Online Booking or Bust — Mobile Ticketing Top Choice for Event Travelers

As performing arts and sporting events drive tourism, Arival research looks at traveler booking preferences and finds mobile ticketing is their top choice

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Gone are the days when you lined up in person at the mall in hopes of securing a ticket for your favorite band or sports team, or made a phone call from your landline only to be repeatedly thwarted by a busy signal. 

Ticket purchasing trends have evolved over the years, with online booking through mobile phones now a top choice for travelers in particular, according to the latest Arival research. 

Based on a survey of over 4,000 European and U.S. travelers, The Power of Events: How Sports and Performing Arts Drive Tourism, explores the growing trend of traveling for events and how travelers book their events and related travel.

Mobile Booking is the Ticket

Travelers predominantly book event tickets online using their computer, smartphone or tablet. For both U.S. and European travelers, over one in three travelers booked their tickets for performing arts and/or sporting events on their smartphone or tablet. 

As with the method of booking, tickets on a mobile device are the primary way both U.S. and European travelers receive their event tickets, with smartphone tickets outpacing both email-to-print and paper tickets for both sporting events and performing arts events. Over 40 percent of travelers opted for smartphone tickets for sporting events and over 35 percent of travelers selected smartphone tickets for performing arts events. 

As the number of travelers who chose to receive their tickets on their smartphones are slightly higher than those who booked on smartphones, this suggests even for some travelers who booked another way — such as by computer — still preferred to receive their tickets on their smartphones.  

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Online Booking Means Opportunity for Operators

As sporting events and performing arts are increasingly driving travelers to new destinations to see their favorite musicians or sports teams play, there’s a big opportunity for travel experience providers that can reach these travelers where they’re at online as they explore other things to do in their event destinations. 

Some travel platforms and online travel agencies (OTAs) have already begun integrating event tickets with travel booking: Klook, for example, promoted various services to travelers attending Taylor Swift’s recent concert in Singapore, including hotel and ticket packages as well as post-concert transport, and found that traveling concert-goers additionally booked a variety of experiences and attraction passes through their platforms.

For operators of tours, activities and attractions, ensuring that your experiences are bookable online with a modern online booking system (learn more about choosing a booking system here) and you are working with distribution channels that enable things like experience bundling (learn more about working with distributors here) will help you take advantage of the opportunity to attract more bookings when events are bringing more travelers to your destination. 

Learn more about the Power of Events in Arival’s latest report on The Power of Events: How Sports and Performing Arts Drive Tourism. 

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Header image: Pexels / Chase R. Smith 

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