One in four large operators said adopting or changing their booking system was a top business priority for them in 2024.

Online channels have become the leading way travellers book tours, activities and attractions in Australia and New Zealand, according to new research from Arival (the global research authority for the travel experiences sector) and supported by ResPax.

The State of Experiences in Australia & New Zealand, based on a survey of more than 300 tour, activity and attractions businesses across the region, details the rapid growth of operator websites and online travel agencies (OTAs) and growing importance of technology for distribution, marketing, business operations and future growth.

The survey’s key findings:

  • Operators are optimistic: More than three in four operators are optimistic about 2024 – gross bookings are expected to far surpass 2019 with the return of international tourism arrivals.
  • Digital sales channels soar: Digital booking platforms have seen significant growth, accounting for 56% of total bookings in 2023 compared to 43% in 2019. Operator websites and mobile apps saw the most significant rise, accounting for nearly one-third of bookings.
  • Importance of booking system: One in four (26%) of large operators said adopting or changing their booking system was a top business priority for them in 2024
  • OTAs: A double-edged sword: OTAs represent a quarter of bookings (up significantly in 2023), nearly half of operators say are not so satisfied with their commercial partnerships.
  • Multiple OTA use: Most operators reported working with multiple OTAs and resellers; large operators work with an average of 25. Viator, GetYourGuide, Klook and the Big Red Group brands are the most widely used by operators.

This report by Arival and sponsored by ResPax provides in-depth insights into the travel experiences sector in Australia and New Zealand, and key operating benchmarks in distribution, marketing, business performance and marketing for operators of tours, activities and attractions.


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