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Trend Alert: 2021’s Most Popular Activities Revealed By Our Booking Data

Last updated on February 2, 2021
6 minute read
Key Takeaways

  • We dove into FareHarbor data to identify the top activities for 2021.
  • Attractions, snow and water activities, and outdoor fun will be popular.
  • Use our Compass guides to better promote your activities this year!

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Our Booking Data Reveals This Year’s Most Popular Activity Types

The events of 2020 provided a sharp reminder that nothing is guaranteed. With distant adventures out of the question, travelers turned closer to home and found a renewed appreciation for the experiences waiting just outside their doors. While we have become experts at seeking out activities that are safe to enjoy right now, we still can’t resist looking ahead.

So we asked ourselves —

What types of activities will travelers seek out in the new year?

To answer this question, we consulted FareHarbor’s own booking data to gain deeper insight into the top activities travelers are booking for 2021. From summer to winter, oceans to mountains, leisurely to adventurous — these are the types of activities we will see trending throughout 2021:

shapeAll About Experiences: Exhibits & Attractions

Local attractions like aquariums, museums, and zoos provide a delightful combination of entertainment and education, while new measures such as reduced capacity and strict sanitation policies provide peace of mind for guests. Before COVID-19, attraction bookings already accounted for roughly half of all bookings seen across the tour, activity, and attractions industry. With the added help of creative adaptations like drive-through experiences and timed entry, attractions operators have proven they’ll continue to innovate to ensure travelers and families can share new experiences together.

shapeJust Add H2O: Boat & Water Activities

Few activities spell “adventure” quite like the open water. The natural lack of crowds makes water activities an easy way for travelers to get out there while staying safe. By operating in small groups and private charters, boat tours have a significant advantage in keeping up with the latest safety guidelines. Many travelers plan to spend time fishing, kayaking, scuba diving, sailing, and snorkeling in 2021, especially as temperatures start to warm up in the spring and summer. Experiences on the water are popular all across the continental United States’ coasts and major lakes, as well as throughout Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico, and Australia.

shapeThe Chill Factor: Snow-Powered Excursions

Winter is the perfect time to escape to the mountains and enjoy a wonderland of fresh snow, and this will be a popular option for adventurers in 2021. With measures like limited group sizes and plenty of space to spread out, many winter activities like snowmobiling, dog sledding, and skiing are easily adapted to keep travelers safe. We anticipate the steady popularity of dog sledding tours in Alaska, snowmobile tours in Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana, and ski adventures in Colorado, Idaho, Utah, New Mexico, and Minnesota to increase this year.

shapeSights, Camera, Action: Outdoor Adventures

With the proven health benefits that being outside can bring, it’s no surprise that the demand for all things outdoors will only gain more traction in 2021. Activities like hiking, horseback riding, ziplining, and ATV adventures are most popular in locations like Utah, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Arizona, and British Columbia. But you don’t have to travel far or live in close proximity to a national park to get outside! Sightseeing will continue to be popular, whether it’s enjoyed from the comfort and safety of a vehicle, bike, or on foot. In 2021, we will see the continued shift toward private and self-guided sightseeing tours, allowing travelers to discover new destinations and cultures on their own terms — with the help of pre-planned routes and expert tips from operators, of course! With 97% of people learning more about local businesses online than anywhere else, online strategies like local SEO will help travelers find sightseeing adventures near them.

Throughout this pandemic, we’ve seen that the most resilient and adaptable operators have been the most successful. Through solutions like private tours, drive-through experiences, and adherence to health and safety guidelines, tour and activity operators continue to find creative methods to provide the experiences travelers are looking for while keeping them safe. In 2021, this will be more important than ever as people start to plan their future adventures.

Promoting Your Activities

As a tour operator, you’re probably looking for ways to promote your activities in 2021 and increase bookings, especially if you offer tours and activities in the above categories. Through digital strategies like local SEO, social media, PPC ads, and email marketing, you can make the most of the current trends to bring more customers to your business. It’s important to make your health and safety measures clear so travelers feel safe booking with you. Here are some Compass guides to help you get started with your 2021 marketing strategies.

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