Queuing to book tours, attractions and activities is fast becoming a
thing of the past. By now, many players in the tours, attractions and
activities sector have integrated at least one technological element
into its booking process to better serve the needs of the growing market
of digitally savvy consumers.
Adding a digital component for bookings, while still retaining the
physical brick-and-mortar ticketing office for walk-ins, will no doubt
drive more revenue as it offers more ways of booking to suit different
consumers. But questions remain on what exactly consumers want out
of these new digital capabilities, and what underlying factors are
driving this change in mindset.
NTT DATA, the world’s sixth-largest IT company, conducted the ‘Are
you experienced?’ study in collaboration with Globick, to analyse how
the consumer behaviour has changed as the tours, attractions and
activities sector steps into the digital age.
The number of consumers who leave their purchase decision to the last
minute has dropped dramatically, from 38% in 2019 to 14% in 2021. At
least 46% of travellers now typically like to make their bookings a week
or more in advance.
Majority of travellers prefer booking tickets from three to seven days ahead. Photo Credit: NTT Data
This is largely due to travellers’ anxiety of not being able to get
tickets for popular tours or attractions, especially with flight quotas
and capacity restrictions still put in place due to the prevailing
Covid-19 situation across the world, either imposed by the destination’s
authorities or independent operators.
According to research firm Arival, 53% of attractions in North
America require advanced online booking, while in Europe that number
stands at 47%, and 31% in Asia. As a result of this
requirement, the use of digital booking channels has increased
exponentially, with 47% of tickets being booked online in 2021, compared
to just 28% in 2019.
Meanwhile, physical ticketing office, hotel front desk and concierge,
or over the phone drop from 64% of sales in 2019 to 40% in 2021.
Travel companies that want to take advantage of these changes in
consumer behaviour can position themselves as a one-stop digital shop
for searching, booking, and getting real-time confirmation of various
“The in-destination activities sector—the third largest in
tourism—must become a central feature in the offers of online and
offline travel agencies and can also be made up of accommodation
providers and transportation operators," said Xavier Boixeda, CEO of
"It’s a growing market amid a highly-significant digitalisation
process, which is at a key time in which those handling it as a central
product and not as a travel accessory, can gain great value with high