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Bold predictions for tours and activities at WTM London

Nov 8, 2019

With the power to raise USD 1.9 billion in funding since 2017, fill a room with eager operators within minutes, and generate a queue that could rival an amusement park ride, ‘the best part of travel’ was quite the attraction at WTM London earlier this week. 

Taking advantage of the limelight, predictions for the tours, activities, attractions and experiences marketplace were made during a series of sessions hosted by Arival, the community for the in-destination industry.

During discussions with executives of Musement, Skyline Sightseeing, Walks, Palisis Group, Klook, and Golden Tours Arival founders Bruce Rosard and Douglas Quinby solicited an audience of operators for feedback on issues related to tech and working with off- and online travel agents to sell tours and activities and incited predictions for the industry. Arival Co-founder Bruce Rosard began bold with “Amazon buys Expedia”.

Consolidation on the way

Claudio Bellinzona of Musement expressed that consolidation, on both the OTA and supply fronts is imminent. Stephen Oddo of Walks agreed, suggesting that a reduction in redundancy is likely and that perhaps there would be a move of a GDS to buy a res tech provider. Marc Wieland of Palisis Group indicated that res tech consolidation or standardization would be likely.

Bold (and maybe even sexy)

Going for bold rather than boring, Jessica Rebstock of Skyline Sightseeing predicted, “Booking.com buys TripAdvisor Experiences” while Nick Palan of Golden Tours tempted the audience with clues about a ‘sexy’ new bus tour coming to market soon – shhhh!

Room for everyone

In a discussion with Arival Co-founder Douglas Quinby, Wilfred Fan of Klook spoke of a ‘natural progression’ to provide new services to consumers, referring to new accommodation partnerships with Agoda and Booking.com. Finally, when asked what the industry might look like in a year, he replied with friendly optimism, “everyone gets a seat in the room… and is working with Klook.”

For insights on the tours and activities marketplace for youth and student travellers, check out WYSE Travel Confederation’s free downloads, including What Your Customers Want: Asia Pacific, published in collaboration with Arival, and Multi-country trips in the European youth travel market.