ATM: In-destination experiences shaping future of travel and tourism

ATM: In-destination experiences shaping future of travel and tourism

Tours, activities and attractions have become key motivators for travellers

The vital role of in-destination experiences came under the spotlight during the opening session of the ARIVAL@ATM Dubai 2022 forum.

In 2019, travel experiences generated $254 billion in sales worldwide, making the sector the industry’s third-largest after transportation and accommodation and with almost one million providers around the world. Operators in this sector include organisers of tours, activities, attractions and experiences, spanning more than 140 diverse categories. Up to 50% have launched their businesses since 2015 and upwards of 70 startups within tours, activities and attractions have raised $2.6 billion since 2017.

Sharing his company’s latest global research and insights, Arival co-founder and CEO Douglas Quinby said: “We surveyed travellers about what matters most to them when they are travelling and they prioritised attractions, activities and tours above other factors. Experiences are not just the ‘things to do’ – they are the reasons to go, representing a significant opportunity for the travel and tourism industry.’’


Technology adoption and getting connected is the major focus for the in-destination industry as it moves to a new phase. Quinby added: “Consumers are increasingly booking their travel experiences online – a trend that has accelerated significantly since the pandemic. The sector, therefore, needs to look to technology adoption and working with reservation system providers to make their products more accessible online.’’

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