Travel has seen a significant increase as America wants experiences more than gathering things. It is widely reported that the millennial generation will spend much more to experience places and life than to purchase things. Choosing experiences is a travel trend that is shown across all generations and demographics. Travelers are opting to purchase experiences over things. Tour operators are now receiving requests for unique experiences from travelers who want to do something that is a once-in-a-lifetime.
The tours segment is now over $30 billion and growing close to 10% annually. One in three U.S. travelers indicated that events were extremely important in their overall trip planning, more so than any other component of the trip, including the flight and lodging.
The industry is reacting to many trends that are coming with its growth. Some trends are technology but many are a result of the desire to connect with people. The overall theme in tours is a ‘customer first’ approach. Tour operators need to consider how to make experiences and activities customized, approachable and engaging for travelers.
An important trend is toward realized inclusion and diversity. Tours need to create tours to accommodate various travelers. I am going to highlight 2 top trends: women only travel and traveling alone. Around 67% of solo travelers are female, claims Lonely Planet. ‘Solo travel was once seen as brave and risky for female travelers, but a shift in attitude has meant that it is now viewed as an adventurous, exciting experience for women. Tour companies need to have activities that make them feel safe as well and appeal to their interests. Our female guests are welcome to book any tour for their group and can even request a female host. We can customize their tour with requests to create their dream tour experience in Des Moines.
There is an increase in solo travelers of both genders and all generations. According to Travel Agent Central, 25% of Millennials in the Future of U.S. Millennial Travel report said that they plan to travel solo in the next 12 to 24 months. Tour operators need to offer opportunities for solo travelers to be able to participate in. These travelers can participate in group public tours but many now want one on one opportunities to tour. The diversity trend also relates to tours that feature diverse cultures as well as including all peoples in tour opportunities.
Our Tour Team continues our mission to offer customized experiences for all. We are able to personalize our tours for any group small or large. We have tour options for solo travelers so they can discover the city. We have Self Guided Tours at an affordable price so any visitor can experience the art, food and history of Des Moines on their own schedule 24 / 7 / 365. Solo visitors can also join our expert Tour Hosts for a Walking Tour of unique districts in the city. Visit our Solo Tours web page to book a tour just for you.
Author: Alan Rust; Chief Experience Officer for Iowa Tour Company