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Sales & Distribution – Trends & Outlook (2020)

Statistics, Benchmarks and Strategies for Creators and Sellers of Tours, Activities, Attractions and Experiences

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From ticket counters and phone calls to websites, hotel concierges, cruise ships, and online travel agencies (OTAs), operators of tours, activities, and attractions have many sales channels to reach travelers and take bookings. These distribution channels have undergone profound change over the past decade. The COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on travel are causing only further disruption in the distribution landscape. Arival’s Sales & Distribution Trends & Outlook 2020 report explores the key trends shaping sales and distribution for travel’s third-largest sector: tours, activities, attractions, events, and experiences.


Arival’s Sales & Distribution Report 2020 provides the following:

  1. An overview of the major distribution channels and how they trended from 2018 to 2019.
  2. An assessment of the impact of the pandemic on distribution and likely impacts as travel recovers.
  3. Key benchmarks on distribution channel share for operators by size and region, with segmentation for tour and activity operators and attractions.
  4. An overview of the OTA landscape, with a review of key OTA developments in 2020
  5. Strategies for working with OTAs, including benchmarks to measure your OTA sales against other operators

Table of Contents

    • Why So Much Is Still Offline
    • Online Penetration by Region
    • Online Still Small, but the Fastest Growing
    • Distribution in a Pandemic
    • What This Means: Your TakeawaysDistribution Overview
  1. If OTA Share Is So Small, Why Are They Such a Big Deal?
  2. Distribution Benchmarks for Operators
    • Average Sales by Channel for Tours, Attractions
    • Mobile Sales
    • Average Sales by Region, All Operators
    • OTA Sales by Operator Age & Size
    • Benchmarks: What This Means for Operators
  3. Strategies for Working with OTAs
    • Why Operators Work with OTAs: It’s All about the Bookings
    • Limited Exposure
    • Why Operators Don’t Work with OTAs: Commission
    • Not All OTAs Are Created Equal
    • Key Takeaways and OTAs Post-COVID
  4. Key Distribution Trends and Developments in 2020
    1. No more marketplace: OTAs are focusing on fewer, better products
    2. The rise of multi-channel distribution
      on management
    3. pulls out, then steps back in with Musement
    4. Groupon’s shift to experiences
    5. Airbnb’s pending IPO and its role in Experiences
    6. Google’s roll-up of its tours and activities assets into Google Travel signals the search engine is getting serious
    7. Virtual Experiences May Be A Business – For A Select Few
  5. Methodology

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
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20% discount on Arival In-person events

Access to Arival ProShield tailored insurance solutions by Granite Insurance is available exclusively for U.S.-based Arival Insider Pro Access Members. 

Access to the Arival Research Library including new research and reports

Free access to all Arival 360 Online events

Over 350+ on-demand videos featuring our industry’s thought leaders and instructional sessions to grow your business.

Free consulting seminar on optimizing Google’s Things to Do

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