The in-destination industry, which comprises day tours, activities, attractions and related leisure experiences, has endured significant change over the past several years. Travel experiences remain highly popular, but changing regulation, policy and consumer demands in challenging environments have reshaped the market. Recovery has been highly variable post-pandemic, with a range of factors painting a complex picture for returns to growth.
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Here are 5 things to know from Phocuswright’s recent travel research report Travel Experiences: Operator and Consumer Trends, part of a joint research project with Arival that provides insights and forecasting for the in-destination industry. This report presents the results of comprehensive operator and consumer surveys across a range of global markets.
Operators experiencing uneven recovery
Overall, 63% of global operators indicate that bookings in 2022 are at or above 2019. Bookings remain well below pre-pandemic levels for more than one third of operators.
Optimism declines but prospects appear good
From January - September 2022, the percentage of operators indicating they are somewhat or very optimistic about the coming year slid from 81% to 76%.
Rising costs for range of essential expenditures
Operators are paying more for new equipment, technology and staffing / wages. More than half of operators report higher costs for marketing as well as insurance.
U.S. and India travelers engage most in experiences
India travelers engaged in an average of 30 in-destination activities over the past 12 months, and U.S. travelers engaged in 23.
In-destination experience booking windows are short
Roughly one-third of travelers book the same day as the experience. Roughly 3 in 4 booked tours, activities and attractions within one week of their arrival date.
This report is based on findings from Phocuswright's Tours, Activities, Attractions and Experiences joint research project with Arival, which measured the size and opportunity of the global experience marketplace; assessed operators' business practices and performance; and explored traveler attitudes and behaviors when choosing and consuming in-destination experiences. This report provides findings from the operator and consumer research.
For market sizing and related trends, see The Outlook for Travel Experiences 2019-2025.
Phocuswright Europe 2023
Ready to discuss and debate the future of the industry and where we go from here? Join Phocuswright Europe in Barcelona, June 12-14.