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TripAdvisor Announces Experiences, Tours, and Activities Trend Report For 2018
UK travellers expand horizons, while iconic sites remain wildly popular

LONDON, UK, Feb. 14, 2018 – 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 historical and iconic sites remain wildly popular, while travellers are expanding their horizons and bringing growth to new, non-traditional and experiential categories.




Iconic landmarks and sites remain the most-booked by travellers globally...

Travellers 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, travellers are expanding their horizons, and several categories grew quickly in 2017.  Historic and heritage experiences (such as Churchill War Rooms Ticket and an Exclusive Catacombs After Closing and Bone Chapel Tour) 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.


Global travellers are booking more cooking and restaurant experiences...

In line with global trends, bookings from global travellers placed cooking classes and food tours in the top ten, with 57% growth each. An interactive Spanish Cooking Experience in Barcelona where travellers 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 UK and global travellers.


...and getting active in the great outdoors.

Historical and heritage experiences may have topped the list of fastest-growing categories for global travellers (+125% in bookings), but aquatic activities dominated the top ten, taking half of the top spots. Sunset cruises (+86% in bookings), snorkeling (+70%), kayaking and canoeing experiences (+67%), sailing trips (+61%), and catamaran cruises (+60%), all ranked in the year’s fastest-growing categories.


Travellers around the world are increasingly opting out of queues

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 travellers.  


Fast facts on skip-the-line experiences:

  • Two of the three most popular products in 2017 for global travellers 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 popular for UK travellers with three of the top ten including a queue jump feature or priority access.


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 Harry Potter Walking Tour for Muggles in London, 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.


“Increasingly, we’re seeing travellers balance their itineraries with a mix of historical tours, classic sightseeing and unique local experiences,” said Hayley Coleman, a TripAdvisor spokesperson. “Naturally, travellers to Paris want to visit the city’s iconic sites like the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, but they’re also booking unique experiences like food tours to enhance their trip, and see the city like a local.”


“Travellers are also looking to maximise their time whilst on holiday,” Coleman continued. “Skip-the-line tour options are among the fastest-growing tours in the world, allowing travellers to see and do more rather than waste their holidays queuing.”




World’s most popular experiences in 2017 for UK travellers

Ranked by 2017 booking count totals

  1. Skip the line: Ancient Monuments of Rome Tour
  2. Eiffel Tower Summit: Priority access with host
  3. Skip the line: Gaudi’s Casa Batlló Ticket with Audio Tour
  4. Jewish Quarter Anne Frank Walking Tour in Amsterdam
  5. Full-Day Tour to Auschwitz-Birkenau and Wieliczka Salt Mine from Krakow
  6. Ouzoud Falls Day Trip from Marrakech
  7. Skip the line: Arc de Triomphe including Terrace Access
  8. Atlas Mountains and Three Valleys: Private Guided Day Trip from Marrakech
  9. Fast Track Seville Guided Tour into Alcazar
  10. Northern Lights Tour from Reykjavik



World’s most popular experiences in 2017 for global travellers

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



Fastest-growing experience categories in 2017 for global travellers

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%)


The most popular new experiences for global travellers

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



Methodology: 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 travellers 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 travellers 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 travellers 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