The Key Travel Trends For Tour Operators in 2017 [Infographic] | Orioly

The Key Travel Trends For Tour Operators in 2017 [Infographic]

The travel industry is extremely dynamic and fast-changing sector. Tour operators and activity providers need to keep pace with the new travel trends. Tour companies, who recognize new travel trends on time, can take advantage of new opportunities.

We collected relevant statistics only for you, tour operators and activity providers, just to show the importance of the changing environment.

UNWTO research predicts that international tourist arrivals worldwide will reach 1.8 billion by 2030.

Arrivals in the emerging economy destinations of Asia, Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, Eastern Mediterranean Europe, the Middle East and Africa will grow at double the rate (+4.4% a year) of that in advanced economy destinations (+2.2% a year).

The strongest growth by region will be seen in Asia and the Pacific, The Middle East, and Africa are also expected to more than double their number of arrivals during this period. Europe and the Americas will grow comparatively more slowly.

Check out the following infographic for the simple overview.

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It is crucial to know what you can expect in order to be prepared.

Here are a few specific travel trends that tour operators and activity providers should pay attention to:

Use Sustainable Tourism As Your Advantage

The UN has proclaimed 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.

The concept of sustainable tourism may simply be defined as:

Tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities“.


Travelers are becoming more and more aware of the impacts they have on the destination where they travel to, and on the planet in general. As a result, they are changing their patterns of behavior and travel habits.

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Some of the most important behavior changes of modern travelers are:

  • Traveling to destinations closer to home in order to reduce carbon emissions.
  • Choosing those tour operators who support responsible tourism.
  • Preferring those accommodation providers who support sustainability practices (composting, recycling, using renewable energy).

Thus, it is time to integrate principles of sustainable tourism in your business. Travelers will recognize it. This could be your competitive advantage.

This Is What Tour Operators Should Do To Attract Millenials

We’ve already written a post about Millenials.

I’ll just briefly remind you why they are so important for tour and activity business.

Well, Millenials are becoming the most numerous generation. In some countries, they form a majority of the population.

Millennials will drive 50% of all travel business revenue by 2020. Also, they set the new trends.

Tour operators and activity providers who aim at this group should:

  • Be online and offer a website with an online booking option. Remember that millennials are the first digitally native generation.
  • Be present on social media. This is a place where you may find millennials and where they search for information.
  • Offer them unique experiences. They seek for adventure and cultural tours.

Baby Boomers Travel Is Booming

Millennials are maybe the most numerous generation but you shouldn’t neglect the Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 to 1964).



According to AARP, most boomers (99%) will take at least one leisure trip in 2017. The average is five or more trips expected throughout the year.

The majority expect to travel in spring and summer, regardless of destination.

The most popular motivators are Bucket List trips and the combination of Summer vacations, Multi-generational trips, Weekend Getaways and Holiday travel.

So, if you plan to adjust your tours and activities for senior citizens, here are a few things you should know.

  • Offer them personalized tours and activities, like balloon flight, so they can meet their goal and cross it off on a bucket list.
  • Offer them authentic local experience. For example, food tours where they can learn to cook, or cultural tours where they can learn more about local culture and history.

Even though boomers are not avid users of online resources for travel planning and booking, 41% will book online at the airline/hotel/car website. So, provide them easy and simple to use booking option.

Soft Adventure Trips Are Popular

Travelers desire adventure and active trips. These trips are becoming increasingly popular, especially in the area of soft adventures. For instance, safaris, hiking, and cycling as well as cultural activities

It is interesting that customer demographics slightly leans to the ladies (53% to 47%). Also, nearly half (45%) of customers are over 50.
Did we mention you the boomers? Now you see why are they so influential.

So, if travelers seek for adventure, make sure they get it. Offer unique tours combined with the elements of the local culture.

Finally, ensure that your ad reaches the targeted customers. Present it through both online and offline distribution channels.

This Is A Time Of Solo Female Travelers

Traveling solo is becoming a new travel trend. Particularly women seek solo adventures.

A study shows a 230% increase in the number of women-only travel companies in the past six years.
With 67 million participants, the potential of the women’s market exceeds $19 trillion annually.

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Some of the reasons for traveling alone include a desire to follow their own schedule, visit unusual destinations or to pursue a specific interest.

This is a trend that tour operators can’t ignore.
So what you can do?

It’s not enough just to create a pink leaflet.

Women are changing their preferences from luxury vacations that are focused on relaxation and spa treatments, to the more active adventures. They want to explore and discover new destinations. So, offer them adventure activities and more local, unique experiences, e.g. cycling or hiking through the unspoiled nature.

Make sure to pay attention to safety, because this is stated as the main concern.
Use social media to spread the word and reach your female audience.

Keep Pace With The New Travel Trends And Take Advantage

The travel industry is changing, so we all have to adapt and keep pace with the new travel trends. Focus on ones that fit your business the best and use it as your advantage.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact us or share it right here.

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