Closing the Gap (2019)

Arival presents findings on some of the transformative trends occurring in the marketplace, on how, where, and when travelers research and book, and how it’s changing.
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It’s no secret that online booking in the tours and activities segment of the travel industry is well below that of flights and hotels.

In fact, many in the global industry believe that tours and activities will never fully go online for reasons that are often cited at industry conferences and in travel trade media: the tours and activities segment is too fragmented with too many small businesses that lack the technical know-how. At the same time, conventional wisdom holds that travelers don’t even begin to think about booking their activities or tours until later in trip planning, and they prefer to book in destination and offline.

New Research on European Travelers

Now, a new report by Arival and bookingkit — The Arival Guide to Tour & Activity Booking in Europe — paints a different picture of the future of online adoption by the tours and activities sector of the global tourism industry. Based on a comprehensive survey of European travelers, the report reveals how changes in technology, marketplace dynamics, and consumer booking patterns are pushing tours and activities operators to move online — ready or not.

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Successful tour operators will need to adapt their products to meet the preferences and expectations of today’s travelers. Here are six key things you’ll learn in this report:

  • How tours influence travel
  • Key characteristics and behaviors of the U.S. tour taker
  • What U.S. travelers want when they tour
  • Trends in tour group sizes
  • Key gaps in the marketplace that provide opportunities for new entrants
  • What the future of touring looks like

A final note: This is a work in progress. We’ve probably missed a few. So tell us what we’ve missed, or mistaken. Email us at if you have a comment, complaint or a company to add.

We’ve also included each distributor’s regional focus and links to their website.

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