Can Tours & Activities Really Become TripAdvisor's Next Billion Dollar Vertical?

Published October 2017

By: Douglas Quinby

It's one of TripAdvisor's fastest-growing segments and frequently touted by the CEO as one of the company's next big things. But can it really become that big? Phocuswright pulled data on nearly half a million listings from TRIP's "Things to Do" category to get a sense of key trends among those listings, and to see how many are bookable. Here are a few key findings:

  • Tours, landmarks, nightlife and outdoor activities account for more than two thirds of all listings, but many of these listings are tours and activities of small companies, averaging a total of 100 reviews or fewer.
  • Attractions such as zoos, aquariums and amusement parks account for less than 1% of all listings, but are among the largest, averaging more than 500 total reviews.
  • Just 6% of all listings are bookable. This suggests that there is significant runway for TripAdvisor to grow its bookable content. The chart below shows the percent of bookable activities listings within each of these categories.


(Click image to view a larger version.)

So, can Things to Do be TRIP's next billion-dollar vertical? Well, travelers will spend $147 billion in 2017 on tours, activities and attractions worldwide, and TripAdvisor has the largest online marketplace of both supply and demand, with lots of work still to do to make listings online bookable. From our vantage point, it seems like they're aiming low.

Dive into our Data Point on nearly half a million TripAdvisor tours and activities listings, and go deeper into the global tours and activities marketplace with Phocuswright's Tours & Activities Come of Age: The Global Travel Activities Marketplace 2014-2020. In this report you will learn:

  • The size and composition of the global travel activities marketplace, with regional segmentation and forecasts through 2020
  • The state of online bookings, how its trending and where it's headed
  • The outlook for online intermediaries and suppliers' attitudes toward online distribution
  • Trends on distribution and challenges distributors face in bringing the sector online
  • The state of technology adoption among suppliers and the hurdles ahead for reservation software providers
  • Key players in the online travel activities market – who they are and what they're doing

We'll explore tours and activities at The Phocuswright Conference when Lawrence Hester, co-founder and CEO of FareHarbor shares their startup story, then with an executive interview with Stephen Kaufer, president and CEO of TripAdvisor.