Tours, Activities & Attractions’ Uneven 2021 in One Chart

Travel’s return is a boon for some, but still very slow for most operators as we head into the summer season.
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Travel’s recovery in 2021 is serving up extremely uneven fortunes across the tours, activities, and attractions landscape. While media coverage of travel’s robust return accelerates, most operators continue to face a very challenging year. 

According to Arival’s most recent industry pulse survey, a majority of tour, activity, and attraction operators — more than one in two in North America and nearly three in four in Europe — project bookings of less than 40% of 2019 sales. 

However, a small but significant minority of operators expect a relatively strong year, with 27% of operators in North America and 16% of European operators projecting sales of 80–100% or more of their pre-pandemic bookings.

The differences in outlook among operators in Europe and North America likely reflect how the two regions have responded to the pandemic. Looser domestic travel and overall business restrictions in the U.S., along with a faster vaccine rollout, appears to be driving stronger bookings in the U.S. Many countries in Europe continue to maintain tighter business restrictions, with many operators still unable to open. 

Tour and activity operators in the outdoor, adventure, and watersports sectors report strong demand for spring and summer bookings, as are some sightseeing, culinary and cultural operators in U.S. destinations that have remained mainly open through the pandemic.

However, many markets in North America and Europe remain closed or are operating but under varying restrictions. And many operators dependent on international travel continue to face an uncertain summer season with demand well below 2019 levels. 

We will share more insights from Arival’s Operator Pulse & Outlook 2021 at Arival’s Spring into Summer virtual event starting May 4, 2021, at 8am EST / 14:00 CET. Join us as we delve into the outlook for the year ahead with leading operators and distributors. 

Spring into Summer also features multiple workshops with actionable insights on business and product planning, marketing, advertising, and more to help tour, activity, and attractions make the most of the season ahead. 

Arival Insider Pro Access members may register for free. Simply log-in at arival.travel, and you can register for the forum right from your dashboard. 

Tickets for the Spring into Summer two-day event start at $39 for non-members. Or become a Pro Access member to get easy access to all of the Arival Accel series of virtual events and premium research for a full year, starting at just $119. Click here to find out more.

If you would like to attend, but your business remains in financial distress, you are welcome to apply for a scholarship here.

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