OTA Share Slips, Websites Gain in 2020

As travel and experiences shifted to local, outdoor and small-group experiences, online travel agencies, long the fastest-growing channel in our industry, have lost market share.

Reading Time: 1 minute 58 seconds

The Covid-19 pandemic has hardly been kind to the in-destination industry. Even the mightiest in our sector have seen their fortunes tumble. 

Online travel agencies (OTAs), which had been the fastest growing distribution channel in tours, activities and attractions over the past decade, have lost market share in 2020. 

According to the Arival Recovery Survey of nearly 700 tour and activity operators worldwide, OTAs as a percentage of all sales slid from 33% in 2019 to 31% in 2020, while sales on operator websites jumped four percentage points to 40% over the same period. 

The shift is even more pronounced for attractions, which reported a slide from 21% in the summer season of 2019 to just 18% in 2020 for sales via OTAs. Meanwhile, attractions saw a jump of 10 points in sales through their own websites to 53%. 

A Covid Blip or Long-Term Trend? 

The shift of traveler consumption to local and domestic experiences is likely the key driver. Consumers are more familiar with activities locally and may have less need for OTAs to discover experiences and activities nearby. 

Travelers are also planning and booking more in advance, checking directly with operators to ensure tours and experiences are open and to see what health and safety measures are in place. Many operators, especially attractions, are requiring online booking in advance to manage capacity due to governmental regulations on capacity limits. Operators have also been placing an increased focus on marketing locally.

However, the shift may be short-lived. OTAs have typically out-performed during recessions and led travel’s recovery. We expect this to be no different as travel recovers in 2021 and 2022. Operators, hungry for new business, will seek to add distribution partners and get bookings wherever possible. A majority of survey respondents – 60% – said they expect OTAs to grow faster and become more important in the rebound. 

Arival Recovery Survey

Arival conducted its Recovery Survey between September 10 and October 9, 2020, to track the state of reopening and recovery among tour, activity, and attraction operators and the steps they are taking to address the challenges of the pandemic and related travel downturn.

Interested in more distribution trends and the role of OTAs in tours, activities, and attractions. Get your copy of Arival’s Sales & Distribution Report: Trends & Outlook 2020

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].