Gen-Z Need More than Sightseeing: How Younger Travelers Are Changing the Tours Industry

Arival’s latest research on the U.S. Tour Taker reveals Gen-Z and Millennial travelers are looking for more than just sightseeing: they want to feel, taste, touch and immerse themselves in your experiences

More U.S. travelers are taking guided tours and experiences than ever, according to Arival’s 2024 U.S. Tour Taker Report. And travelers are taking more types of tours: from shopping and culinary to adventure, eco tours and specialty themed tours, almost all tour categories saw an increase in demand from U.S. travelers.

But not all categories saw growth from all U.S. travelers. 

Based on a survey of 1,000 U.S. travelers, the newest report from the 2024 U.S. Experiences Traveler research series delves into the state of today’s tour taker – who they are, what they want, and how they choose, book and share.

One of the takeaways from this report focused on the tour taker segment of experiences travelers was a shift among younger U.S. travelers away from sightseeing and towards other more experiential types of tours.

More than Sightseeing

Sightseeing tours remain the most popular overall, but this is driven largely by older travelers (55+), who are twice as likely to do sightseeing tours than 18-34-year-olds .

Younger travelers – in particular Gen-Z and Millennials – want more immersive, experiential tours. They are twice as likely (or more) as older travelers to do food tours, adventure and wellness, and special interest tours (these are tours focused on an area of industry such as photography or a specific theme in history, culture or art). 

These trends reflect the extraordinary shifts underway in how today’s travelers want a new type of tour – one that more deeply connects a visitor to a place and people and immerses them in an experiential activity. 

Learn More About the 2024 U.S. Tour Taker

Learn more about today’s tour taker in our latest report, the 2024 U.S. Tour Taker, available exclusively for Arival Insider Pro Access members — sign up and/or log in and download your copy today.

The tour taker report is the second in a series of reports based on Arival’s latest U.S. consumer research. Look for more reports and articles in this series, focusing on:

Also, join us for an upcoming Arival event to learn more about what travelers are looking for and how to reach them, as we explore the latest travel trends, research results and experiences industry insights, with practical tips and takeaways for operators of tours, activities, attractions and experiences.

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