Speakers addressing the ARIVAL event in Bangkok 24-26 June will tell business owners from the tour, attractions and activities community that they have to get ahead of five trends that are transforming their sector – the fastest growing one in travel – namely:
Become Mobile-First (Because Your Customers Already Are)
Super Apps, OTAs, direct digital bookings and ticketing tech are transforming the sector. Mobile-first brands across Asia are redefining just about every consumer industry. Tours, activities and attractions are no exception. Asia’s travellers expect same-day, direct-to-gate mobile booking, ticketing and more. And they’re going to choose those brands that can deliver.
Let a Million Experiences Bloom
In-destination operators need to encourage immersive sensory experiences that connect travellers to a place, a people, a cuisine, a culture. Seasonal activities and one-off events now drive 50% of travellers to book a holiday before flights or accommodation is sorted. “The need for authentic experiences is forcing travel brands to create product that is more personalised, adventurous, aligned to local culture and takes travellers on a journey of self-discovery,” says Douglas Quinby, CEO of Arival. “Travellers want us to move beyond the one-size-fits-all discounted ticket model.” Research presenters from ARIVAL, Google, videc, CrescentRating, Dragon Trail and others will share new data and insights on the global demand for such travel experiences at ARIVAL.
According to Virtuoso, travellers in their 20s and 30s are three times more likely to book a sustainable tourism product compared to those in their 40s and 50s. “Tourists of tomorrow will increasingly care about helping host communities, respecting indigenous cultures, consuming Fairtrade local produce, conserving wildlife, reducing plastic use, and protecting coral reefs, forests and historic sites,” says Anula Galewska, Responsible Business Manager at Urban Adventures. “The challenge for tourism operators is how to integrate best practices into their day-to-day activities that support these sustainability goals and advance the business.” Galewska will present a responsible tourism workshop at ARIVAL, as part of a series of talks on sustainability and social enterprise in travel.
Utilise the Power of NTO Marketing
“If an NTO kicks open a marketing door with its dollars, the private sector should walk through,” says Pacific Asia Travel Association, CEO, Mario Hardy, who will lead a roundtable discussion at ARIVAL on the role of national tourism organizations and how operators can work with them. Hardy says the private sector should partner with NTOs, which often have an agenda – and budget – to promote secondary destinations, ‘sustainable’ tours, new attractions and cultural activities that reflect the destination in a way consistent with NTO marketing.
Innovate – Even If It Means Failing
“You can’t grow if you’re not willing to risk failure,” says John Sharpe, founder of Riverlife Adventure Centre of Australia. Most operators start with a passion, but then face essential questions: What’s next? How do we grow? Leaders from innovative in-destination companies such as Riverlife, I Love Asia Tour, Hello Tours, Hong Kong Foodie Tours, socialtours, Aquawalk, KidZania, and more, will share their stories on how they followed gut instinct, did their research and created a new and profitable niche.
The above five trends will be discussed in depth at ARIVAL in Bangkok. Full program information is here. Registration.