One in Three Customers Want to Pay More – Not Less

A new report from Arival and Go City examines what matters most to attraction visitors and how the right customer segmentation can help operators and attractions grow their volume and profitability

Not all travelers are created equal. A new report from Arival, in partnership with Go City, examines key consumer trends for visitor attractions and tour operators, and why they should identify key customer segments and develop targeted ticket and pricing strategies to serve them.  

Based on a survey of 1,000 U.S. travelers, Visitor Attractions & the New Booking Paradigm: Planning, Pricing, Timing & Flexibility delves into the major trends shaping visitor attractions, including amusement parks, zoos and aquariums, observation decks, museums and cultural monuments. 

Here are three things attraction visitors want most, and how the right customer segmentation and pricing strategy can help operators and attractions grow.

The Three Things Attraction Visitors Want Most

According to this new report, once a traveler has chosen the attraction they want to visit, there are three key criteria for travelers as they plan their visit and select their ticket:

  1. Price –  The post-Covid travel splurge has come to an end. Travelers are price-conscious again, and price is back as the top priority in ticket selection.
  1. Flexibility – Travelers are on vacation, they are on their trip to relax and enjoy. They want flexibility in when they can visit the attraction. 
  1. Certainty – Travelers want assurance that they will be able to get in and see the attraction. They don’t want to worry about missing out and not getting a ticket because it’s too busy. This is especially important for those “must-see” high-priority attractions. 
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 $660 with the Spring Savings ticket

Learn More

Give Visitors What They Want (and Charge for It)

These key drivers create some challenges for attraction operators, but also opportunities. For example, more attractions are implementing timed entry (when a visitor books a ticket for a specific time to enter the attraction) to improve forecasting and operational planning and reduce crowding. 

However, travelers also want flexibility in when they can visit an attraction (per point two above). These two demands would seem to be in conflict, but also create an opportunity. For example, attractions could charge a higher price for a more popular entry time, or an even higher price for a flexible entry ticket that provides a bigger time window for the visitor to enter. 

We asked travelers to select the ticket type they would most likely purchase for an upcoming attraction visit. More than a third – 36% – selected a premium ticket at least 10% more expensive than a standard walk-up rate for flexibility in when they could arrive. One in four said they would pay an additional 25% for a skip-the-line VIP experience. 

Customer Segmentation & Variable Pricing

How travelers balance the trade-off between price and flexibility varies greatly. Some prize price above all else, and will adjust their behavior by booking further in advance or coming at a least convenient time. Three in 10 would purchase an off-peak ticket with timed entry for a discount. 

Many travelers will pay for convenience and a better experience. More than a third would pay for more flexibility when visiting an attraction, and that number goes up to nearly half for “must-see” high-priority attractions and experiences. 

While the local marketplace dynamics and operational needs of each individual attraction will be unique, all attractions should consider various price points with different ticket options. Whether an attraction adopts variable or even dynamic pricing, travelers will pay different prices for clear value and tradeoffs.

About This Report: 

Visitor Attractions & the New Booking Paradigm, based on a survey of 1,000 U.S. travelers who visited a qualifying attraction over the past year, provides critical insight on key attraction trends among U.S. travelers, including the following:

  • The industry outlook and state of the recovery since the pandemic
  • What are the trending experiences and attraction types travelers are booking
  • How travelers are planning and purchasing tickets
  • What travelers are looking for and what factors drive the ticket purchasing decision
  • How timed entry and variable and dynamic pricing affect the traveler experience and buying habits
  • The willingness of travelers to pay more for select ticket types and benefits 
  • The willingness of travelers to change their behavior and accept certain tradeoffs for a discount
  • Key recommendations for visitor attractions to drive more ticket sales and yield through customer segmentation and new ticketing strategies

Visitor Attractions & the New Booking Paradigm is available for download now to Arival Insider Free and Pro Access members through the Arival membership portal. Log in or sign up for an Insider Free membership to receive your free copy of the report today. 

Join the Attractions Forum at Arival 360 Orlando

The Attractions Forum at Arival 360 Orlando features several sessions on customer segmentation and pricing strategy, including:

  • Pricing Strategies for Attractions: A Case Study in Variable Pricing (Things I Wish I Knew) by Haley Ward, VP of Sales at The Edge observation deck in New York City. 
  • Dynamic not Static: A Deep-Dive on Attraction Pricing Strategy with Table Talk. An in-depth roundtable discussion on pricing strategy including interaction discussion with fellow attendees. 
  • Digital is Dead: Audience Diversification & What’s Next in Experience Marketing with Elizabeth Furze, CEO of AKA, a global advertising agency specializing in events and attractions.

Delve into the hottest topics and network with industry leaders among large operators and ticketed attractions at the Attractions Forum at Arival 360 | Orlando. Open to all conference attendees, the Attractions Forum is a two-day interactive track offering deep dives into variable and dynamic pricing, connectivity and distribution trends, consumer trends and insights from Arival research, and an opportunity to connect with and learn from other attendees, engage in impactful discussions, and develop your strategies with highly interactive sessions. 

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].