What are the driving factors in the tours, activity industry for 2019?

Will solo travel still be a trend next year? Source: Shutterstock.

2018 saw a booming rise in the experiential travel market.

As predicted, the global travel industry’s tours and activities market is estimated to reach US$183 billion by 2020 and there’s no sign that will slow down in the coming year.

Hong Kong travel startup Klook, a one-stop shop for booking amazing travel experiences, reviewed survey and internal data for 2018 and found six emerging tour and activity trends which will continue to drive the travel industry globally in 2019.

Solo travel

One of the hottest topics this year has been solo travel.

According to Klook’s data, the number of solo travelers saw an increase on the platform from 31 percent to 38 percent in 2018.

Source: Shutterstock.

Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Mainland China, and the UK all saw 10 percent growth in the number of solo travelers while China, in particular, is bucking the stereotype of its all-inclusive group trips and is now seeing close to 60 percent of its millennials abroad traveling alone in 2018.

The pop culture influence

The film Crazy Rich Asians took the world by storm this summer and put Singapore and Southeast Asian hot spots back on the must-visit map.

After the movie’s debut, page views for Singapore destination activities grew by 10 percent.

“As such, we launched our Crazy Rich Asians and Game of Thrones tours on the platform, receiving attention from travelers worldwide,” Klook said.

To add on, in 2019, Klook will explore the possibility of bringing Pokemon Detective Pikachu experiences to its platform.

In-destination activities

“We saw a huge rise in activities being the motivational driver for choosing travel destinations,” Klook said.

From those surveyed, 63 percent of travelers said they planned to attend an event or activity specific to the destination prior to booking flights and accommodations.

Cherry Blossom South Korea

Source: Shutterstock.

What’s more, 54 percent of travelers planned trips around seasonal activities (e.g. cherry blossoms viewing) or one-off events (concerts and sports events).

The “fear of missing out” (FOMO) effect

Travelers continue to share their travel experiences through social media channels, triggering wanderlust and FOMO from their peers.

On Klook, experiences deemed as “insta-worthy activities” dominated the platform.

“We foresee the growing trend of short live streaming videos on social media triggering travel interests as well. These habits show no sign of slowing down and will fuel travelers’ desires for insta-worthy experiences,” Klook said.

Mobile booking

Klook data found 70 percent of millennial users booked activities on mobile devices.

Additionally, research from Google Consumer Insights finds that more than half of South Korean and Japanese smartphone users research, book and, plan for their trips on their mobile devices.

Source: Shutterstock.

Interestingly, the number is even higher among Indian smartphone users, at 87 percent.

Instant adventures

Despite the increase in activity-driven travel, many Klook users will not plan full itineraries until they’ve arrived at their destination.

Modern travelers now look for more flexibility to cater to their spontaneity while traveling, accounting for weather or even their mood of the day.

Klook’s 2019 travel trends report was collected via surveys conducted between Jan 1, 2018 – Dec 31, 2018. Markets surveyed include Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, UK, US, and Vietnam.

It surveyed 2,400 respondents who had traveled abroad within the last 12 months.