Arival co-founder and CEO, Douglas Quinby, shared the main trends impacting the tours, activities and experiences sector, during his opening keynote at this month’s Arival 360 Conference in Orlando.
Recent Arival research presented by Quinby during the keynote showed that the average number of activities people take on each trip is now seven.
Quinby remarked: “There has never been a better time to be in travel experiences – there are more high-quality trips now, and people are spending more on those trips.”
He shared five major trends that the experiences sector should take note of:
The affluent traveller: there is a need to understand the audience as they are now more diverse than ever. The affluent traveller – those with incomes of US$150k and up – account for a fifth of all travellers, yet are responsible for nearly half of experiences spend.
TikTok as a booking channel: it was predicted last year that TikTok may surpass Instagram and Facebook as an experiences inspiration and booking channel for 18-34 year olds. This year, it has surpassed those channels and is now only second to Google for this age group.
Future of weather: this will certainly impact businesses and personal lives. The weather conditions happening now will only get more extreme. So, it is crucial to ask how this will impact travel, where people will go, how to adapt tours, and how this will impact cancellations.
Future of tech: according to Arival’s research, as many as half of all tour and activities operators are still not using modern software that connects them to the global ecosystem. It is clear where growth is going to come from – OTAs. OTA’s have experienced more than 250 per cent growth between 2019 and 2025. So, the experiences industry will need to adopt the right technology to reach the right people.
Future of experiences: while older travellers plan and book experiences when at the destination itself, younger travellers think about experiences early and plan their trips around these experiences. Nearly half of Gen Z and Gen Y travellers say experiences are influencing where they go.