Sneak Peek at San Diego 2024

From fresh research to interactive industry forums, we preview some of the featured sessions and special events coming to Arival this fall

Here comes the sun… and the biggest Arival event of 2024! This year’s North American event will be taking place 30 Sept. – 3 Oct., and we’re expecting around 1000 attendees from across the in-destination experiences sector. We’re also hoping for a good dose of California sunshine: San Diego averages 75°F (24°C), 262 hours of sunshine, and zero hurricanes in October!

Although we’re already longing for those relaxed west coast beach vibes, the sun is far from set on the planning itself. But while the full program for Arival 360 | San Diego 2024 is still being finalized, we want to give you a sneak peek into a few of the featured speakers, sessions and special events that we’re excited to share with you at THE event for the Best Part of Travel.

Hot Takes and Industry Insights: The U.S. Experiences Traveler, The Outlook for 2025 & Beyond

This fall on the theater stage we’ll feature insights from our 2024 U.S. Experiences Traveler research, and dive into what travelers are looking for and how they’re discovering, planning and booking tours, activities and attractions, and more.

We’ll also share results from our Global Operator Landscape survey, outlining the essential trends and key benchmarks for operators of tours, activities and attractions and other important players in the in-destination experiences sector. 

Arival CEO and Co-Founder Douglas Quinby will be presenting his signature session sharing the highlights, surprises and top takeaways from this research on the main stage, and we’ll sit down for in-depth discussions with a carefully curated cast of industry leaders to discuss the latest trends and what they’re expecting in 2025 and beyond. 

Arival Co-Founder and CEO Douglas Quinby discussing the future of experiences with GetYourGuide CEO Johannes Reck at Arival 360 | Berlin 2024

Growing Your Business: Five Themes for Conference Content 

The primary focus of Arival events is always to help you grow your business. For Arival 360 | San Diego, we’re planning sessions around five key themes to help equip creators and sellers of tours, activities and attractions with key learnings opportunities to grow: 

  • Getting More Direct Bookings: A series of sessions focused on marketing and sales strategy, from deep dives on direct booking to social media and all things digital marketing to help operators stay ahead of the latest trends in experiences marketing to win over customers.
  • Growing Your Sales with OTAs & Resellers: Distribution is a big part of tourism sales, and Arival always features a variety of sessions with leading experts, operators, OTAs and other resellers to help you grow your sales, whether you’re an industry newbie or experienced travel distribution expert. This time around we’ll also host a distributor showcase, where you will get to hear from some new, innovative distributors as well as the future of OTAs. 
  • Strategic Planning & Scaling Your Business: Arival assembles industry leaders and growth advisors to host sessions to help operators grow. Join Cultivate Advisors for strategic planning workshops, hear from investors and acquirers on how to prepare your business for sale, and more. 
  • Customer Insights & Experience Design: What do tomorrow’s travelers want, and how do we ensure our tours, activities and experiences meet their needs and exceed their expectations? Attend a series of sessions on the future consumer, the latest trends in experience design, culinary experiences, and much more. 
  • All Things AI, Tech & Innovation: Essential to every future-oriented operator is a solid tech stack that supports your growth. We’ll have introductory and advanced sessions on operator technology, as well as a series of sessions on implementing generative AI tools to make your business more efficient and profitable. We’re also planning a special event, the Arival Experiences Innovation Showcase, a series of presentations on new innovation applications you can use today to improve your business. 
Arival 360 | SAN DIEGO 2024

30 September – 3 October 2024

Insider Pro Access Members Save 20%

THE event of the year for solutions-focused In-Destination Experience
creators and sellers

Save up to $580 with the Summer Season ticket

Learn More

Roll Out the Red Carpet: Arival and Tour Review Spotlight Awards Return!

The Arival and Tour Review Spotlight Awards are back again this year, and we’re excited to come together again to raise our glasses and recognize the best in tours, activities, attractions and experiences. 

There are two award types: 

  • The Arival TourReview Spotlight Awards: Presented in partnership with TourReview. Finalists for these awards are selected based on data aggregated from multiple major review sites, OTAs and millions of customer reviews across the industry. You do not need to apply for these awards, all eligible companies are automatically considered. Learn more about the Arival TourReview Spotlight Awards here
  • The Arival Spotlight Awards: The Arival Spotlight Awards include six categories, which will honor tour operators, activities providers and experience creators and the companies that support them, with finalists chosen by a panel of experienced and impartial experts. While the first five categories are exclusively for operators, a sixth category recognizes innovative technology providers for the experiences sector: finalists for this award will be invited to take the stage during the Arival Experiences Innovation Showcase. Learn more about the Arival Spotlight Awards here, and apply now

The celebration and award ceremony will take place during Arival 360 | San Diego on Tuesday, October 1, 2024. Finalist or not, everyone is invited to join the party (and raise a glass) with us!

Celebrating with the winners at the inaugural Arival and Tour Review Spotlight Awards in 2023. See the winners of last year’s awards here.

A Tale of Two Tracks: Explore and Elevate Sessions Tailored to Different Levels of Experience

One of the common pieces of feedback we get after events is the need for more sessions tailored to different levels of knowledge and experience. For example, while some may just be starting out on their journey of working with online travel agencies (OTAs) and looking for advice on overcoming common challenges, others may have years of experience working with a variety of distribution channels and are looking to go deeper on strategy. 

This year we’re breaking out our breakout sessions into two distinct tracks: Explore and Elevate. Explore sessions are intended to be more introductory discussions on topics like growing direct bookings, essential tour and activity tech, and what to expect when working with resellers. Explore sessions will dig deeper into many of the same topics but with more advanced sessions on digital marketing and AI, distribution strategy and dynamic pricing.

Learn more about each of these track types on the San Diego event page here

Kelsey Tonner from Guest Focus leads a breakout session on writing great tour descriptions at Arival.

Go Deeper in Sector-Specific and Specialty Topics with Interactive Industry Forums

Another thing we’re bringing to Arival this year is a day dedicated to small group, interactive forums on specialty topics for your segment of the industry. In the past, these forum sessions have been scattered throughout the program during the rest of the event. However, we got a lot of feedback from our attendees that they didn’t like having to choose between the Culinary Forum, for example, and more general topics on SEO marketing or working with OTAs that are also valuable. 

So this time around, we’re intentionally building the schedule a little differently, to allow dedicated time for different specialty topics and workshops. Culinary experiences, outdoor adventures and watersports will all have dedicated sessions on this day. Other workshops will explore preparing your business for sale, scaling and strategic planning, and a hands-on workshop on creating and sharing short-form video.  

Different industry segments, such as culinary experiences, watersports and outdoor adventure, will have dedicated interactive forums at Arival 360 | San Diego.

We’re Not Robots Yet: Human Connections and Next-Level Networking

While AI continues to be a hot topic, and its uses and applications in tourism expand every day, the experiences sector has an advantage that AI can’t touch: you. Coming together to connect in person is what Arival is all about. 

We repeatedly hear from attendees that making connections — genuine connections that go beyond simply “networking” or a “buyer-seller relationship” — are what makes Arival special, and the reason so many attendees keep coming back. 

Arival is “our superbowl” for making connections, shares Chris Paterson, Owner & Founder of Kailani Tours Hawaii.

In San Diego, we’re experimenting with a few new ideas of how to help facilitate these natural connections, and create an environment where connecting is easier and more enjoyable than ever. We’ve got a few surprises up our sleeves… but you’ll have to be there in person to experience it for yourself!

Arival 360 | SAN DIEGO 2024

30 September – 3 October 2024

Insider Pro Access Members Save 20%

THE event of the year for solutions-focused In-Destination Experience
creators and sellers

Save up to $580 with the Summer Season ticket

Learn More

Wax Down Your Surfboards for Arival 360 | San Diego 2024

Planning aside, as any good tour guide knows, you never know for sure exactly what’s going to happen when the wheels hit the road. Will Arival’s editor float across the pool on a giant inflatable pink flamingo (again)? Will the heads of Viator and GetYourGuide duke it out over an epic round of aqua jousting (let’s settle this once and for all)? Will Douglas Quinby initiate a flash mob from the theater stage to the tune of “Rapper’s Delight” (a girl can dream)? There’s only one way to find out…

…by joining us for Arival 360 | San Diego 2024, of course! Tickets are on summer season sale until the end of July — don’t miss this chance to level up your business and connect and with leaders and peers in the Best Part of Travel (and in the pool!). We hope to see you there!

A person lounges on a pink flamingo pool float in a swimming pool, holding a drink, with a blue sky and crowd of people in the background.

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Membership Overview

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.

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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].