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TripAdvisor Announces Experiences, Tours, And Activities Trend Report For 2018
Travelers expand horizons, while iconic sites remain wildly popular
TripAdvisor reveals 2017-2018 trends in experiences

NEEDHAM, Mass., Feb. 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- TripAdvisor®, the world's largest online provider of bookable experiences, tours, and activities, today shares its top travel trend report for the experiences segment. TripAdvisor bookings data revealed that iconic sites remain wildly popular, while travelers are expanding their horizons and bringing growth to new, non-traditional and experiential categories.



Iconic landmarks and sites remain the most-booked by travelers globally...
Travelers are becoming increasingly interested in new experiences, but they're still loyal to the world's most iconic sites. In 2017, the most-booked experiences globally were a combined skip-the-line pass for the Vatican Museums, St. Peters, and Sistine Chapel, the Chicago River Architecture Cruise, and a skip-the-line pass for a walking tour of Ancient Rome and the Colosseum. Bookable options for The Sagrada Familia, Eiffel Tower, and the Empire State Building also featured in the top ten (full list below).

...while cultural categories - like food tours, cooking classes, and historical and heritage experiences - are seeing bookings skyrocket
Globally, travelers are expanding their horizons, and several categories grew quickly in 2017.  Historic and heritage experiences (such as a Charleston Harbor History Tour and a Tour of Historic Fenway Park) saw the most growth (+125% in bookings), and culinary is a clear trend: cooking classes and food tours both appeared among the top five categories, each with 57% bookings' growth. By gross booking value, food tours saw the most growth in 2017.        

US travelers are booking more cooking and restaurant experiences...
In line with global trends, US bookings placed cooking classes and food tours in the top ten, with 51% and 49% growth respectively. An interactive Spanish Cooking Experience in Barcelona where travelers learn to make paella and Spanish tapas with a local chef, and a guided Street Food Tour in Rome with pizza, pastries, and sightseeing, were among the fastest growing experiences for US and global travelers.

...and getting active in the great outdoors.
Historical and heritage experiences may have topped the list of fastest-growing categories for US travelers (+98% in bookings), but aquatic activities dominated the top ten, taking half of the top spots. Sunset cruises (+89% in bookings), snorkeling (+64%), sailing trips (+55%), catamaran cruises (+51%), and kayaking and canoeing experiences (+49%) all ranked in the year's fastest-growing categories.

Travelers around the world are increasingly opting out of line-ups
Skip-the-line access at some of the world's busiest landmarks and sites (like the Colosseum) appeared in both the most-popular and fastest-growing lists for global travelers.  

Fast facts on skip-the-line experiences:

  • Two of the three most popular products in 2017 were skip-the-line, and likewise for four of the ten fastest-growing experiences in 2017.
  • TripAdvisor lists more than 1,200 skip-the-line tickets globally, with options at some of the most popular sites in the world, including the Eiffel Tower, the Sagrada Familia, and the London Eye.
  • Skip-the-line tours were also the second-fastest growing category for US travelers by gross booking value in 2017.

Guides and operators added 30,000 new experiences to TripAdvisor last year, increasing the number of available experiences, tours, and attractions by 50%. New options range from entry tickets for famous sites to cooking classes, day cruises, and multi-day adventure tours. Options are expanding quickly, and a trolley tour of Newport's famous mansions, a combination tour of Tulum's ruins and snorkel trip in the cenotes, and a full-day tour of Abu Dhabi from Dubai are among the most popular new experiences.

"We're seeing more travelers balancing their itineraries with a mix of classic sightseeing and more unique local experiences," said Laurel Greatrix, director of communications. "Of course travelers heading to Rome want to explore the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel, but they're also booking experiences like food tours to enhance their trip, and see the city like a local."

"Travelers are also being more economical with their time," Greatrix continued. "Skip-the-line tour options are among the fastest-growing tours in the world, and were among the fastest growing categories for US travelers in particular, allowing travelers to see more than just the back of someone's head."


The world's most popular experiences: 2017, global travelers
Ranked by 2017 booking count totals
1.    Skip the line: Vatican Museums, St Peter's, Sistine Chapel
2.    Chicago Architecture River Cruise
3.    Skip the line: Ancient Rome and Colosseum Half-Day Walking Tour
4.    Rome Hop-On, Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour
5.    Priority Access: Barcelona Sagrada Familia Tour
6.    Eiffel Tower Summit: Priority access with host
7.    Warner Bros Studio: The Making of Harry Potter with Luxury Round-Trip Transport from London
8.    Empire State Building Tickets
9.    Murano, Burano, and Torcello half-day sightseeing tour
10.  Tuscany in One Day Sightseeing Tour

The USA's most popular experiences: global travelers, 2017
Ranked by 2017 booking count totals

1.    Chicago Architecture River Cruise
2.    Empire State Building Tickets
3.    NYC One World Observatory: Skip the line 
4.    USS Midway Museum: Skip the line (San Diego)
5.    New York City PASS
6.    Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Guided Tour
7.    Skydeck Chicago: Admission
8.    Big Bus New York Hop-on, Hop-off
9.    9/11 Memorial Museum Admission
10.  Napa and Sonoma Wine Country Tour

Fastest-growing experience categories: global travelers, 2017
Ranked by year-over-year growth in total bookings count
1.    Historical and heritage tours (+125%)
2.    Sunset cruises (+86%)
3.    Private day trips (+79%)
4.    Snorkeling (+70%)
5.    Kayaking and canoeing (+67%)
6.    Sailing trips (+61%)
7.    Catamaran trips (+60%)
8.    Food tours (+57%)
9.    Cooking classes (+57%)
10.  Museum tickets and passes (+54%)

Fastest-growing experience categories: US travelers, 2017.
Ranked by year-over-year growth in total bookings count 
1.    Historical and heritage Tours (+98%)
2.    Sunset Cruises (+89%)
3.    Private Day Trips (+74%)
4.    Snorkeling (+64%)
5.    Sailing Trips (+55%)
6.    Catamaran Cruises (+52%)
7.    Cooking Classes (+51%)
8.    Kayaking & Canoeing (+49%)
9.    Food Tours (+49%)
10.  Archaeology Tours (+49%)

The most popular new experiences (added in 2017): global travelers
Top-booked products new to TripAdvisor in 2017

1.    Eiffel Tower Summit Priority Access with Host
2.    Ancient Monuments of Rome Tour with Skip-the-Line pass
3.    Skip the Line: Gaudi's Casa Batlló Ticket with Audio Tour
4.    Skip the Line: Arc de Triomphe Including Terrace Access
5.    Skip-the-Line Florence Accademia Gallery and Michelangelo's David Ticket
6.    Full-Day Tour of Abu Dhabi City From Dubai
7.    Fast Track Seville Guided Tour into Alcazar
8.    Jewish Quarter Anne Frank Walking Tour in Amsterdam
9.    Field Museum of Natural History Admission
10.  San Antonio Zoo General Admission

The most popular new experiences (added in 2017): US travelers

1.    Eiffel Tower Summit Priority Access with Host
2.    Ancient Monuments of Rome Tour with Skip-the-Line pass
3.    Skip the Line: Gaudi's Casa Batlló Ticket with Audio Tour
4.    Skip the Line: Arc de Triomphe Including Terrace Access
5.    Skip-the-Line Florence Accademia Gallery and Michelangelo's David Ticket
6.    Full-Day Tour of Abu Dhabi City From Dubai
7.    Jewish Quarter Anne Frank Walking Tour in Amsterdam
8.    Space Needle and Chihuly Garden and Glass Combination Ticket
9.    Live Nashville Walking Tour
10.  3-in-1 Discovery Combo Tour: Tulum Ruins, Reef Snorkeling Plus Cenote and Caves

Methodology: Most popular experiences are based on bookings in 2017, for products under $150 USD per person. Fastest growing experiences and categories are based on year-over-year growth in bookings from 2016 to 2017. Most popular new products are based on experiences added between April 2016 and April 2017 and ranked by bookings between April 2017 and December 2017.  

About TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor, the world's largest travel site**, enables travelers to unleash the full potential of every trip. With over 570 million reviews and opinions covering the world's largest selection of travel listings worldwide -- covering 7.3 million accommodations, airlines, attractions, and restaurants -- TripAdvisor provides travelers with the wisdom of the crowds to help them decide where to stay, how to fly, what to do and where to eat. TripAdvisor also compares prices from more than 200 hotel booking sites so travelers can find the lowest price on the hotel that's right for them. TripAdvisor-branded sites are available in 49 markets, and are home to the world's largest travel community of 455 million average monthly unique visitors*, all looking to get the most out of every trip. TripAdvisor: Know better. Book better. Go better.

The subsidiaries and affiliates of TripAdvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ:TRIP) own and operate a portfolio of websites under 20 other travel media brands:,,,,,, (including,, and,,,,,,,,,,,, and

*Source: TripAdvisor log files, average monthly unique visitors, Q3 2017
**Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, worldwide, July 2017


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SOURCE TripAdvisor

For further information: Molly Burke,, 781-820-9856