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For tour and activity operators, it can be challenging to find current travel trends and statistics without having to research varies articles across the web. In this chapter, we have used the findings of our 2018 Travel Survey and key news articles so that you can read everything in one chapter.
1. Last minute bookings are increasing
In our 2018 Tourism Survey, 39% of participants selected that last minute bookings had been a common trend for their business. TrekkSoft booking data shows that reservations for tours and activities which last 1 to 3 hours tend to be booked in-destination or just before arrival.
Bookings are generally made 13 days in advance. On mobile, this window narrows to just 5 days. TrekkSoft Data, 2018
This trend will makes it difficult for tour and activity operators to plan resources and staffing in advance, and for most success will be dependant on the weather. Strong marketing, local partnerships and live availability will be key tools to offset this.
2. But advance booking is preferred for multi-day tours
There is a shift with multi-day tours and activities being booked further in advance and being a preferred option for travellers. Convenience is a key selling point as travellers no longer need to spend time planning various activities.
3. Travellers are visiting new destinations
From the 2018 Tourism Survey, 22% of participants seen a visible increase of visitors from a new destination. Unsurprisingly this was predominantly from China, who are proven to spend more when travelling. Other destinations included USA, Latin America and Spain.
4. And requesting new experiences
Tour operators are now receiving requests for unique experiences from travellers who want to do something that is a once-in-a-lifetime. This is becoming more common amongst Millennials who want to explore the world and share their stories with others.
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5. Ecological and educational tours are in demand
Ecological tours are the most popular tours offered by many tour & activity operators who responded to our 2018 Tourism Survey. These are usually rare experiences that educate and share inside information on the area, and how to protect it for the future. Tours that use proceeds to fund ecological projects such as forest or animal habitat restoration are chosen above alternatives without a cause.
6. As are skip the line tours
The 2018 TripAdvisor Travel Trend Report showed that ‘two of the three most popular products in 2017 and four of the ten fastest-growing experiences in 2017 were skip-the-line tours. TripAdvisor lists more than 1,200 skip-the-line tickets globally, with availability at some of the most popular sites in the world, including the Eiffel Tower, the Sagrada Familia, and the London Eye. Skip-the-line tours were also the second-fastest growing category for US travellers by gross booking value in 2017.’
7. Travellers enjoy a local experience
Travellers are choosing to become more immersed in the local culture when visiting a destination. They want to do what the locals do and eat where locals eat. Airbnb Experiences are offering a solution where travellers can book a local experience with a destination native.
8. With history and culture
Walking tours are still one of the leading experiences for anyone visiting a new location. They are a great opportunity to find your bearing, meet other travellers and have all their questions answered by a destination expert.
9. What hasn't changed is their love for adventure
Adrenaline pumping activities continue to grow with two new generations who are keen to push their limits. Adventure destinations such as Area 47 in Austria, Queenstown New Zealand, and Interlaken Switzerland are booked for the variety of action packed activities on offer.