Will the Pandemic Accelerate the Adoption of Self-Guided Tours?

A new report from Arival delves into the applications, opportunities, and providers of mobile self-guided tours for tour and activity operators.
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As travel and experience providers begin to reopen, they confront a very different travel landscape. Concerned about personal safety to financial insecurity, travelers will be more focused than ever on private or small group experiences and spending less money.

Enter the self-guided tour category. Typically available as mobile apps, self-guided tours are increasingly sophisticated ways for travelers to navigate through an attraction, destination, or location independently while also getting many of the benefits of traditional tours. 

At least 30 companies around the world provide self-guided experiences, and many work with operators to help them create and offer their tours. The new Arival Guide to Mobile Self-Guided Tours includes a list of organizations currently offering self-guided tours. 

Beyond the Pandemic

Amid the post-pandemic recovery, travelers will seek more affordable private and small-group experiences. This could be a catalyst for the self-guided tour market and an opportunity for operators to offer these experiences to their customers. However, self-guided tours have been around before COVID-19, and will surely outlast it. Nearly one in five U.S. tour takers took a self-guided tour in 2019, according to Arival’s Inside the Mind of the Modern Tour Taker.

Self-guided tours predate the current crisis, and will likely continue to help travelers explore even once COVID-19 is a distant memory. Self-guided trips offer flexibility (no fixed departure times), privacy and lower-cost options for travelers who want to explore, but don’t like tours or traveling in groups irrespective of the pandemic. 

In this new report, we examine the self-guided tour marketplace, the traveler use case, and the operators’ opportunity. The new Arival Report to Mobile Self-Guided Tours delves into this emerging marketplace, and the potential uses for travelers and operators.

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