Charlotte Lamp Davies, Principal Consultant at A Bright Approach, who moderated the inaugural Technology, tours and Activities (TTA) Forum at this year's ITB Berlin shares her observations with us from an eventful afternoon.
One of the highlights of my new career as an independent consultant was when I was invited to host and moderate the inaugural Technology Tours & Activities Forum at this year’s ITB Berlin.
The tours and activities sector – to which you can add events, attractions and food but let’s use T&A as the shorthand- is a most exciting part of the travel industry at the moment. For operators, sellers and the tech suppliers connecting the two, T&A is enjoying its time in the spotlight. My friends at PhoCusWright believe this sector is bigger than cruise, bigger than car rental and rail and will be worth in excess of $183 billion by 2020.
And one of the keynote speakers, Mark Rizzuto from tech platform LIVN, thinks that PCW has underestimated this figure. An investor in the sector, Jonne de Leeuw from HPE Capital, told the business audience that consolidation is inevitable, with OTAs in particular looking at T&A as a cost-effective lead-generation channel for their core products.
The reason that the industry has started to pay attention is that tours and activities are the most exciting part of the travel experience for travellers. As many speakers and panellists said during the TTA Forum, what people remember from their trip is not the airport, the flight, or the hotel room, it’s what they did, what they saw, what they ate. It is the experience that counts.
The wonderful people at Arival, a new event for the tours and activities sector, have summed up tours and activities as “the best part of travel.” They’re not wrong.