Over the past few years something remarkable has happened with regards to global travel industry growth. For the first time in history, the global travel activity segment has outpaced the growth of the travel industry as a whole. According to Amadeus & the WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council) a generation shift, a demographic evolution and the rise of mobile technologies have caused a dynamic shift in the landscape.

Industry Overview

Today, the $1.3 trillion global travel industry is home to a tour & activity segment that captures 9% of the “travel pie”. Though this statistic is at most an assumption (due to significant numbers of transactions being conducted via cash worldwide) Phocuswright claims that that US tour & attraction gross bookings will more than double in the next 3 years.

To find out what to expect from this year’s average clientele, check out the stats below. When deciding how to use the information, think of how you can optimize your offerings and website to meet the demands of this shifting landscape.

The 2017 Customer

Taking a closer look at reports like the Global Travel Activities 2014-2020: Tours & Attractions Coming of Age study, we find that geography plays an important role in the function of activity bookings. Here are some interesting stats to take into account:

  • Only 20% of bookings are made more than 1 month in advance, prior to departure.
  • 50%+ of reservations are made within a week, in-destination.
  • Almost 40% of bookings are made within 48 hours of attendance.
  • Japanese, Indian and Chinese consumers are 15% more likely to make bookings via smartphone browsers in 2017.
  • 92% of customers will weigh at least two competing operations and make a decision based on reviews & website experience.
  • 88% will not consider participating in a tour with low or no online reviews.
  • Last-minute, in-destination reservations are more likely to be made on a smartphone (Think With Google).
  • 71% of last-minute, in-destination bookings for North American clientele are made for one person (Sojern).
  • 67% of last-minute, in-destination bookings for European clientele are made for one person.


  • We recommend prepping for last-minute bookings on both telephone and email fronts, if your company is not ready for an online booking platform. You may want to consider increasing the number of seasonal staff members you employ and dedicate an employee to responding to emails as fast as possible.
  • If you have not done so already, your website should be optimized for mobile view as soon as possible. Your customers will be much more likely to consider competing businesses if your website experience is not on par with their expectations.
  • Find ways to accommodate single attendees. Though difficult, it may make more sense to re-schedule participants, offer discounts, and/or add new offering dates as opposed to immediately denying prospective clients.
  • Stay on top of online reviews. Be sure to send follow-up emails after customers participate in offerings so that they are more likely to leave you a TripAdvisor review. Click here to learn more about the importance of online reviews.

Side Note

Did you know that leisure activity operations are 40% more likely to offer online booking today than 5 years ago?

If you are a one-man show, on a budget or you are interested in automating all of the above, an online reservation system may be an easier solution.

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