More Attractions Visitors Looking For Guided Experiences in 2023

New Arival research shows a significant shift in traveler preferences post-Covid towards guided experiences. Here’s how attractions can adapt to this latest shift.

Reading Time: 2 minutes 37 seconds

After two years of severely restricted travel due to the Covid-19 pandemic, travelers’ attractions preferences have shifted dramatically.

Released in late December 2022 and conducted in partnership with Phocuswright, Arival’s latest report The Global Attractions Traveler compiled and analyzed survey responses from more than 4,000 travelers across Europe and the U.S. The report unveils how travelers choose and book visitor attractions, how these trends have shifted since the pandemic, and what this means for attraction operators and marketers in 2023.

One of the things this study found is travelers have been preferring — and paying more for — guided, small-group and private tours and experiences. While attractions typically rely more on tickets than tours, there are a few ways attractions can adapt to draw in travelers seeking guided experiences:

1.  Offer Guided Tours or Unique Experiences as Part of Your Attraction

Overall, iconic visitor and natural attractions, long the leading driver of tourism visitation, took a back seat to guided tours and experiences for both U.S. and European travelers. However, sightseeing remains the most popular type of tour and has gained ground since pre-pandemic times, as the figure below shows.

This suggests that travelers are not just buying an entry ticket: they want to make the most of their visit with a tour or guide. One way attractions can adapt to this is to find ways to offer more guided tours or unique experiences as part of their attraction offerings.

ARIVAL 360 | VALENCIA

28-30 APRIL 2025

Insider Pro Access Members Save 20%

THE event of the year for the European in-destination experiences industry

Save up to €910 with the Super Early Bird ticket

Learn More

2.  Build Reseller Partnerships with Local Tour Operators

Most travelers purchase tickets to cultural attractions and museums directly as stand-alone tickets. However, a significant percentage of travelers — especially from the U.S. — accessed such attractions via a tour in 2022.

Nearly half of U.S. and one in three European travelers visited a cultural attraction or museum via a tour in 2022, as the below figure shows.

In order to make the most of this shift in traveler preferences, attractions should consider expanding their reseller partnerships with local tour operators.

3.  Invest in Self-Guided Technology

Another thing the study showed is a rise in self-guided tours. More and more attraction visitors are using self guided tours via their mobile phones, and not only that but they are willing to pay for them.

One in four European and 31% of U.S. travelers purchased a self-guided mobile audio tour for an attraction visit in 2022.

As this data suggests, the right investments in self-guided experiences could be a meaningful ancillary revenue opportunity for attractions.

Learn More About Attractions Visitor Trends, Preferences and Booking Behavior

Understand the latest trends in how travelers choose and book attractions in the Global Attractions Traveler. Or dig into Arival’s 2023 Experiences Traveler report to understand the latest traveler trends across the tours, activities and attractions sector as a whole.

Become an Insider Pro Access member today and get access to the full library of Arival research, plus many other benefits such as free consulting sessions, special discounts and 20% off in-person events, starting from $179 per year.

GET ON THE LIST!

Sign up to receive insights tailored for the in-destination industry as well as updates on Arival.

Sign Up

Feature photo: Matheus Bertelli / Pexels

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Trending

already a member?

Lost your password?

NEED TO REGISTER?

Become an Arival Insider
THE ARIVAL INSIDER PRO ACCESS MEMBERSHIP; YOU GET ALL THIS TO HELP YOU ADVANCE YOUR BUSINESS.

Included in Free Membership

Included in Arival Pro Membership

The Arival on-demand video library archive
Access to the entire library of over 150 video sessions and webinars

Arival.guides
Short, digestible research & trends reports delivering insights into our industry, such as The Tour Operator Outlook for 2021.

Arival.travel articles
Topical articles about marketing, tech, operator business and operator stories in all areas of tours, activities & attractions & experiences

Job board access
Find a job from our regular listings, post a resume to the talent network and learn strategies from the job resources articles

New webinars
Helpful, instructional sessions covering subjects such as Mastering Facebook Ads, Grow Your Business and How To Work With OTAs — topics to help advance your business.

Discounts on all Arival in-person events
20% Discount on all Arival in-person events (save up to $300)* based on business type

Arival ProShield – Insurance program
Access to tailored insurance solutions by Granite Insurance is available exclusively for Arival Insider Pro Access Members. Insider Pro Access Members also have access to a suite of resources from Granite Insurance including templates, forms and other informative documents.

Insiders Pro Access member exclusive webinars
Paid membership-only webinars to deepen your understanding of important industry topics.

Job postings & talent directory
Post jobs & connect with candidates most applicable to your business.

Private roundtables to connect, learn and engage
Small, focused and intimate discussions exclusive to Arival Insider Pro Access members.

Full access to Arival’s library of in-depth reports
Up to date, deep analysis of tourism topics ranging from Self-guided Tours to Sales & Distribution Trends and Outlooks, based on the data that defines the industry.

The latest on-demand videos
Over 350+ on-demand videos featuring hot topics in tours, activities & attractions

Insider discounts in digital marketing, tech, e-learning, and more
Save money on additional tools, services and learnings you need to run your business. Exclusive to paid members.

Membership Overview
ARIVAL CODE OF CONDUCT​
CONFERENCES AND COMMUNITY SPACES​

At Arival, we believe travel can make the world a better place. Our mission is to establish and inspire a diverse community of individuals and companies in the In-destination Industry by providing opportunities to gain insight, share knowledge and build connections. To make it possible for true collaboration, creativity, innovation, and idea exchange to thrive, we are committed to facilitating a welcoming and respectful community for all. This Conference Code of Conduct shares our community expectations and applies to all attendees, employees, exhibitors, speakers, sponsors, volunteers, and other participants at Arival- produced and sponsored events. We empower all participants in our community to actively engage in creating a friendly, inclusive and safe environment for all.

Arival’s core values include the following, and create an expectation for conduct at our events and in online community spaces:

We demonstrate a deep respect for human beings inside and outside our company and for the communities in which they live.
We value integrity and strive to consistently interact with others in ways that are authentic, ethical, and fair.
We are dedicated to transparency, committing to clear, open and honest communication.
We actively pursue and advocate for inclusion, diversity and representation of varying cultural backgrounds, perspectives and ideas

Arival welcomes people from all cultural backgrounds, and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, gender (including pregnancy, perceived pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions), gender identity, religion (including religious dress and grooming), marital status, domestic partner status, genetic information, age, national origin or ancestry, military or veteran status, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, or any other basis protected by federal, state, or local laws.

Accordingly, participants must refrain from displaying any demeaning, harassing, aggressive, or intimidating behavior or materials that would interfere with others’ experience and participation in our community.

If you witness or are subjected to inappropriate or disruptive behavior or have any other concerns, notify an Arival staff member as soon as possible.

Inappropriate or disruptive behavior will not be tolerated. Arival reserves the right to refuse entry to or remove any party from any event or community space at any time when participation or behavior create a disruption or hinder the event or enjoyment of the event by other participants. All determinations are at the sole discretion of Arival, and the decision of the Arival team will be final. Severe breaches of this Conference Code of Conduct may result in disqualification from participating in future events. Individuals expelled due to violating this Conference Code of Conduct will not be eligible for a refund or other consolation.

If you have questions regarding this Conference Code of Conduct or its implementation, please contact us at [email protected].