Top Reasons Why Travelers Choose Certain Tours

Research shows both convenience and notable attractions drive tour selection. Here’s why.

Reading Time: 3 mins

Choosing which tour to add to a vacation itinerary is a complicated decision. U.S. travelers have to weigh many factors including their schedule, what their travel companions want to do, price, weather, reviews and more when deciding which tour is a right fit for their trip. But what factors play the most important role in this choice?

The convenience of tour schedules is a top reason travelers chose a specific tour, followed by the ability to see famous, bucket-list-type sites. The price of the tour is also a big factor.

Travelers have different reasons for taking tours depending on the type of tour. For example, seeing famous sites such as the Grand Canyon, the Hollywood sign or the Alamo is especially important among U.S. travelers taking bus tours or having an experience with a local guide. Whereas, travelers taking an active adventure or eco/nature tour, or a more unique tour with a local, say the positive TripAdvisor reviews, online photos and captivating tour descriptions play an essential role in their decision-making process.

Reasons For Choosing A Specific Tour

Operator Takeaway: Focus on Schedule & Content

Not unlike travelers, operators manage many factors to make their tour more appealing. 

They must have enough availability to fit into busy traveler schedules and provide convenient and flexible departure times. They must ensure they have frequent and many positive online reviews to build trust with new customers who likely have never heard of your business. They must ensure the descriptions of their tours across all distribution platforms are accurate and engaging, and that their images and videos of tours are high quality and magnetic.

Operators should first identify scheduling that makes sense to them and their guests, and establish a competitive price to attract more U.S. travelers. Tour owners should then optimize their tours by focusing on clear, compelling content to build a strong digital presence. As reviews are vital to many operators, be sure to follow-up with your past guests to incentivize them to write a review, such as with discount codes and even small gifts like cool stickers with your tour logo.

Additionally, don’t get stuck on things that are important to you, but not to your guests. Travelers don’t seem to care about industry awards or certifications. So operators should be thoughtful about certifications to ensure the investment is justified.

And while everyone supposedly loves Instagram, it’s not that impactful for travelers in the actual tour selection process. It may drive brand awareness and inspire travelers generally, but when it comes to choosing and booking the specific tour, travelers need a lot more than a pretty picture.

For more insights on U.S. in-destination travelers, download Arival’s recent report, Why We Tour: Inside the Mind of the Modern Tour Taker.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


already a member?

Lost your password?


Become an Arival Insider

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

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

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].