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Travel Activities: What Drives Advance Booking?

Travel Activities: What Drives Advance Booking?

When it comes to planning a leisure trip, not all travel activities are created equal. In the landscape of in-destination activities, attractions, events and tours, some activities are much more important to travelers than others – and activity importance plays a key role in determining booking chronology, according to PhoCusWright’s landmark study of the travel activities market,  When They Get There (and Why They Go): Activities, Attractions, Events and Tours.

Travel activities that travelers rate as more important are significantly more likely to be booked in advance. The most important activities may be booked before any other travel component, while activities that are only moderately important are likely to be casual or circumstantial additions to a trip.

[View the list of activities categories covered in the report.]

Spectator sporting events and skiing/other snow activities are among the most important trip activities – they often serve as the impetus for the trip and are purchased before any other travel components. Traveler passion and the strong brands associated with these and other highly rated activities boost their importance. In addition, inventory constraints, higher cost and the expectation of crowds further encourage advance booking.

At the other end of the spectrum, activities such as cultural attractions and museums, which tend to be only moderately important and are often free of inventory constraints, are usually booked in-destination. Most activities fall in between: they are of medium importance and may be booked either in advance of or after arriving in-destination. The incidence of advance booking is expected to increase across most activity categories as travel activities become increasingly integrated into the online travel distribution chain and last-minute mobile bookings grow.


When They Get There (and Why They Go): Activities, Attractions, Events and Tours provides a detailed picture of the U.S. travel activities landscape, comprised of the in-destination activities, events, tours and attractions that are often core to the leisure travel experience. Together they form a market that is nearly twice the size of the car rental segment. While the fragmented activities market has been slow to integrate with the broader travel distribution ecosystem, a growing aggregator network and a flood of technology innovation are creating fresh opportunities to monetize activities content. When They Get There (and Why They Go): Activities, Attractions, Events and Tours unravels the complexities of this diverse market, providing data and analysis to help travel companies understand its unique challenges and opportunities. Key topics include:

  * Market sizing and forecasts for the U.S. travel activities market from 2008-2012, including breakouts by activity type
  * Traveler behavior in relation to in-destination services, including research, shopping and booking trends; key drivers and inhibitors; and demographic patterns
  * The role and impact of emerging technologies, including reservation and distribution technologies, social media and mobile
  * Challenges and opportunities for travel suppliers, distributors and technology providers

Save $100 – Early-bird report pricing pricing is available through March 31.

March 16 Online Event: Fantastically Fragmented:  Fantastically Fragmented: The U.S. Travel Activities Market will provide a deep understanding of an untapped travel industry segment whose time has come. Get more information and register here.

The report covers the following in-destination activities categories:
Ground transportation
Tours by air (helicopter tours, tours by plane)
Tours by land (bus tours)
Tours by water (boat tours)
Cultural tours
Performing arts events
Sporting events as a spectator
Cultural attractions
Natural attractions
Amusement parks
Theme parks
Spa and wellness
Shore excursions
Multi-attraction passes
Walking tours
Land-based adventure
Water-based adventure
Active riding activities
Skiing, or other snow activities