The global outlook for the tours, activities and attractions (TAA) sector points to a full but uneven recovery by 2024.
It’s clear from Phocuswright’s latest travel research report, The Outlook for Travel Experiences 2019-2025, that short-haul, domestic and local visitor demand has driven the initial rebound in 2021 and 2022.
The return of bookings continues to be an extremely uneven story, with certain regions, channels and sectors recovering faster than others. But consumers are increasingly planning their travel around the experiences they want to have.
At The Phocuswright Conference, three leaders in the TAA sector share their insights and predictions during the session, “Executive Panel: Tours, Activities and Timing - Getting it Right.”
Luuc Elzinga, founder and president of booking platform Tiqets, says the pandemic-driven trend of people choosing experiences over material goods has given the TAA sector a boost.
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He calls TAA the “glue between the different stages in travel.” When travelers have a great experience, organic loyalty towards the online travel agency or the travel partner significantly increases, according to Elzinga.
Laurence Miall-d'Août, chief commercial officer at Go City, emphasizes the importance of being mobile-first now that cellphones have largely replaced guidebooks.
“We want to be customer-centric while not forgetting the quality of the product that we support, which is the attraction and the experience themselves,” she says.
Partnerships are a vital means of distribution, Miall-d'Août adds.
“We’re selling these experiences. We're selling these attractions. So how do we make the partner the content producers as well?”
Tao Tao, co-founder and COO at GetYourGuide, says the key is building a brand that customers will remember enough to open your app for their next trip.
He adds that GetYourGuide has two jobs to do: One, “unlock all these incredible and unforgettable experiences for customers.” And two, “really simplify the digital revenue growth for our experience creators, but also for the partner.”
As a sector, TAA is an inch wide and “a mile deep in terms of the complexity,” Tao continues.
While travelers search hotel websites by price and location, “the question you ask us is … ‘How should I spend the next 24-48 hours?’ A very, very different question. I think answering that question requires a very different tool kit and capability set,” he says.
Below, watch the full session with moderator Coney Dongre, research manager at Phocuswright Inc.
Executive Panel: Tours, Activities and Timing - Getting it Right
And from Phocuswright, here are five things to know about the TAA sector moving forward.
5 things to know about the tours, activities and attractions sector - Phocuswright research
The Outlook for Travel Experiences 2019–2025 is part of a joint research project with Phocuswright and Arival that provides updated market sizing and forecasting for the in-destination industry by region, category (i.e., tours, activities, attractions) and distribution channel (online vs. offline points of sale).