A Social Media Primer for Tour and Activity Operators

As long-standing platforms continuously change and new platforms emerge, it is important to keep evolving
Reading Time: 29 minutes 34 seconds

Over the past 20 years, social media has completely changed the way that most businesses market themselves to potential customers. Although Facebook only started in 2004, it has grown to be one of the biggest suppliers of content in the world and, as of 2021, social media has evolved to the point where virtually no business can ignore it.   

Although Facebook and Instagram may be the first names that come to mind when considering social media marketing, there are numerous platforms businesses can be active on. In an ideal world, tour businesses would market themselves anywhere that their guests may be. However, time and budget constraints make this unachievable. Therefore, it is important to decide which social media platforms you want to focus on and why. 

We’ll give some direction on how to shape your social media strategy and how each platform can help you with your business needs.  

Why You Need a Social Media Strategy (and How to Create One)

A Social Media Primer for Tour and Activity Operators Kristin Templin Arival
Set SMART goals to make sure your strategy works — Rodion Kutsaev / Unsplash

Before we get started on the pros and cons of each platform, it is really important for you to identify what your social media strategy is. If you don’t have a social media strategy yet, let’s get started by going through the basics.

Step 1 — Set SMART Goals

Set SMART goals that align with your business objectives and make sure that you track these goals with meaningful metrics based on your business needs. Do you want to gain more followers on social media and raise awareness for your company or products? Or are you simply looking to increase inbound traffic and bookings? How many new bookings? These are incredibly important to know when designing a social media strategy that helps you reach your business goals. To learn more on metrics, check out this excellent article by Hootsuite.   

Step 2 — Define Your Target Audience

Next, define your target audience and begin to gather data on them. An adventure travel operator offering hiking tours of the Grand Canyon may want to reach more travelers aged 20–40 who are interested in outdoor activities, while a walking tour company in Prague may want to reach more locally-based tourists. A company that just launched a kids cooking class may want to target families.

When you are designing your social media strategy, it is really important to think about who your ideal customer is and begin to think about what their pain points may be. Once you have a target market that you would like to reach, social media networks can provide business users with a lot of useful information on their visitors and followers. This information can and should be incorporated into your strategy. 

Step 3 — Check Out What Your Competition is Doing

After you have a good idea of your target audience, it is important to find out what your competitors are doing and how it can impact your strategy. Does your competitor post on Instagram or Facebook every single day? What hashtags do they use? Do they rely more on stories or feed posts? Most businesses are active on Instagram and Facebook but may favor one more than the other. This could present an opportunity for your business to gain more visitors or followers on the channel that they are not focusing on as heavily. You could even put more emphasis on some of the newer social media platforms like TikTok rather than putting a huge amount of marketing effort into Facebook or Instagram. 

Step 4 — What are You Currently Doing?

Finally, take a look at your own social media presence. Which platforms are you active on? Are you posting and engaging with your audience consistently? Are there platforms that you aren’t on but should be? For more information on specific platforms, scroll down to the next section of this guide.

What Kind of Content Should I Create?

A Social Media Primer for Tour and Activity Operators Kristin Templin Arival
Inform, educate and entertain your audience — Vicko Mozara / Unsplash

If you are starting your accounts fresh and you’re not sure what to do, Hootsuite advises following the 80 / 20 rule which means that 80% of your posts should inform, educate or entertain your audience and 20% should directly promote your brand. It is important that your content adds value for the user. Is your content something that can help them plan their trip to your region? Are you fulfilling a need that they may have? This strategy of adding value rather than selling a product is repeated by almost all social media experts. How you add value is different based on where you are located and what you specialize in. For example, when you operate food tours in a big city adding value may be very different than when you are an adventure tour company located in a rural area), the important thing to remember is that the aim of your content is to help potential guests. 

Luckily, creating informative or educational content is relatively easy for tour operators. Put yourself in a guest’s shoes. What would YOU like to know when traveling to a new destination? Perhaps these could be things to do, the best places to stay, where to park or even how to get there from the nearest airport? Although the content may not seem like it directly relates to your products or brand, don’t forget that it is easy to redirect people to product pages using appropriately-placed hyperlinks, calls to action and widgets.

Once you start to shape your strategy, you can then find inspiration from other companies. What works for them? What are YOU attracted to as a consumer? Remember that while you can draw ideas from other accounts, it is still important to maintain the same voice as your brand.  

To make visually-appealing posts on any platform, don’t forget to use Canva. Canva is a free design platform that helps you create graphics, collages, carousels, etc. There are easy-to-use templates designed to fit the specs of social media platforms so you simply need to upload your images (Canva also has a huge catalog of free stock photos). Photos of guests enjoying your tours work really well and you can also include behind the scenes pictures of your business (i.e. your office, administrative employees, or the office pet). 

When and how Often Should I Post?

A Social Media Primer for Tour and Activity Operators Kristin Templin Arival
Research when the best times for you to post are — Icons8 Team / Unsplash

While it would be great to give a magic number of how many times you should post and on what platform, the most important thing is that you commit to a schedule that you can maintain over the long term as consistency is highly valued. If you can only post once a week, then stick with once a week. Social media platforms value consistency more than the number of times that you post.

One potential plan could be to post on your feed two to three times per week and do stories as often as possible on the platforms that offer them.  Since stories are located at the top of both Instagram and Facebook feeds, it is a great way to attract a new audience. However, if you are creating a strategy that relies heavily on stories, it is important that your feed is in great shape and can convert those visitors to followers or convince them to visit your website.

You then need to research what are the best times to post based on when your target audience is most active on social media channels. You can find this information on Facebook Insights or Pinterest Analytics. 

Although this all may sound overwhelming, one easy way to manage social media is to create a content calendar that will help you stay on track and remain consistent with your posting. Your content calendar can be as simple as a Google spreadsheet with the date, image, caption and hashtags.  Creating a content calendar will save you a lot of time in the long run and helps you take a step back and make sure that your posts help contribute to your overall business strategy.  

While it is great to post consistently and get lots of followers, if this isn’t helping you achieve a specific business goal, then your social media strategy isn’t as effective as it could be. Do you want to advertise a new seasonal tour? Are you trying to get more bookings for a specific tour date? Are you offering discounted rates or a competition? Perhaps you are trying to increase your booking window and get more bookings far into the future. These can (and should) all be incorporated into your strategy.

Once you have your content calendar set up, a scheduling tool can then help reduce the daily workload. Later offers a free plan that allows you to post 30 times a month across Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest and can help you get started.

If you have a small team and want to outsource, there are a lot of virtual assistants (VAs) who specialize in social media management and will charge significantly less than an agency. For short-term projects, you can post on Upwork but for longer term relationships, it may be a better option to find someone through VA specific Facebook groups. Alternatively, you can connect with a VA match-making service to help you find an experienced VA. 

What About Paid Advertising?

Almost all platforms offer paid advertising opportunities to businesses and each can be used to target different audiences. Each platform has their own advantages and disadvantages regarding costs, reach and return on investment.  Below, I will explain in more detail how each platform can be used and provide helpful links to additional resources.  

Which Platforms To Use?

Although there are many different social media platforms, the main ones that businesses have been using to market themselves are Facebook and Instagram. Both platforms have a huge reach (Facebook claims it has more than 2.8 billion active users per month and Instagram has more than 1 billion active users) and you are able to create a highly targeted audience on both platforms through Facebook for Business.  

Meanwhile, YouTube is becoming more and more popular as a marketing platform with more than 2 billion active monthly users and Pinterest has proven itself as a great search tool to drive traffic to websites. It has more than 320 million active monthly users. Each platform will be discussed in more detail below.

Tiktok is a relatively new player in the field and can present an opportunity to reach different markets. While Tiktok used to be considered a platform for teenagers and young adults, as of December 2020, over 65% of users in the United States are older than 20, and 38% are over 30. 

Remember: you don’t have to be everywhere. Identify two to three channels where you know your audience hangs out and create high-quality content that adds value. 

Please keep in mind that the purpose of this is to serve as a basic guide to social media strategy and paid advertising. Every business has unique needs and goals and it is impossible to make blanket recommendations. As mentioned previously, it is extremely important to monitor your metrics on each social media platform and use these to shape your advertising strategy.  


A Social Media Primer for Tour and Activity Operators Kristin Templin Arival
Facebook has a range of ways you may engage your audience — Alexander Shatov / Unsplash


Facebook is a fantastic platform for engaging with your target audience. It can help build your reputation, reach new customers and stay connected. It effectively serves as a voice for your brand. Although the platform’s popularity has decreased amongst younger users, it has grown in popularity amongst adults and senior citizens (i.e. often the decision-makers AND the people who have more discretionary income).  

Key Tools

Facebook has a plethora of options that you can use as a business to promote your brand or tours including the Facebook feed, stories, events, and advertising (which will be covered in more detail later). 

The Facebook feed is a great way to make company announcements which can cover anything from new tours, highlights of staff members, community service projects that you support, etc. This almost serves as a mini blog for your business.  

Stories are another great way to reach potential customers. Stories are usually only visible for 24 hours but they appear at the top of the normal Facebook feed. With stories, you can play around with different types of media and luckily, videos do not need to be high quality to be used. Make your story stand out by applying graphics from Canva and don’t forget to include your logo for brand recognition. You can also easily track how many people have viewed your story and if someone comments on it, you receive it as a direct message. This is a fantastic opportunity to engage with potential customers one-on-one. 

One hidden gem for businesses is Facebook groups. In the travel space, there are plenty of groups focusing on different destinations, solo travel, families, etc. If you are in a location with a large international community but have had a huge decrease in tourists because of Covid, this could be an incredible source of leads from local markets. Regardless of whether you are trying to reach local, domestic or international markets, these groups are a fantastic way to monitor trends and are a place where you can gain visibility and give helpful information to travelers. This is a great way to gain leads and can increase your conversion.  

Facebook bought Instagram in 2012 and the advertising for both platforms is carried out through Facebook Business Suite. Setting up ads is very simple and Business Suite walks you through the process. You can choose the goal of the ad, such as directing visitors to your website, more bookings, receiving more messages or more leads.  You can then target a particular demographic based on age, gender, location and interests. You can also adjust your daily budget and see how this impacts the potential reach of the advertisement. Facebook is known to give a high return on investment and allow businesses to attract local markets. This is extremely beneficial as Covid-19 continues to be the cause of lockdowns and border closures around the world. 

Trip Consideration is probably one of the biggest benefits for tourism-related businesses when advertising through Facebook. According to Facebook: “the trip consideration feature allows you to optimise your ad delivery to reach a broad audience of people who intend to travel.”  This is extremely helpful for tourism businesses who want to attract guests who are at the very beginning of their travel journey and are looking for inspiration on where to go. Trip consideration enables businesses to advertise to the right consumer at the right time.

Best Practices

As mentioned previously, social media channels greatly value consistency. Do research as to when your target market is most active and plan your strategy accordingly. Facebook is an excellent channel to stay connected with previous guests and create engagement. You can ask what their favorite memory is of a particular destination or even ask who their favorite tour guide was. This allows your business to stay fresh in their minds which can hopefully create repeat customers and increase word-of-mouth advertising (which is often the best kind of advertising!). It can also help you create and maintain a reputation as being a trustworthy and dependable tour operator.  

Trip consideration can be a powerful tool to reach your target market but it is important to show content that inspires them to travel to a destination such as strong and appealing visuals rather than simply relying on promotions or prices.   Like other forms of social media,  it is important to give information that will genuinely help guests in their planning process. 

If you decide to become active in Facebook groups, make sure to provide useful information and add value. Do not spam or blatantly advertise. Most groups do not allow this and you can get banned from the group. It can also leave a negative impression in a future guest’s mind.

If there aren’t any active groups covering the destination of your tours, you can even create your own! Cultivating and managing a group can take up a lot of time and resources so it is important to weigh up the costs versus the benefits. 

Additional Resources

Facebook Blueprint offers online learning courses, training programs, and certifications to help you take advantage of Facebook’s marketing tools. 

The Ultimate Guide to Facebook Marketing offers a basic guide to marketing on Facebook.  It was published in 2017 so some of the information may be a bit out of date. 

How to Advertise on Facebook by Hootsuite gives a breakdown of different types of advertising on Facebook.

About Trip Consideration by Facebook gives you more information on Trip Consideration ads.  


A Social Media Primer for Tour and Activity Operators Kristin Templin Arival
81% of people on Instagram research products and services — Alexander Shatov / Unsplash


Instagram is a platform that is predominantly used to share photos and videos. Although the platform is 10 years old, it continues to grow. According to a February 2021 article on Wordstream.com, 200 million Instagram users visit at least one business profile per day and 81% of the users also use the platform to research products and services. Instagram generally reaches a younger target audience than Facebook with 25–34-year-olds representing the largest advertising group.  

More interestingly, based on recent research completed by Facebook, Instagram users generally use the platform to research their interests and travel is the most searched area of interest. This means that Instagram is a great platform for travel companies to be on but also that it is super competitive to get noticed through organic traffic. You can find more information on Instagram statistics here and advertising your business on Instagram here 

Key Tools

Instagram is a bit unique in terms of content. It is a visual platform and you need to have high-quality imagery. Photos of your tours or the areas that you are active in, behind-the-scenes stories and product updates are a great way to engage with Instagram users who are interested in your destination or the type of activity you provide. You can use hashtags to attract more followers and appear in more searches.  

Like Facebook, you can post stories on Instagram which appear at the top of the feed. As of 2019, 500 million accounts view Instagram stories per day. The stories have a very short shelf-life so consider this when you are investing resources in creating the content.

Best Practices

When considering your strategy for Instagram, one of the most important things to keep in mind is that your ultimate goal should be people sharing, saving, or commenting on your posts. This is much more important than the amount of likes you get and will impact the algorithm and how easy it is for your content to be found. 

User-generated content is also a great way to gain trust, increase engagement and loyalty on Instagram. Best of all, this works perfectly for the tourism industry. This could be as simple as asking customers to tag your company in their posts. If you would rather keep things a little more in your own control, you can even ask your tour guides to take photos during the tours (you will need to have a signed agreement from the guest that the photos can be used for on social media).

Additional Resources

Instagram for Business with a Social Focus is a podcast that offers short shows with easily actionable steps to improve your social media presence. 

The Ultimate Guide to Using Instagram Hashtags explains why hashtags are still relevant and how you can use them most effectively in 2021.


A Social Media Primer for Tour and Activity Operators Kristin Templin Arival
Pinterest should drive traffic to your website — Charles Deluvio / Unsplash


Pinterest is a great tool to reach a new type of customer and is designed to drive traffic away from the platform and onto your website. Rather than thinking of Pinterest as a social media platform, it is better to approach it as a search engine. Unlike Google where you see a long list of website links, with Pinterest, you see pictures, videos, and other types of visuals (otherwise known as “pins”).  

What makes Pinterest even more intriguing are the people that use it. By Q4, 2020, there were 459 million users with 44% of these based in the U.S.. 71% of these users are women and 8 out of 10 moms use Pinterest for inspiration (and the key decision-makers regardings household purchases).  41% of users earn more than $75,000 per year and 38% have a college degree and above. You can learn more about Pinterest’s impressive stats here

Key Tools

Pinterest is an often-overlooked search engine. While most businesses aren’t familiar with the benefits of using Pinterest, many travel bloggers and tours and activity providers are currently active users on Pinterest and have incredibly large amounts of followers. For example, Nomadic Matt has 21,000 followers and 1.6 million monthly views while Intrepid Travel has around 16,000 visitors and 448,000 monthly views. If you want to find out more about how Nomadic Matt was able to achieve this, check out this extremely helpful article he wrote here

Although the article is specifically targeted to travel bloggers, activity providers can use the platform in the same way. Imagine if you are a guest searching for things to do in New York City and find an extremely helpful and informative blog article that a tour operator created. The chances of you booking a tour with them would probably be higher than booking a tour with another company who didn’t provide useful information.

Like Instagram, Pinterest relies very heavily on visuals so it is really important to have good quality imagery. Canva has pin templates available for free where you can add text, graphics, etcs to your images. You can upload pins directly onto Pinterest through Canva which makes things even easier. This approach ties in really well with travel.   

Besides normal pins, you can also create story pins. They can consist of videos or photos and are a great way to get noticed. Unlike Instagram or Facebook where stories expire after 24 hours, Pinterest stories are visible on your boards and can have a long shelf life.

Experts say to post a minimum of 5 pins per piece of content in order to optimize your traffic. 

You can advertise on Pinterest once you have a business account (which is highly recommended because of the great analytics tools that you then have access to). The ads function the same way as other pins. However, by advertising, your pins can receive additional exposure in relevant searches and appear in user’s home feeds based on their historical activity. You can advertise using standard pins or carousels (which are perfect if you are trying to advertise multiple tours or locations. Like the other channels, you can target an audience based on age, gender, and location. 

Personally, I am a very frequent traveler and I love searching for location-specific articles on Pinterest. It has helped me find new bloggers that focus on particular parts of the world but do not appear within the first few pages of Google. For a recent trip to Colombia, I solely used Pinterest to find inspiration as to where to travel to and what to do. The imagery really helps me decide at a glance if a blogger and I have similar travel styles and interests. I have yet to find any tour operators or activity providers that are taking advantage of this which represents a huge opportunity for small travel businesses.

Additional Resources

Simple Pin Podcast is great for people who want to learn more about Pinterest. 

Pinterest Marketing and Advertising is an easy-to-follow Udemy course that walks you through the process of setting up and optimizing a Pinterest business account.

Pinterest Trends gives insight as to what people are searching for.  Although it is currently only available for the US, UK, and Canada, new countries may be added soon. 

The Ultimate Guide to Pinterest Ads provides a basic framework for getting started with Pinterest ads. 

How to Increase Your Traffic with Pinterest by Nomadic Matt is a guide created for travel bloggers by one of the world’s most successful bloggers.  However, the tips and tools provided are extremely helpful for all tourism businesses. 


Be short and sweet when you’re on Twitter — Alexander Shatov / Unsplash


Twitter is a great tool for spreading your brand identity concisely and clearly (in 280 characters to be exact!) and has become an important tool for businesses to connect with their audience. 92% of businesses tweet at least once a day and 42% post between two and five times per day. There are over 192 million daily active users and 63% of those users are aged between 35- and 65-years-old. 66% of users are men which makes it much more male-dominated than other social media platforms (and could create an interesting marketing opportunity).  

You can find more statistics on Twitter here

Key Tools and Best Practices

Like Instagram, you can use hashtags to spread your content and by doing hashtag research, you can increase your chances of getting in front of your target audience. Like with other forms of social media, make sure that you are adding value with your content rather than simply being a disruption. It is also important to monitor your metrics to see how many people are clicking on your links or engaging with your content.   

Twitter pushes you to be short and sweet with your message and branding, but, more importantly, it is also an incredibly important channel for customer service and engagement. This is where Twitter really stands out as a social media platform. In fact, customer service interactions on Twitter have increased by 250% since 2015 according to Knapton Wright, a UK-based marketing company. The average Twitter user now follows five businesses and many people head to Twitter when they have a customer service issue that they would like resolved. This has replaced traditional methods and it is extremely important that businesses monitor this and react quickly if there is a complaint. Actively responding to tweets can help increase customer satisfaction and 77% of Twitter users claim to have a better impression of a brand when they respond to a tweet.

You can also use Twitter to see what people are saying about you by searching for your own brand name. Are they talking about having a great experience with you or are they complaining? What actions can you take based on this? To take it one step further, you can even try searching different terms related to your business to identify new trends that you can take advantage of in your marketing campaigns.

Twitter allows promoted tweets that will appear in a user’s feed or search results. The set up is similar to Facebook where you can choose by location, age and gender and you can choose whether you want to drive click throughs or traffic and get opt-ins. However, you can take it one step further and target visitors based on interests, and keywords. Make sure to start off with only a few interests as choosing too many will make it very difficult to analyze which ads worked best. For a step-by-step guide on setting up Twitter ads, check out this article from Social Media Examiner here

Additional Resources

The Ultimate Guide to Using Twitter for Business in 2021 is a great guide by Hubspot to help you stand out on Twitter and use it as an effective marketing tool. 

12 Powerful Twitter Marketing Tips (that Actually Work) is another great article by Neil Patel that gives simple, easy to follow instructions on setting up your business profile. 


74% of adults in the United States use YouTube — Alexander Shatov / Unsplash


YouTube is a relatively new platform for marketing your business but it is slowly becoming more and more important as the popularity of video content continues to increase. As of 2021, 74% of adults in the United States use YouTube and it is currently the second most used search engine after Google. Unlike other forms of social media, YouTube is also very popular amongst all age-groups. Interestingly, the amount of non-mobile hours are increasing as more and more people are watching YouTube videos through their TVs. 

62% of businesses currently use YouTube as a channel to post video content so it truly is becoming a marketing channel that can’t be ignored. You can get more details on YouTube’s statistics here

Key Tools 

The tours and activity industry is the perfect source for creating video, especially with the increase in virtual tours that we have seen in 2020. While creating videos may seem a bit daunting and expensive, many mobile phones are able to shoot high-quality videos and there are free editing tools that can help you shape your footage into a finished product. 

For tour operators who are comfortable creating video content (and there are many, many reasons why you should become proficient in it), YouTube ads could be a great alternative to advertising your products. The CCP is much, much lower than on Google and you can use a viewer’s previous search history when targeting your ads. Since video is the new trend for content creation, this could be an untapped market for many tour operators. 

YouTube offers three different options for advertising.  

TrueView ads are the standard video ad types and advertisers only pay once a guest has stayed on their video for more than 30 seconds. Trueview ads include video discovery ads which appear on the YouTube homepage, search results and related videos sections and in-stream ads which are shown before another video. 

Pre-roll ads can be played before, during or after another video and can not be skipped through. These ads are done on a pay-per-click basis so it is important to have a strong call to action which can convert into sales once reaching your website.

Bumpers are the final type of ad and can only be six seconds long. This is very short but can be used in conjunction with a longer video if it makes sense for your product and market. 

Additional Resources

YouTube Ads for Beginners is an excellent resource by Hubspot to get you started on YouTube ads. It gives a lot of info on the specifications that you need to follow when creating ads and is very helpful.

Arival’s Content Mastery Masterclass by Chris Torres gives fantastic insight into creating videos of tours and helpful information about video production. 


TikTok shows content to visitors based on “personality traits” — Alexander Shatov / Unsplash


TikTok has recently exploded onto the scene. When it first entered many markets, it was seen as something for kids. However, there has been a huge increase in adult usage and more and more companies are looking at it as a marketing opportunity. Like Instagram and Facebook stories, TikTok publishes short videos. However, unlike Instagram and Facebook stories which focuses on who you follow and your past views, TikTok shows content to visitors based on “personality traits” including past content consumption (what posts visitors liked and engaged with most in the past), location, the amount of time that visitors spend on posts, keywords used, and what videos a visitor skipped. Their goal is to keep visitors on their platform so they show relevant content to them.

This ends up being a great opportunity for businesses because TikTok offers high organic reach and engagement. There is also a good chance of going viral, especially if you have high quality content. The best converting content is educational and informative — TikTok is investing heavily in educational content under the #LearnOnTikTok campaign. The great thing about this is that it opens the door for tour companies and activity providers to educate their potential guests on a particular area. You can provide tips on what to do in a town or city, start a #challenge, or even provide a video snippet of a virtual tour. Videos can be up to 60 seconds long if they are shot using the TikTok app or even longer if you use a 3rd-party tool. 

As with all social media, it is important to make sure that your content is relevant and useful.  Does it add value or is it solely advertising?  

Key Tools and Best Practices

TikTok is a great advertising channel for businesses looking to target younger consumers (and could be really beneficial for adventure travel or extreme activities like skydiving, bungy-jumping, etc). One thing that is really interesting with TikTok is that they offer an automated creative optimization which builds ads using your own images, videos and copy and then tests them for you. This could ease a huge amount of the guesswork and time dedicated to creating your own ad content. TikTok also offers Smart Video Soundtrack which pairs your ad content up with appropriate music. 

TikTok really values authenticity and creativity so it is important that your ad does not look like one. Provide value to viewers and a call to action that makes them want to learn more about your products.

Additional Resources

How to Create a Successful TikTok Marketing Strategy by Hootsuite is a step by step guide that shows you how to create a TikTok marketing strategy from scratch.

8 Useful TikTok Marketing Tactics by Neil Patel is a concise and extremely helpful guide for using TikTok as a marketing channel.  

Is it Working?

There are obvious benefits to each major social media platform. While all platforms allow you to segment and target audiences, some are more likely to help you reach a particular market while others are better for a particular medium (images vs. text vs. video). Most travel companies are actively using Instagram and Facebook and these platforms are becoming a necessity for reaching audiences. Meanwhile, Pinterest, TikTok and YouTube offer a unique opportunity.

With all of these platforms, figuring out the algorithm can make or break your social media presence. It is no longer enough to post good content with hashtags and wait for it to be discovered. With most platforms, it is important to post content that influences people to save or share it. 

So how can you tell if it is working? Most importantly, if you have Google Analytics set up properly, you should be able to see if social media channels are converting into sales. You should also follow your engagement figures instead of relying on likes and followers. When you find content that works for you, you can continue to build on that.

Travel Companies Are In A Unique Position

Social media has become a bit of a beast. From something that didn’t exist 20 years ago, social media now shapes our communication, media consumption and purchasing decisions. Travel companies are in a unique position because they are offering a product which fulfills a need and just happens to be one of the most searched subjects on social media. Regardless of which platforms you decide to focus on, it is most important to post value-adding content consistently. 

Additional Resources

There are a lot of resources available to learn more about social media management. From e-learning courses to podcasts to websites to this handy guide, you have everything you need to make a killer social media strategy.

Below are resources that I used when writing this guide and I hope that you find them as beneficial as I did!

Hootsuite and Adspresso by Hootsuite offer hundreds of resources on social media and is a great starting point to learn more about social media strategy.

Social Media Examiner has a lot of great content with short concise articles that can help you solve your social media questions quickly. They also have a very helpful podcast that you can listen to while on the go. 

The Freelance Friday Podcast helps you get started with social media management and covers the basics that you need to know when you start focusing on social media growth.


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These are the terms and conditions (the “Agreement”) governing Your participation in any Arival owned and/or operated event, meeting, show, seminar, or conference, whether held as a live, virtual, or hybrid (both live and virtual) event (the “Event”). By registering for the event, You agree to these terms, which form a binding legal contract between the Event owner and host, Arival, LLC (“Arival” or “Owner” or “Organizer”) and the registered attendee (“You,” “Your” or “Attendee”). If You are registering on behalf of another individual, it is Your responsibility to ensure the person participating is aware of these terms and accepts them. By completing the registration on behalf of another individual, You are warranting that You have made the Attendee aware of these terms and that they have accepted these terms.


Access. Your registration entitles You to access the Event for which You have registered. Any and all other costs associated with Your attendance shall be borne solely by You, and the Event shall have no liability for such costs.

Event Content. You acknowledge and agree that the Event, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to change any and all aspects of the Event, including but not limited to the Event name, themes, content, program, speakers, performers, hosts, moderators, venue, and time.  Some Event content may be recorded by Arival and made accessible to paid Attendees.


Payment. The payment of the applicable fee for the Event is due upon registration. If such payment is insufficient or declined for any reason, Arival may refuse to allow You to access the Event and shall have no liability in that regard.

Event pricing varies based on company type. You are responsible for registering using Your applicable company type.

Taxes. The fees may be subject to sales tax, and value-added tax, or other taxes and duties, which, if applicable, will be clearly stated and charged to You in addition to the fees.

Electronic Communications. Once You have completed Your registration, You will receive Your registration confirmation by email. Please ensure that Your valid email is entered correctly on the registration form. Be sure to check Your junk email box, too, if any of Your Virtual Event email(s) are caught by spam filters. Arival shall not be liable for mis-entered email addresses or other data.

If You do not receive Your registration confirmation and fail to notify us by email at least 24 hours prior to the event, Arival shall not be liable if you cannot view the event live.

You will receive essential Event information for registered attendees electronically at the email address provided on Your registration form.

In addition, You will also be subscribed as an Arival Insiders Free Access member if You are not already a member, which includes notifications of future events as well as the Arival newsletter and other communications. If You would like to opt-out of any of these benefits, a link is provided in each email to provide the ability to opt out.


All cancellations must be submitted in writing to [email protected]. Cancellations outside of 60 days shall be refunded in full without an administrative fee. Cancellations received inside 60 days of the published event start date are subject to loss of all monies paid with no credit for future events. Registration fee refund coverage may be offered. Should You purchase a ticket with Global Refund Coverage (“GRC”) Arival shall not provide refunds for cancellations under any circumstance. All claims and requests for refunds must be submitted through the GRC program and will be exclusively handled and adjudicated by JSV Events Limited as the administrator of the GRC program. Cancellations not covered under the GRC program and due to illness or injury will be evaluated on a case by case basis only after the completion of the ticketed event. Name change requests and ticket transfers are subject to a 100.00 change fee. The currency of refunds and fees will be the same as the currency in which tickets are sold. 

Virtual Events. Please note that you are still responsible for payment if You do not cancel and do not access the Virtual Event. In no event shall Arival be obligated to refund all or a portion of the registration fee.

Health & Safety Protocols. Arival is committed to producing a successful, productive, and, above all, safe Event for all Attendees, Arival staff, and hotel staff. We establish on-site preparedness plans and health & safety protocols to allow each attendee to feel as safe as possible and reduce the possibility of COVID transmission. Final protocols will be determined by 60 days prior to the event and will be based on recommendations from national, local and other health authorities.

By registering for the event, you confirm that You will abide by the safety measures that Arival puts into place. Failure to abide by the safety measures may result in the cancellation of Your registration with no refund.

Policies for attendance at the Event will be subject to change as conditions change regarding Covid-19. A final determination of policies will be made no later than 70 days prior to the event start date. This provides You with one week to cancel Your registration if You are not willing or able to comply with the Event policies. Arival reserves the right to set the safety measures at its sole discretion.

An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. According to the CDC, senior citizens and guests with underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable.



Each Attendee agrees that during Arival, he/she shall conduct themselves professionally and courteously at all times with respect to Arival staff, sponsors, and Attendees. If an Attendee fails to comply with these expectations or behaves in a rude or unacceptable manner, Arival reserves the right to terminate the Attendee’s continued attendance at the Arival Event and will revoke their credentials. The Attendee agrees to return the credentials to an Arival representative upon request and will lose all fees paid to Arival. Expenses resulting from this revocation of Arival credentials are the sole responsibility of the Attendee. See our full Code of Conduct here.


By registering for an Arival Event ticket, you agree not to sell, trade, transfer, or share your access link and/or code unless the Organizer grants such transfer. If Arival determines that You have violated this policy, Arival may cancel Your access, retain any payments made by You, and ban You from future Events, in addition to any other actions deemed appropriate.


Attendees may not record or broadcast audio or video of sessions at Arival Events.


Arival reserves the right to deny participation to anyone who engages in or is reputed to engage in unethical or non-compliant business practices


The undersigned hereby acknowledges that Arival provides various companies with the opportunity to sponsor and host a variety of functions and social events during Arival (herein “Sponsored Event”) and that these sponsors pay an additional fee to host these events. To provide the sponsors with the maximum opportunity to host a successful Sponsored Event, Arival will not permit functions, social events, or gatherings of ten or more attendees to take place during the Arival event that would detract from the attendance of Arival attendees at any/all Sponsored Events. Exceptions for special circumstances may be granted if they have been previously requested in writing and approved by an authorized Arival representative. Therefore, the undersigned agrees not to organize, sponsor, or operate any function, social event, or gathering of ten or more attendees, either directly or indirectly, during Arival. If any individual, company, or entity breaches this agreement, the undersigned acknowledges that Arival shall have the right, to terminate the participation of that attendee, as well as any of its/their associates, representatives, and/or employees participating at Arival.


Please review our Privacy Policy here 

Your decision to register for an Arival event indicates your understanding of and agreement with our Privacy Policy.

Attendee acknowledges that Arival provides our sponsors with the PII of our Attendees/Attendees and hereby provides consent to have their PII included in the list provided to sponsors.  The data provided will be used by sponsor companies for the sole purpose of marketing the products and services of the sponsor companies and will not be sold, traded, or otherwise given to any other company or person. All sponsor companies provided with PII have warrantied that they are GDPR compliant.


Should acts of God, acts of war or terrorism, pandemic, strikes, lockouts, labor disputes, inability to obtain labor or material, governmental restrictions or regulations, judicial order or other casualty or cause, not within the control of Arival make it impractical or impossible for the Arival Event to be held, Arival shall have the right, without obligation, to select an alternate date and venue for in-person events, and in such case Attendee agrees to participate per the terms and conditions herein.

 If Arival is prevented from carrying out its obligations as it pertains to the Event for which You registered as a result of any cause beyond its control, or such Event cannot be conducted Live or Virtually due to any cause, not within the control of the Organizer, (collectively a “Force Majeure”) Arival shall have the right to immediately terminate the affected Event without liability and shall be relieved of its obligations to Registrant.  If an affected Virtual Event is terminated due to a Force Majeure occurrence before the first day of the Virtual Event, then Arival will make every effort to reschedule the affected Virtual Event, and Your registration fee will be applied to the rescheduled Virtual Event. In such case, as the Virtual Event cannot be rescheduled within 60 days as a result of any Force Majeure event, Arival shall have the right to immediately and permanently terminate the affected Virtual Event without liability and shall be relieved of its obligations to Registrant.

For purposes hereof, the phrase “cause not within the control of the Organizer” shall include failures of a software or issue with the hosting or other required platform in the case of virtual events, or in the case of all events both virtual and in-person shall include fire, casualty, flood, epidemic, earthquake, explosion or accident, blockage, embargo, inclement weather, governmental restraints, restraints or orders of civil defense or military authorities, act of public enemy, riot or civil disturbance or commotion, malicious damage, sabotage, vandalism, acts of terrorism, or other similar activities, strike, lockout, boycott or other labor dispute or disturbance, inability to secure sufficient labor, technical or other personnel, absence of premises required for the Exhibition, failure, impairment or lack of adequate transportation facilities, inability to obtain or requisition or commandeering of necessary supplies or equipment, change in local, state or other law, ordinance, rule, order, decree or regulation, whether legislative, executive or judicial, and whether constitutional, or act of God and the words “act(s) of” shall include “threat of or perceived threat of”.

A Force Majeure event specifically includes the following:

  • If a local, county, state or national governmental authority issues any order or recommendation: (i) for individuals in the local government area of the scheduled Event to limit their time away from their residence or property (except for essential activities, functions, and businesses); (ii) for persons arriving at any airport from any one or more major cities or metropolitan areas (population greater than 500,000) to isolate or self-quarantine for any period of time (even if subject to certain exceptions) when the total of originating cities represents 5% or greater of total event attendance; (iii) to restrict public gatherings in enclosed spaces to less than 400 people in the scheduled local government area.


All intellectual property rights in and to the Event, the Event content, and all materials distributed at or in connection with the Event are owned by Arival or the Event sponsors or speakers presenting at the event. You may not use or reproduce or allow anyone to use or reproduce any trademarks or other trade names appearing at the Event, in any Event content, or in any materials distributed at or in connection with the Event for any reason without the prior written permission of Arival.

For the avoidance of doubt, nothing in this Agreement shall be deemed to vest in you any legal or beneficial right in or to any trademarks or other intellectual property rights owned or used under license by Arival or any of its affiliates; nor does this Agreement grant to You any right or license to any other intellectual property rights of Arival or its affiliates, all of which shall at all times remain the exclusive property of Arival and its affiliates.


You as Attendee hereby authorizes Arival to use, reproduce, and/or publish photographs and/or video that may pertain to the Attendee —including image, likeness, and/or voice without compensation. The Attendee understands that this material may be used in various publications, public affairs releases, recruitment materials, broadcast public service advertising (PSAs), or other related endeavors. This material may also appear on the Arival website, web blogs, social media pages, and posts. This authorization is continuous, and Arival may publish materials, use the Attendee’s name, photograph, and/or make reference to the undersigned in any manner that Arival deems appropriate in order to promote/publicize Arival events. The Attendee hereby releases Arival, its partners, employees, contractors and agents, the photographer/videographer, and any other associated vendors from any and all claims or liabilities.

Use of Likeness. By participating in the Event, You acknowledge and agree to grant the Event the right at the Event to record, film, live stream, photograph, or capture Your likeness in any media now available or hereafter developed and to distribute, broadcast, use, or otherwise globally to disseminate, in perpetuity, such media without any further approval from You or any payment to You. This grant to the Event includes, but is not limited to, the right to edit such media, the right to use the media alone or together with other information, and the right to allow others to use or disseminate the media.


Attendee and each of its agents, employees, and representatives, hereby waive and release any claim of any type or nature whatsoever against Arival and each of its agents, partners, employees, representatives, successors, and assigns, arising out of or relating to his/her/its participation in Arival or attendance at Arival, including, but not limited to personal injury, damage to personal property, theft, etc. Furthermore, Attendee for itself and each of its agents, employees, and representatives, hereby agree to indemnify and hold harmless Arival and each of its agents, partners, employees, representatives, successors, and assigns from any claim, demand, lawsuit, or dispute of every type or nature whatsoever (including their reasonable attorney’s fees and costs incurred), arising out of or relating to his/her participation in Arival or attendance at Arival.


This contract shall be governed by the laws of the State of Colorado. The prevailing party in any arbitration or litigation concerning the terms and conditions of this proposal shall be entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.

Disclaimer of Warranties, Limitation of Liability

Arival gives no warranties in respect of any aspect of the Event or any materials related thereto or offered at the Event and, to the fullest extent possible under the laws governing this Agreement, disclaims all implied warranties, including but not limited to warranties of fitness for a particular purpose, accuracy, timeliness, and merchantability. The Event is provided on an “as-is” basis. The views, opinions, and positions expressed by the speakers, attendees, or sponsors at the Event are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or positions of Arival or any employee thereof. Arival makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability, or validity of any information presented by speakers, attendees, or sponsors at an Arival Event and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use.  Arival does not endorse and expressly disclaims all liability relating to any of the products or services provided by speakers, attendees, or sponsors.

Except as required by law, neither Arival nor its affiliates shall be liable for any direct, indirect, special, incidental, or consequential costs, damages, or losses arising directly or indirectly from the Event or other aspect related thereto or in connection with this Agreement.

The maximum aggregate liability of Event for any claim in any way connected with, or arising from, the Event or this Agreement, whether in contract, tort, or otherwise (including any negligent act or omission), shall be limited to the amount paid by you to Arival under this Agreement.


Arival’s failure to exercise any right provided for herein shall not be deemed a waiver of any further rights hereunder. Arival shall not be liable for any failure to perform its obligations hereunder where such failure results from any cause beyond Arival’s reasonable control. If any provision of this Agreement is found to be unenforceable or invalid, that provision shall be limited or eliminated to the minimum extent necessary so that this Agreement shall otherwise remain in full force and effect and enforceable. This Agreement is not assignable, transferable, or sub-licensable by you except with Arival’s prior written consent. This Agreement shall be governed by the laws of the State of Colorado, and the parties shall submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Colorado courts. A party that substantially prevails in action brought under this Agreement is entitled to recover from the other party its reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs. Both parties agree that this Agreement is the complete and exclusive statement of the mutual understanding of the parties and supersedes and cancels all previous written and oral agreements, communications, and other understandings relating to the subject matter of this Agreement and that all modifications must be in writing signed by both parties, except as otherwise provided herein. No agency, partnership, joint venture, or employment is created as a result of this Agreement, and you acknowledge that you do not have any authority of any kind to bind Arival in any respect whatsoever. 


ARIVAL 360 Berlin 2023

5 – 7 March 2023 | In-Person

THE event for creators and sellers of Tours, Activities, Attractions & Experiences to connect, learn, and grow their business

Arival | Elevate: Recession Proof Your Business MasterClass with Cultivate Advisors


Facilitator: Colin Bowman, Cohort Leader & Partner

Emerging from a pandemic and into uncertain times, including a looming recession for any business isn’t easy. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed, scared, or unsure of the decisions to make in your business right now- you are not alone- and, this course is for you. At Cultivate Advisors, we’ve been having a lot of conversations with business owners for the past several months around the recession, how to brace for it and the strategies to thrive in a down economy.

Plan to dive deep together on this subject with the experts at Cultivate Advisors.

In this session we will:

  • Analyze data from past recessions to pull learning forward to combat this next one
  • Cover 7 defensive and 7 offensive tactics to protect the business while capturing market share and how to sell differently during a recession
  • Discuss how to lead employees differently during a recession 
  • Review a number of other tactical questions we commonly get such as: “Should you give discounts during a recession?”

We will leave time for Q+A at the end so the group can bring up any other challenges they would like to bring up or discuss.

We’re ‘all in this together’ so bring your questions and be ready to engage with a bunch of other business owners and opertators so you get the most out of this session.

RSVP required.
Free to Insider Pro Access members.


Event Refund Program

Please contact us at [email protected] if you need personal assistance.

The Global Refund Program reimburses you for the Ticket Cost of a non-refundable, unused Ticket, less any Refunds if a Ticketholder is unable to use their Ticket due to one or more of the following reasons:

  1. Any serious Injury or any unforeseen serious Illness occurring to a Ticketholder which results in a Ticketholder being unable to attend the Event for which the Ticket is purchased. In the case of such Injury or Illness, the Ticketholder must be examined by a physician, who must advise the Ticketholder in writing not to attend the Event.
  2. Any serious Injury or any unforeseen serious Illness occurring to a Ticketholder’s Immediate Family Member which requires the Ticketholder to provide primary care to that person. In the case of such Injury or Illness, the Ticketholder’s Immediate Family Member must be examined by a Physician.
  3. Any serious Injury or any unforeseen serious Illness occurring to a Ticketholder’s Immediate Family Member that is considered life-threatening or requiring hospitalization. In the case of such Injury or Illness, the Ticketholder’s Immediate Family Member must be examined by a Physician.
  4. A Ticketholder receiving a positive COVID-19 Test resulting in the Ticketholder being unable to attend the Event due to a requirement to self-isolate. You must provide evidence of a positive COVID-19 Test.
  5. A Ticketholder who is deemed to be in a high-risk group and is advised by a Physician not to attend the Event. Ticketholder must not have knowledge of being in a high-risk group at the time of purchase.
  6. A Ticketholder’s death on or within 30 days prior to the Event.
  7. The death of a Ticketholder’s Immediate Family Member on or within 30 days prior to the Event.
  8. A Ticketholder being directly involved in a Traffic Accident on the day of the event that causes damage to a Ticketholder’s vehicle creates an immediate need for repair to ensure the safe operation of the vehicle.
  9. A Mechanical Breakdown of a Ticketholder’s vehicle within 48 hours of the Event, resulting in the non-use of the vehicle as transportation to the Event. You must provide proof of the Mechanical Breakdown, such as a tow truck or mechanic’s receipt or a police report.
  10. A Ticketholder who is on Active Military Duty having been deployed overseas at the time of the Event.
  11. A Ticketholder being directly or indirectly involved in a traffic accident en route to departure on a Common Carrier resulting in the Ticketholder missing transportation to the Event, provided that the transportation was scheduled to depart no more than 48 hours prior to the Event, and the Common Carrier was unable to accommodate the Ticketholder on later transportation which would arrive in time to attend the Event.
  1. A Ticketholder not arriving at the venue due to a delay by the Common Carrier used for transportation.
  2. Severe weather conditions result in the Ticketholder’s inability to attend the Event. The Ticketholder must be unable to reach the Event by car or Common Carrier. This does not include weather such as heavy snowfall with roads open, ice on roads, or abnormally heavy rain unless the intervention of authorities is involved. If the event is canceled due to weather, the Ticketholder will not qualify for a refund.
  3. Fire, burglary, vandalism, or Natural Disaster causes the Ticketholder’s home to be uninhabitable after the purchase of Tickets and before the date of the event.
  4. Fire, burglary, vandalism, flood, or Natural Disaster causes the Ticketholder’s place of work to be unsuitable for normal business practice after the purchase of Tickets and within 48 hours of the Event.
  5. A Ticketholder’s or their Spouse’s job is relocated 100 miles or more from the Ticketholder’s primary residence. Accepting a new job with another employer is not considered relocation and does not qualify for a refund.
  6. A Ticketholder or their Spouse being laid off or terminated through no action or fault of their own, after at least 3 continuous years of permanent employment with the same employer. The termination must occur after the purchase date. Self-employed workers, volunteer workers, or any other unpaid workers do not qualify for a refund.
  7. A Ticketholder being required to serve jury duty or being served with a subpoena or court order requiring attendance in court the day the Event is scheduled, preventing the attendance of the Event.
  8. A minor Ticketholder being unable to attend an Event because the Ticketholder on whom they are dependent to take them to the Event is unable to take them due to one or more of the reasons listed above.

What We Will Not Refund

No refund will be provided as a result whether directly or indirectly of the following:

  1. Alcohol or substance abuse; or conditions or physical complications related thereto of a Ticketholder or a Ticketholder’s Immediate Family Member;
  2. Any general restrictions imposed on traveling or gathering as a result of COVID-19;
  3. Any consequence of war, invasion, acts of foreign enemies, hostilities (whether war be declared or not), civil war, rebellion, revolutions, insurrection, military or usurped power, riot, civil commotion strikes, lockout, terrorism, malicious intent or vandalism, confiscation or nationalization of or requisition or destruction of or damage to property by or under the order of any government or public or local authority;
  4. Nuclear reaction, radiation, or radioactive contamination;
  5. Terrorism;
  6. Pollution or threat of pollutant release;
  7. Any unlawful acts committed by a Ticketholder or Ticketholder’s Immediate Family Members
  8. The Event being canceled by the venue or promoter for any reason (including bad weather);
  9. Lost or stolen Tickets;
  10. Dental treatment, except as a result of an Injury to sound natural teeth;
  11. Participation in any military service, maneuver or training exercise not overseas;
  12. Inability to obtain a visa required for travel;
  13. Making a false or fraudulent refund application or support a refund application by false or fraudulent document, device, or statement;
  14. Submitting your refund request more than 45 days after the Event;
  15. Any expected or foreseeable events not listed under the What We Will Refund section

General Conditions

  • You must provide sufficient documentation to verify your refund request falls under one or more of the reasons listed in the What We Will Refund section.
  • You must make all necessary arrangements to arrive at the event on time.
  • You must not be aware of any material fact, matter or circumstance, at the time the refund protection was purchased, which may give rise to a refund request.
  • You must take all reasonable precautions to prevent or reduce any request for a refund

Unless we agree otherwise:

  • The language of this document and all communications relating to it will be English; and
  • All aspects of the contract, including negotiation and performance, are subject to English laws and the decisions of English courts.


  • Accident means an unexpected, unintended, unforeseeable event.
  • Active Military Duty means serving in the armed forces.
  • Common Carrier means an entity licensed to carry passengers for hire by air, or on land or water. Common Carrier does not include vehicle rental companies.
  • COVID-19 means Coronavirus disease known as COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 Test means any positive test for COVID-19 that can be evidenced and requires a Ticketholder to self-isolate.
  • Event means an experience or a series of experiences, with specified or expiration dates, that a Ticketholder reserves, registers, attends, or participates in such as sports, performing arts, camps, tournaments, conferences, lodging, specialized classes, spa treatments, or other similar experiences.
  • Illness means a sickness, infirmity, or disease that begins after the Ticket is purchased, which prevents the Ticketholder from attending the Event, and is not a Pre-existing Condition.
  • Immediate Family Member means a Ticketholder’s spouse, parent, child, foster child, stepchild or child-in-law.
  • Injury means bodily injury caused by an Accident, directly and independently of all other causes and sustained on or after the purchase date and before the Event Date.
  • Mechanical Breakdown means a mechanical issue that prevents a vehicle from being driven, a flat tire requiring professional roadside assistance, or a vehicle becoming inoperable. Mechanical breakdown does not include running out of fuel, the need for routine maintenance, or inoperability because of lost, unavailable, or stolen keys.
  • Natural Disaster means flood, wildfire, hurricane, tornado, earthquake, tsunami, volcanic eruption, blizzard, or avalanche that is due to natural causes.
  • Physician means a licensed/qualified medical practitioner who is practicing within the scope of his or her license/qualification and who is licensed to prescribe and administer medication and to perform surgery that is appropriate for the condition and locality. A Physician does not include someone residing in Your home, an Immediate Family Member, or Your in-laws (parent, child, sibling), aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, or legal guardian.

Refund means:

  • Money returned to You by the supplier;
  • Any credit or voucher for future events You receive or are entitled to receive from the supplier; or
  • Any credits, recoveries, or reimbursements You receive or are entitled to receive from Your employer, a credit card issuer, or any other institution.
  • Spouse means a Ticketholder’s lawful spouse as defined by law and includes civil unions and domestic partners.
  • Ticket means the registration or reservation required to attend or participate in an Event and paid for in full by You. A ticket is deemed used once the Ticketholder attends any part of the Event.
  • Ticket Cost means the total amount paid for one Ticket, including any prorated taxes, fees, and shipping costs. Ticket Cost does not include costs added after the refund protection has been provided.
  • Ticketholder means the person to whom this ticket is issued and has an incidence of ownership under this ticket. Ticketholder does not include a Ticket Reseller.
  • Ticket Reseller means a person or entity that buys tickets for the purpose of resale and includes any marketplace designed to facilitate such resale. Ticket Reseller includes ticket scalpers and ticket brokers.


Welcome to Arival!

Arival is pleased to welcome all of its international attendees to the USA and would like to make the process as seamless as possible.

If you are traveling to the United States for tourism or business for 90 days or less, you may be eligible to visit the US without a visa if your country is participating in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)

Visitor Visa


Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for a temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. Visitor visas are nonimmigrant visas for persons who want to enter the United States temporarily for business (visa category B-1), for tourism (visa category B-2), or for a combination of both purposes (B-1/B-2).

Here are some examples of activities permitted with a visitor visa:

  • Consult with business associates
  • Attend a scientific, educational, professional, or business convention or conference
  • Settle an estate
  • Negotiate a contract

Learn more about  Business Travel to the United States  (PDF – 362 KB) on a visitor visa.

  • Tourism
  • Vacation (holiday)
  • Visit with friends or relatives
  • Medical treatment
  • Participation in social events hosted by fraternal, social, or service organizations
  • Participation by amateurs in musical, sports, or similar events or contests, if not being paid for participating
  • Enrollment in a short recreational course of study, not for credit toward a degree (for example, a two-day cooking class while on vacation)

Learn more about  Visitor Visas – Business and Pleasure   (PDF – 1020 KB).

These are some examples of activities that require different categories of visas and cannot be done while on a visitor visa:
  • Study
  • Employment
  • Paid performances, or any professional performance before a paying audience
  • Arrival as a crewmember on a ship or aircraft
  • Work as foreign press, in radio, film, print journalism, or other information media
  • Permanent residence in the United StatesThese are some examples of activities that require different categories of visas and cannot be done while on a visitor visa:
    • Study
    • Employment
    • Paid performances, or any professional performance before a paying audience
    • Arrival as a crewmember on a ship or aircraft
    • Work as foreign press, in radio, film, print journalism, or other information media
    • Permanent residence in the United States

How to Apply

There are several steps to apply for a visa. The order of these steps and how you complete them may vary by U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Please consult the instructions on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website.

Complete the Online Visa Application

  • Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 – Learn more about completing the DS-160. You must: 1) complete the online visa application and 2) print the application form confirmation page to bring to your interview.
  • Photo – You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160. Your photo must be in the format explained in the Photograph Requirements.

Schedule an Interview

Interviews are generally required for visa applicants with certain limited exceptions below. Consular officers may require an interview of any visa applicant.

If you are age:Then an interview is:
13 and youngerGenerally not required
14-79Required (some exceptions for renewals)
80 and olderGenerally not required

You should schedule an appointment for your visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where you live. You may schedule your interview at another U.S. Embassy or Consulate, but be aware that it may be more difficult to qualify for a visa outside of the country where you live.

Wait times for interview appointments vary by location, season, and visa category, so you should apply for your visa early. Review the interview wait time for the location where you will apply:

Visa Appointment Wait Times

Advance travel planning and early visa application are important. If you plan to apply for a nonimmigrant visa to come to the United States as a temporary visitor, please click the button below to go to https:/travel.state.gov where you will find a helpful tool that allows you to look up Visa Appointment Wait Times by U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Prepare for Your Interview

  • Fees – Pay the non-refundable visa application fee, if you are required to pay it before your interview. If your visa is approved, you may also need to pay a visa issuance fee, if applicable to your nationality.

Click here to see all information about Fees for Visa Services.

  • Review the instructions available on the website of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you will apply to learn more about fee payment.

Gather Required Documentation

Gather and prepare the following required documents before your visa interview:

  • Passport valid for travel to the United States – Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States (unless exempt by country-specific agreements). Each individual who needs a visa must submit a separate application, including any family members listed in your passport.
  • Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page.
  • Application fee payment receipt, if you are required to pay before your interview.
  • Photo – You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160. If the photo upload fails, you must bring one printed photo in the format explained in the Photograph Requirements.
  • Invitation Letter: If you are in need of an invitation letter in support of your visa application, please email [email protected] with your full name (as it appears on your passport), your passport number, and email address. We will respond within 3 business days.

Additional Documentation May Be Required

Review the instructions for how to apply for a visa on the website of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you will apply. Additional documents may be requested to establish if you are qualified. For example, additional requested documents may include evidence of:

  • The purpose of your trip,
  • Your intent to depart the United States after your trip, and/or
  • Your ability to pay all costs of the trip.

Evidence of your employment and/or your family ties may be sufficient to show the purpose of your trip and your intent to return to your home country. If you cannot cover all the costs for your trip, you may show evidence that another person will cover some or all costs for your trip.

Note: Visa applicants must qualify on the basis of the applicant’s residence and ties abroad, rather than assurances from U.S. family and friends. A letter of invitation or Affidavit of Support is not needed to apply for a visitor visa. If you choose to bring a letter of invitation or Affidavit of Support to your interview, please remember it is not one of the factors used in determining whether to issue or deny the visa.

Attend Your Visa Interview

A consular officer will interview you to determine whether you are qualified to receive a visitor visa, or if another category is more appropriate for your purpose of travel.  You must establish that you meet the requirements under U.S. law to receive a visa.

Ink-free, digital fingerprint scans are taken as part of the application process. They are usually taken during your interview, but this varies based on location.

After your visa interview, the consular officer may determine that your application requires further administrative processing.  The consular officer will inform you if this required.

After the visa is approved, you may need to pay a visa issuance fee (if applicable to your nationality), and make arrangements for the return of the passport and visa to you.  Review the visa processing times to learn more.

Entering the United States

A visa allows a foreign citizen to travel to a U.S. port-of-entry (generally an airport) and request permission to enter the United States. A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials at the port-of-entry have authority to permit or deny admission to the United States. If you are allowed to enter the United States, the CBP official will provide an admission stamp or a paper Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record. Learn more about admissions and entry requirements, restrictions about bringing food, agricultural products, and other restricted/prohibited goods, and more by reviewing the CBP website.

Extending Your Stay

See Extend Your Stay on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website to learn about requesting to extend your stay beyond the date indicated on your admission stamp or paper Form I-94.

Failure to depart the United States on time will result in being out of status. Under U.S. law, visas of individuals who are out of status are automatically voided (Section 222(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act).  Any multiple entry visa that was voided due to being out of status will not be valid for future entries into the United States.

Failure to depart the United States on time may also result in you being ineligible for visas in the future. Review Visa Denials and Ineligibilities and Waivers: Laws to learn more.

Change of Status

If your plans change while in the United States (for example, you marry a U.S. citizen or receive an offer of employment), you may be able to request a change in your nonimmigrant status to another category through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). See Change My Nonimmigrant Status on the USCIS website to learn more.

While you are in the United States, receiving a change of status from USCIS does not require you to apply for a new visa.  However, once you depart the United States you must apply for a new visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the appropriate category for your travel.

Additional Information

An individual on a visitor visa (B1/B2) is not permitted to accept employment or work in the United States.

  • There is no guarantee you will be issued a visa. Do not make final travel plans or buy tickets until you have a visa.
  • A valid U.S. visa in an expired passport is still valid. Unless canceled or revoked, a visa is valid until its expiration date. If you have a valid visa in your expired passport, do not remove it from your expired passport. You may use your valid visa in your expired passport along with a new valid passport for travel and admission to the United States.

Further Questions

  • Case-Specific Questions – Contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate handling your visa application for status information. Select U.S. Embassy or Consulate for contact information.
  • General Questions – review Contact Us.

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