Top Tours & Activities Marketing Trends in 2023

Founder of Blend Travel Marketing weighs in on marketing trends for tours, activities and attractions in the new year.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

We’ve all been through a lot over the last few years — working in travel throughout a global pandemic — so what better way to start the new year than with a dose of optimism? 

Recently at Arival, I sat down to talk travel marketing trends for 2023 with Jeremiah Calvino, founder of Blend Travel Marketing and self-described “endless optimist.” 

“The creativity, the ingenuity, the diversity and the kindness of people just blows me away,” shares Calvino about the inspiration for his optimism. “There’s of course a lot of really hard things in the world… but I think the human spirit is just incredible.”

Calvino then goes on to share what he sees as some of the top digital marketing trends operators need to be aware of going into 2023. 

Top Five Considerations for Experiences Marketing in 2023

Jeremiah Calvino of Blend Travel Marketing speaks with Arival Editor Janelle Visser about marketing in 2023 at Arival 360 | Las Vegas

1. Don’t Forget the Basics

Rather than starting off with the newest, flashiest trend in marketing, Calvino begins with a reminder to focus on having a solid foundation. 

“A lot of the basics stay the same,” says Calvino, “you need to have a good website, you need to be visible if people are searching for you.”

For operators of tours, activities and attractions, one of the keys to a solid website is good tour description pages

2. Embrace Video

Video has been important for a long time, shares Calvino, but TikTok, YouTube and Instagram Reels are driving the impact of short-form video forward. “Every platform is embracing video and people are consuming video in a different way,” says Calvino. 

While video can seem daunting, especially for operators on a budget, Calvino explains that these days video doesn’t have to mean a high end production. “There’s a place for that but there’s also the go-pro, cell phone footage, in the moment video, vertical video obviously.” 

3. Own Your Own Data

First party data — or data you own — is becoming more important, especially as cookies “continue to die a slow death,” says Calvino. 

“A lot of digital marketing has really hinged on the cookie, and so marketing is having to get a lot smarter,” explains Calvino. “Owning your own data, like having a customer list, having an email list, having a media following, ways to have permission marketing that’s not just dependent upon these third party cookies is becoming really important.”

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 €990 as an Insider Pro Access Member

Learn More

4. Know Your Numbers

“A lot of people don’t know how many people are coming to their website or what their conversion rate is or what their cost of acquisition is,” says Calvino. “If you don’t know your numbers, if you’re not tracking things carefully, things are going up or going down [and] you don’t know why.” 

The reason knowing your numbers is so important, explains Calvino, is that “as a business owner you want to be in control of your destiny and the market’s always changing, global macroeconomic trends, consumer preferences… we live in a dynamic world, and you need to be able to adapt to what the market is doing. If you don’t know what’s working, what’s not working, where your numbers are going, it just makes it really hard.”

5. Consider Influencer Marketing For Authentic Content

While influencer marketing may work well for some people in some contexts, it may not be useful for others. Calvino observes that influencer marketing can really shine when you want to create high quality, authentic content without a high production cost.

“One of the things I like about influencers is some of them are really good at creating high quality content and they’ll do it inexpensively,” shares Calvino. “They’ll create a really high quality piece of content and that gives you a piece of content that you can amplify… using influencers to tell authentic stories is a really good idea.”

However, sometimes the tendency can be to use an influencer with a lot of followers simply for “reach.” According to Calvino, this often doesn’t work as well for companies particularly in the tours and activities space. 

“Kim Kardashian might have a billion followers but how many of them are looking to go kayaking in your city next week? The match rate is kind of low.” 

Learn More About Marketing 

If you’re considering working with a marketing agency, check out our curated list of 10 Marketing Agencies for Tour Operators and Attractions

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

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].