume across Asia-Pacific will more than triple during the same period as younger travellers shape travel’s rebound. As such, the study expects online marketplaces and mobile-ready operators across the region to benefit the most.

“The large, experience-hungry cohort of Gen-Z and millennial travelers in Asia are putting experiences first and they are willing to pay for it,” added Quinby.

“But operators must be ready. This means more small-group, immersive experiences that get travellers off the beaten (track). And it must all be discoverable and bookable on mobile, with plenty of Instagram- and TikTok-worthy moments.”

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