The Future of Tours & Activities: What Does it Hold?

9 Sep 2014     |    Taz Bareham

Modern trends are a good indicator of what’s to come. Here are some interesting predictions from industry experts on what the future looks like for those in the tourism and travel space.

1. People will spend less time planning in advance

The Facts

  • Most travelers plan their trips 1-3 weeks before leaving, with just 1% planning their trip in the last 24 hours. (Tnooz)
  • Mobile bookings will more than double in the next 2 years. (CWT)
  • In 3 years, mobile booking activity will reach what online booking tools took 8 years to achieve. (CWT)
  • 43% of all traffic to travel websites now come from mobile. In fact, mobile share of traffic increased to 55.4% on luxury websites. (Nucleus)

The Prediction

According to Ari Steinberg, the founder of travel startup Vamo, travelers well rely on mobile applications more for last minute decisions about things to do. As a result of next generation planning tools, travel planning will be much easier.

2. Better booking tools will make for more efficient itineraries

The Facts

Booking software like Rezdy is becoming more and more mainstream, with tour and activity operators allowing customers to check availability, book and pay directly from a tour operator’s website.

However, this capability is extending far beyond the tour operator’s own website. TripAdvisor’s recent acquisition of Viator is proof that distribution channels such as OTAs are looking to provide live availability of tours and activities to the world of consumers.

Where previously all they had was a listing, travelers will be able compare activities and self-serve directly from websites and mobile apps. This will significantly cut down the amount of time it takes for consumers to book themselves in, as less enquiries will be needed.

The Prediction

Steinberg predicts that booking tools will help travelers sort through the sea of options they have before them, and find an itinerary that’s reasonably priced and minimises wasted time.

Interactive planning tools will be flexible enough to handle the myriad of interests that travelers have, so that they can plan more unique and fulfulling trips.

3. Travelers will take holidays closer to home

The Facts:

  • Jet fuel consumption in Australia has increased in the past several years as a result of rising air travel for commercial and tourism purposes. (Eurasia Review)
  • Fuel accounts for about a third of airline costs. (News)
  • “Airlines are a business with very slim profit margins, around two to six percent ” says Dave Fuscus, spokesman for the Air Transport Association. “The aviation industry, like other industries and many consumers, is suffering from higher fuel prices. Every time the price of jet fuel goes up a penny, the cost to the industry goes up $170 million annually.” (ABC)

The Prediction

According to Responsible Travel, the price of fuel will send ticket prices up and airline profits down, meaning there won’t be any more cheap flights. Airline and cruise companies will invest in technologies that make for more efficient fuel consumption.

The environmental and financial costs of long-haul travel will result in many travelers opting to take holidays closer to home.

What are your predictions for the future?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

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