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How Does Ecotourism Help The Economy?

Published: November 14, 2023

Modified: December 28, 2023

by Lusa Sherwood

how-does-ecotourism-help-the-economy

Introduction

Ecotourism has gained significant attention in recent years as a sustainable form of travel that prioritizes the conservation of natural environments and the well-being of local communities. It is a responsible way of exploring natural areas and has the potential to bring various benefits to both the environment and the economy. In this article, we will delve into how ecotourism can contribute to the economy through direct and indirect economic benefits, the creation of employment opportunities, and its impact on local communities.

Ecotourism, also known as ecological tourism, focuses on promoting responsible travel to pristine natural areas. Its aim is to foster environmental education, conservation, and the well-being of local communities. Unlike traditional mass tourism, ecotourism aims to minimize negative impacts on the environment and maximize positive contributions to nature and society.

The economic benefits of ecotourism extend beyond the tourist’s experience. It plays a pivotal role in supporting local economies by generating revenue, creating job opportunities, and contributing to infrastructure development in the surrounding areas. Furthermore, ecotourism often promotes the preservation of cultural heritage and biodiversity, which can be valuable assets for a destination and its economy.

However, it is crucial to strike a balance between economic development and environmental conservation. Overexploitation or improper management of natural resources can lead to detrimental consequences. Therefore, it is essential to understand the various ways in which ecotourism can positively impact the economy while minimizing negative externalities.

In the following sections, we will explore the direct and indirect economic benefits of ecotourism, the employment opportunities it creates, its impact on local communities, and examine successful ecotourism initiatives through case studies. Additionally, we will discuss the challenges and potential risks associated with ecotourism and highlight the need for responsible practices to ensure the long-term sustainability of this growing industry.

Definition of Ecotourism

Ecotourism can be defined as a form of sustainable tourism that focuses on conserving and protecting natural environments and promoting the well-being of local communities. It is characterized by responsible travel and the engagement in activities that enhance the understanding and appreciation of the natural world.

Unlike conventional tourism, which may have negative impacts on the environment and local cultures, ecotourism strives to minimize these impacts and promote sustainable practices. It involves visiting natural areas, such as national parks, wildlife reserves, and ecosystems, with a focus on conservation and education.

One of the core principles of ecotourism is environmental conservation. The primary goal is to protect the integrity of the natural environment and its biodiversity. This involves preserving habitats, protecting endangered species, and promoting sustainable use of resources. By doing so, ecotourism aims to ensure that future generations can continue to enjoy and benefit from these natural areas.

Another fundamental aspect of ecotourism is community empowerment. It seeks to support and enhance the well-being of local communities by generating economic opportunities and fostering cultural preservation. Local communities are often involved in the planning and management of ecotourism activities, ensuring that they have a say in the development and benefits derived from tourism.

Furthermore, education and interpretation play a crucial role in ecotourism. Travelers are encouraged to learn about the natural and cultural heritage of the destination, promoting awareness and understanding of the importance of conservation. This educational component may include guided tours, nature walks, and interactive experiences that provide insights into the local ecosystem and indigenous cultures.

Overall, the essence of ecotourism lies in its commitment to sustainable practices and responsible tourism. It aims to strike a balance between environmental protection, socio-cultural empowerment, and economic benefits. By fostering a greater sense of responsibility and appreciation for the natural world, ecotourism offers an alternative way of exploring and experiencing the planet while ensuring its long-term viability.

Importance of Ecotourism for the Economy

Ecotourism plays a crucial role in supporting and diversifying economies, especially in regions rich in natural resources and cultural heritage. Its sustainable approach to tourism brings various economic benefits to destinations, contributing to local development and job creation. Here are some key reasons why ecotourism is important for the economy:

1. Revenue Generation:

Ecotourism generates revenue for destinations through activities such as park fees, nature tours, accommodation, and local products. This revenue provides a source of income for local communities and supports the development of infrastructure, such as roads and facilities, enhancing the overall tourism experience.

2. Economic Growth:

Ecotourism can stimulate economic growth in rural and remote areas that may have few alternative income-generating opportunities. By attracting visitors to these regions, ecotourism creates demand for local goods and services, such as handicrafts, organic produce, and traditional cuisine. This can lead to the growth and development of small businesses and entrepreneurship.

3. Preservation of Natural Resources:

Ecotourism incentivizes the preservation and protection of natural resources. When the value of natural areas is recognized through tourism, there is a greater impetus to maintain and conserve these ecosystems. This not only ensures the long-term viability of the tourism industry but also safeguards the ecosystem services that support human livelihoods, such as clean water, air, and fertile soil.

4. Cultural Heritage Preservation:

Many ecotourism destinations are also rich in cultural heritage. By promoting responsible travel, ecotourism helps preserve traditional practices, architecture, and indigenous knowledge. This cultural preservation not only maintains a sense of identity and pride among local communities but also attracts tourists interested in experiencing authentic cultural experiences.

5. Market Differentiation:

Ecotourism allows destinations to differentiate themselves in the global tourism market. In a world where travelers are becoming increasingly conscious of sustainable practices, destinations that prioritize ecological and social responsibility can attract a growing segment of environmentally conscious tourists. This helps diversify tourism offerings and create niche markets.

In summary, ecotourism offers significant economic benefits by generating revenue, stimulating economic growth, preserving natural and cultural resources, and creating unique market opportunities. However, it is important to employ sustainable practices and ensure that the economic benefits of ecotourism are shared equitably among local communities. Through responsible management and collaboration, ecotourism can continue to contribute to the economic well-being of destinations while promoting environmental and social sustainability.

Direct Economic Benefits of Ecotourism

Ecotourism brings direct economic benefits to destinations, contributing to local economies and providing a source of income for communities. These economic benefits arise from various aspects of ecotourism activities. Here are some key direct economic benefits of ecotourism:

1. Tourism Expenditure:

Visitors engaged in ecotourism activities spend money on accommodations, meals, transportation, and souvenirs. This infusion of tourism expenditure has a direct positive impact on local businesses, including hotels, restaurants, transportation providers, and local artisans. The money spent by tourists supports these businesses and reinforces the local economy.

2. Park and Nature Reserve Fees:

Many ecotourism destinations charge entry fees to parks and nature reserves. These fees contribute to the conservation and maintenance efforts of these protected areas. The revenue generated from park fees can be used for habitat restoration, species protection, and the establishment of visitor facilities, enhancing the overall visitor experience.

3. Eco-lodges and Accommodation:

Eco-lodges and sustainable accommodations are often popular choices for ecotourists. These establishments prioritize environmentally friendly practices, which can include using renewable energy, conserving water, and supporting local suppliers. The establishment and operation of eco-lodges provide employment opportunities and generate revenue for local communities.

4. Nature Tours and Sustainable Activities:

Guided nature tours and sustainable activities, such as wildlife watching, hiking, and snorkeling, are integral components of ecotourism. Tourism operators offering these experiences create employment and contribute to local economies. These activities not only provide revenue but also foster environmental education and conservation awareness among tourists.

5. Local Product Sales:

Ecotourism often promotes the sale of local products, such as handicrafts, organic produce, or specialty foods. These products reflect the culture, traditions, and natural resources of the destination. The sale of these products provides income to local artisans, farmers, and producers, contributing directly to the local economy.

The direct economic benefits of ecotourism help generate income, create employment opportunities, and support local businesses. However, it is essential for communities and governments to manage these benefits responsibly and ensure that they are reinvested in sustainable initiatives that benefit both the environment and the local community. By doing so, ecotourism can continue to play a significant role in promoting economic development and sustainability.

Indirect Economic Benefits of Ecotourism

Ecotourism not only brings direct economic benefits to destinations but also generates indirect economic benefits that have a ripple effect on local economies. These indirect benefits, often seen as secondary or multiplier effects, arise from the interdependencies and linkages created within the tourism sector. Here are some key indirect economic benefits of ecotourism:

1. Job Creation:

The growth of ecotourism leads to the creation of jobs in various sectors. Beyond the direct employment opportunities in accommodations, tour guiding, and hospitality, there is an indirect impact on other industries. Local producers and artisans who supply goods and services to the tourism sector, such as food and handicrafts, also benefit from increased demand, leading to job creation and income generation.

2. Infrastructure Development:

As the demand for ecotourism increases, there is a need for improved infrastructure, such as roads, utilities, and public facilities. The development and enhancement of infrastructure benefits not only the tourism sector but also the local community as a whole. This includes improved transportation networks, access to healthcare facilities, and upgraded public services.

3. Capacity Building and Skill Development:

The growth of ecotourism often drives the need for capacity building and skill development in the local workforce. As communities strive to meet the demands of ecotourism, training programs and initiatives are implemented to enhance skills in areas such as guiding, hospitality, conservation, and sustainable practices. This leads to the improvement and diversification of the local labor force, increasing employability and income potential.

4. Conservation and Restoration Initiatives:

Ecotourism generates funds that can be allocated to conservation initiatives and the restoration of natural habitats. These investments not only benefit the environment but also create employment opportunities for professionals in the field of environmental sciences, conservation biology, and ecosystem management. Conservation projects also attract researchers and scientists, further enhancing local expertise and knowledge.

5. Knowledge Transfer:

Ecotourism facilitates the exchange of knowledge between locals and tourists. Visitors often have a keen interest in learning about the local culture, traditions, and environment. This promotes cultural exchange and fosters a deeper understanding and appreciation of the destination. It also provides opportunities for locals to share their knowledge, stories, and experiences, thus preserving indigenous knowledge and traditions.

The indirect economic benefits of ecotourism are essential for long-term economic viability and community development. They contribute to the overall economic resilience of a destination, helping to diversify the local economy and create sustainable livelihoods. However, it is important to strike a balance between economic development and environmental preservation, ensuring that the indirect benefits of ecotourism are aligned with sustainable practices and local needs.

Employment Opportunities Created by Ecotourism

Ecotourism is a significant catalyst for job creation, providing employment opportunities that directly and indirectly support local communities. The diverse range of activities associated with ecotourism opens doors for various professions and skill sets. Here are some key employment opportunities created by ecotourism:

1. Tour Guides and Naturalists:

One of the primary employment opportunities in ecotourism is as a tour guide or naturalist. These individuals possess in-depth knowledge about the local ecosystem, wildlife, and cultural heritage. They lead visitors on guided tours, providing education, interpretation, and ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for tourists.

2. Hospitality and Accommodation:

As ecotourism destinations grow in popularity, there is an increased demand for accommodation options that align with sustainable practices. This creates employment opportunities in eco-lodges, resorts, bed and breakfast establishments, and other hospitality sectors. From front desk staff to housekeeping and kitchen employees, these jobs support the tourism infrastructure.

3. Conservation Specialists:

Ecotourism often goes hand in hand with conservation efforts. Consequently, employment opportunities arise for conservation specialists, including wildlife biologists, ecologists, park rangers, and environmental scientists. These professionals work to protect and manage natural areas, monitor wildlife populations, conduct research, and implement conservation strategies.

4. Artisans and Craftsmen:

Ecotourism provides an economic incentive for local artisans and craftsmen to showcase their traditional skills and crafts. From handcrafted souvenirs to artwork and traditional textiles, these individuals contribute significantly to the local economy. By promoting their products to tourists, they can earn a sustainable income and preserve cultural heritage.

5. Agro-Tourism and Farming:

In agricultural regions, ecotourism creates opportunities for agro-tourism experiences and farm stays. Visitors can participate in traditional farming activities, learn about organic farming methods, and enjoy locally sourced food products. These activities support local farmers, promote sustainable agriculture, and create employment in farming-related sectors.

6. Service Industry:

With an increase in tourist arrivals, the service industry experiences growth, leading to employment opportunities in restaurants, cafes, and transportation services. From waitstaff and cooks to drivers and tour operators, these positions form a vital part of the tourism value chain and provide income opportunities for local residents.

By providing employment opportunities, ecotourism contributes to poverty reduction, social inclusion, and economic empowerment within local communities. These jobs often promote skill development, capacity building, and cultural preservation, fostering a sense of pride and identity among local residents. It is important, however, for these employment opportunities to prioritize fair wages, safe working conditions, and opportunities for professional growth.

Economic Impacts on Local Communities

Ecotourism has significant economic impacts on local communities, providing a range of benefits that contribute to their development and well-being. These impacts go beyond direct revenue generation and job creation. Here are some key economic impacts of ecotourism on local communities:

1. Income Diversification:

Ecotourism offers an opportunity for local communities to diversify their sources of income. It provides an alternative economic sector that can reduce reliance on traditional industries such as agriculture or mining. This diversification helps to build resilience against economic downturns and enhances the overall economic stability of the community.

2. Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development:

Ecotourism encourages entrepreneurship and small business development within communities. It enables locals to start their own eco-friendly businesses, such as eco-lodges, tour operators, or restaurants serving locally sourced and sustainable food. These entrepreneurial ventures create opportunities for local residents to become self-employed and retain economic benefits within the community.

3. Enhanced Community Infrastructure:

The presence of tourism leads to infrastructure improvements in local communities. This includes the development of roads, transportation networks, sanitation facilities, and utilities. These infrastructure enhancements not only benefit tourists but also improve the quality of life for local residents and stimulate further economic development.

4. Capacity Building and Skill Development:

Ecotourism promotes capacity building and skill development within local communities. Training programs and workshops are often conducted to enhance skills in areas such as hospitality, tour guiding, conservation practices, and sustainable business management. These trainings empower community members to take on new roles, improve their employability, and access higher-paying jobs.

5. Preservation of Cultural Heritage:

Ecotourism values and celebrates the cultural heritage of local communities. It creates a demand for authentic cultural experiences, encouraging the preservation and revitalization of traditional practices, crafts, and rituals. This preservation of cultural heritage not only fosters a sense of pride and identity within the community but also generates economic opportunities through the sale of handicrafts, traditional performances, and cultural tours.

6. Community Empowerment:

Ecotourism empowers local communities by involving them in decision-making processes and tourism planning. Engaging local residents in the development and management of ecotourism initiatives ensures that their voices are heard and that the benefits are shared equitably. This empowerment fosters a sense of ownership and encourages community involvement in sustainable development practices.

The economic impacts of ecotourism on local communities can be transformative, stimulating economic growth, empowering residents, and enhancing their quality of life. However, it is essential to strike a balance between economic development and the preservation of the community’s unique cultural and natural heritage. By adopting responsible and sustainable practices, ecotourism can continue to bring positive economic impacts while maintaining the authenticity and integrity of the local community.

Case Studies: Successful Ecotourism Initiatives

Across the globe, numerous successful ecotourism initiatives have showcased the potential of responsible tourism to drive economic development while promoting conservation and community empowerment. Here are a few notable case studies:

1. Costa Rica:

Costa Rica is widely regarded as a pioneer in ecotourism. The country has dedicated significant efforts to protect its rich biodiversity while simultaneously developing a thriving tourism industry. With over 25% of its land designated as protected areas, Costa Rica has successfully attracted eco-conscious travelers with its diverse range of eco-lodges, adventure tourism, and conservation-focused activities. The revenue generated from ecotourism has supported the country’s initiatives in environmental preservation, wildlife conservation, and sustainable development, contributing significantly to its economy.

2. NamibRand Nature Reserve, Namibia:

The NamibRand Nature Reserve in Namibia is a prime example of how ecotourism can benefit local communities and wildlife conservation. This privately owned reserve has developed sustainable tourism practices that minimize environmental impacts while providing economic opportunities for nearby rural communities. Through partnerships with local communities, the reserve offers employment, training, and business opportunities related to tourism. Visitors can enjoy guided nature walks, hot air balloon rides, and stargazing activities while contributing to the conservation of the unique desert ecosystem and supporting local livelihoods.

3. Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, South Africa:

The Grootbos Private Nature Reserve in South Africa showcases the success of ecotourism in the context of community development and conservation. The reserve focuses on promoting sustainable tourism practices while empowering local communities. It offers luxury accommodations and guided nature experiences, including whale watching, fynbos walks, and cultural tours. Grootbos actively involves the local communities in its operations by providing training, employment, and support for local enterprises. Through its commitment to social upliftment and conservation, the reserve has become an exemplary model for ecotourism in Africa.

4. Inkaterra, Peru:

Inkaterra in Peru is an eco-luxury hotel chain that has set the standard for sustainable tourism in the Peruvian Amazon and the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The company focuses on preserving biodiversity, promoting conservation initiatives, and supporting local communities. Inkaterra’s lodges offer immersive experiences, including wildlife encounters, nature hikes, and cultural immersion programs, all designed to foster an appreciation for the environment and local heritage. The company partners with local communities, providing employment, educational opportunities, and support for conservation projects, thereby ensuring that the benefits of tourism are shared with the communities in which they operate.

These case studies demonstrate that successful ecotourism initiatives can lead to economic prosperity, conservation of natural and cultural heritage, and community empowerment. They highlight the importance of a holistic approach that balances environmental sustainability, community involvement, and economic benefits. By learning from these examples, destinations worldwide can harness the power of ecotourism to drive positive change in their own communities while ensuring the long-term preservation of their natural and cultural treasures.

Challenges and Potential Risks of Ecotourism

While ecotourism holds tremendous potential for sustainable development, it also faces several challenges and potential risks that need to be addressed to ensure its long-term viability. These challenges include:

1. Overcrowding and Environmental Impact:

As the popularity of ecotourism destinations grows, overcrowding can strain fragile ecosystems and result in environmental degradation. Increased footfall and traffic can disrupt wildlife habitats, damage sensitive ecosystems, and put strain on water resources and waste management systems. Careful management and visitor capacity limits are necessary to mitigate these impacts and prevent the deterioration of natural areas.

2. Unregulated Development:

In some cases, unregulated development can occur in response to the popularity of ecotourism destinations. If not managed properly, this can lead to land encroachment, habitat destruction, and loss of biodiversity. It is crucial to have effective zoning regulations and land-use planning to ensure responsible and sustainable development.

3. Unsustainable Practices:

Despite the principles of sustainability, some ecotourism activities may still have negative environmental impacts. For example, poorly managed wildlife encounters, such as unregulated feeding or excessive human-wildlife interactions, can disrupt natural behaviors and lead to ecological imbalances. It is essential to promote and enforce responsible tourism practices to minimize these detrimental effects.

4. Socio-cultural Impacts:

Ecotourism can pose both positive and negative socio-cultural impacts on local communities. Increased tourism can lead to changes in traditional ways of life, loss of cultural authenticity, and commodification of cultural practices. Communities may also face social conflicts, inequality, and economic leakage if the benefits of tourism are not effectively distributed. Engaging with local communities, respecting cultural norms, and ensuring fair and equitable benefit-sharing are crucial to addressing these challenges.

5. Economic Dependency:

Overdependence on tourism revenues can create economic vulnerability for communities when faced with fluctuations in visitor numbers or external shocks such as natural disasters or changes in travel patterns. Diversification of the economy and the development of alternative livelihoods outside of tourism can help mitigate this risk.

Addressing these challenges and mitigating potential risks requires a collaborative effort between governments, local communities, tourism operators, and visitors. Sustainable tourism practices, comprehensive planning, community involvement, and ongoing monitoring and evaluation are essential to ensure that ecotourism remains a responsible and sustainable form of travel.

Ecotourism offers a sustainable and responsible approach to travel that can bring tremendous benefits to both the economy and the environment. Through its focus on conservation, education, and community empowerment, ecotourism has the potential to generate direct and indirect economic benefits, create employment opportunities, and contribute to the overall well-being of local communities.

By generating revenue through tourism expenditure, park fees, and the promotion of local products, ecotourism supports local businesses and stimulates economic growth. It also fosters income diversification, entrepreneurship, and small business development, empowering communities and reducing dependency on traditional industries.

Furthermore, ecotourism plays a vital role in infrastructure development, capacity building, and the preservation of cultural heritage. It raises awareness about environmental conservation and fosters a sense of pride and identity within local communities.

However, there are challenges and potential risks that need to be addressed to ensure the long-term sustainability of ecotourism. These challenges include overcrowding, unregulated development, unsustainable practices, socio-cultural impacts, and economic dependency. By implementing responsible tourism practices, effective planning, and community involvement, these challenges can be mitigated.

Overall, the success of ecotourism lies in finding the balance between economic development, environmental conservation, and community empowerment. By prioritizing sustainability in its practices, ecotourism can continue to contribute to the preservation of natural and cultural heritage, while also providing economic opportunities for local communities and fostering a deeper appreciation for the world’s diverse ecosystems.

As travelers, it is crucial for us to choose ecotourism options that align with these principles, supporting destinations and initiatives that prioritize environmental responsibility, respect for local cultures, and the well-being of communities. By doing so, we can play a role in promoting sustainable tourism practices and ensuring that ecotourism continues to be a driving force for positive change.

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How Travel Agencies Earn Money: A Complete Guide To Their Revenue Streams

tourist guide revenue

Have you ever caught yourself wondering how travel agencies manage to stay afloat in this era of easy-peasy DIY trip planning? You’re not alone – it’s a question that has crossed my mind more times than I can count, especially after learning that travel agencies in the U.S. pulled in a whopping $17.3 billion in 2021! Like many of you, I was itching to peel back the curtain on this tenacious industry and get a glimpse at their revenue-generating magic tricks.

So buckle up and come along for the journey; our guide is your all-access pass to demystifying how these travel maestros keep their cash register singing.

Key Takeaways

  • Travel agents get commissions from airlines, hotels, and other suppliers for bookings made for their clients. These commissions are a big part of how they earn money.
  • Agencies also charge service fees for personalized itinerary planning and handle complex travel arrangements, adding another income source.
  • Offering niche services like luxury eco – tourism or themed vacations allows travel agencies to attract specific types of travelers and create additional revenue opportunities.
  • Big travel agencies use their size to negotiate better deals with suppliers and provide diverse services worldwide, helping them maximize profits.
  • To increase earnings further, travel agents can promote exclusive deals on social media, network with local businesses for corporate arrangements, and consistently enhance their industry knowledge through training.

The Evolution of Travel Agencies

tourist guide revenue

Travel agencies have evolved over time, from traditional storefronts to more modern and flexible home-based models. With the rise of online booking platforms, travel agents have had to adapt their business strategies to stay competitive in the industry.

A Brief History

I’ve seen the landscape of travel agencies transform over time. In their early days, these agencies operated as key gatekeepers between travelers and transportation providers like airlines and train companies.

They thrived on commissions from bookings, wielding exclusive access to reservation systems that were out of reach for the general public.

Over the years, travel agents have had to adapt quickly due to technological advancements. The internet burst onto the scene and suddenly, flight tickets and hotel rooms were just a click away for anyone with web access.

This revolution forced agencies to reevaluate their value propositions and dig deeper into personalized services where they still held an edge over digital platforms.

Shift in Business Models

Travel agencies have had to rethink their approach to stay competitive. In the past, they primarily earned from commissions on bookings for flights, hotels, and tours. Now, with the rise of online travel platforms and do-it-yourself booking options, traditional commission-based models don’t cut it anymore.

Agencies are turning towards more diverse business models that focus on value-added services. They’re charging service fees for personalized itinerary planning and leveraging relationships with providers to offer exclusive deals.

Some even create unique travel experiences that you can’t find elsewhere or cater to niche markets like luxury eco-tourism or adventure travel. By adapting in these ways, they keep their edge in a tech-driven market where travelers demand more control and customization.

Transition to Home-Based Agencies

Making the switch to home-based agencies marked a significant change in the travel industry. I traded my office for my living room, embracing flexibility and personalized service that clients love.

This move cut down on overhead costs dramatically, boosting profit margins without sacrificing quality. By leveraging technology and social media, I can connect with customers anywhere at any time.

Adapting quickly became crucial once I ditched the traditional storefront. Now, fostering relationships with clients and offering tailored experiences is at the core of what I do. It feels good to provide value that goes beyond just booking trips; from crafting unique itineraries to being there when plans go awry – nothing beats the personal touch I can give from my home setup.

Diversifying Income Streams

Diversifying income streams is essential for travel agencies to maximize their earnings and remain competitive in the industry. By offering a variety of services such as customized itineraries, niche travel packages, and corporate travel management, agents can tap into different market segments and revenue sources.

This not only increases their potential for earning commissions from airline and hotel bookings but also allows them to charge service fees or markups on specialized offerings. Moreover, exploring new sales strategies and partnerships with tour operators can further diversify income streams and create additional opportunities for generating profits.

In conclusion, diversifying income streams enables travel agencies to adapt to changing market demands and capitalize on various revenue sources beyond traditional booking commissions.

How Travel Agencies Make Money

tourist guide revenue

Travel agencies make money through various revenue streams, including commissions from airlines and hotels, service fees, and custom itinerary services. To learn more about the different ways travel agents earn money, keep reading!

Breakdown of Revenue Streams

Travel agencies earn money through various revenue streams, including:

  • Commission from Suppliers: Travel agents receive a commission from airlines, hotels, car rental companies, and other suppliers for bookings made on behalf of clients.
  • Service Fees: They charge service fees for the time and expertise invested in creating customized itineraries and handling complex travel arrangements.
  • Tour Packages: Selling pre-packaged tour deals gives them a margin on the price difference between what they pay the supplier and the package price sold to the client.
  • Corporate Services: Business travel management generates income through negotiating corporate rates with suppliers and providing expense management solutions.
  • Ancillary Products: Earning commissions from selling travel insurance, visa processing services, and other ancillary products adds to their revenue stream.
  • Incentives and Bonuses: Some agents receive incentives or bonuses based on achieving sales targets set by suppliers or consortiums they are affiliated with.
  • Group Booking Markups: Organizing group tours enables them to negotiate favorable rates with suppliers and earn markups on group bookings.

Corporate Travel Agencies

After understanding the revenue streams in travel agencies, corporate travel agencies stand out as a significant source of income. These agencies specialize in managing business-related travel for organizations.

They earn money through service fees charged to businesses for booking flights, accommodations, and other logistics required for corporate trips. Additionally, they often negotiate contracts with airlines and hotels to secure discounts or commissions on bookings made for their clients.

Moreover, corporate travel agencies can generate revenue from providing consultancy services that optimize their client’s travel spending through cost-saving measures like bulk purchasing deals and data analysis to identify better booking options.

Leisure Travel Agencies

Leisure travel agencies generate income through commissions on bookings, service fees, and markups on tour packages. They earn a percentage of the total cost when clients book flights, accommodation, or tours through them.

Additionally, travel agents may charge service fees for custom itineraries and specialized services such as destination weddings or adventure trips. Furthermore, leisure travel agencies often markup the price of tour packages provided by suppliers to achieve a profit margin.

By diversifying their revenue streams and offering niche services such as luxury travel experiences or themed vacations, these agencies can maximize their earnings in an increasingly competitive market.

Custom Itineraries and Niche Services

When creating custom itineraries and niche services, I focus on curating unique travel experiences tailored to each client’s preferences. By offering specialized packages such as adventure travel, culinary tours, or eco-friendly getaways, I can meet the specific needs of discerning travelers.

This personalized approach allows me to differentiate my services in a competitive market, attracting clients seeking exclusive and authentic experiences.

I leverage my expertise to craft bespoke itineraries that cater to niche interests like cultural immersion, luxury travel, or off-the-beaten-path destinations. By tapping into these specialized areas, I can provide added value and stand out from mass-market offerings.

Big Travel Agencies

Expanding beyond niche services, big travel agencies play a significant role in the industry. They often have a substantial market share and boast extensive networks with various suppliers such as airlines, hotels, and tour operators.

Scaling their operations to reach a broader audience, these agencies leverage their brand recognition to negotiate favorable terms with suppliers, which in turn impacts their revenue streams significantly.

By tapping into economies of scale and offering diverse services across different regions or continents, large travel agencies can maximize profits while providing comprehensive support to a wide array of clients.

Taking advantage of their size and resources, big travel agencies are able to offer competitive pricing on package deals due to wholesale buying power. Additionally, they can invest in cutting-edge technology solutions that streamline processes for both employees and customers – from booking platforms to customer management systems.

Maximizing Earnings as a Travel Agent

To maximize earnings as a travel agent, understanding the different types of travel agents and tips for increasing income are essential. Want to know more about how you can increase your revenue as a travel agent? Keep reading to learn all about it!

Different Types of Travel Agents

There are various types of travel agents, each specializing in different areas such as corporate travel, leisure travel, custom itineraries, and niche services. Corporate travel agents focus on providing business-related travel services such as booking flights and accommodations for employees attending conferences or meetings.

On the other hand, leisure travel agents cater to individuals seeking vacation packages, cruises, or adventure trips. Some agents specialize in creating customized itineraries tailored to clients’ specific needs and interests while others focus on niche services like destination weddings or eco-tourism.

Some big agencies offer a wide range of services; smaller home-based agencies often provide personalized attention to their clients by focusing on specific niches or customized offerings.

Tips for Increasing Income

To increase income as a travel agent, I suggest the following:

  • Leverage social media to promote exclusive travel deals and engage with potential clients.
  • Offer personalized services and carefully curated itineraries to attract high – paying clients.
  • Network with local businesses to establish partnerships for corporate travel arrangements.
  • Invest in ongoing training and education to stay updated on industry trends and destination knowledge.
  • Implement a referral program to incentivize existing clients to recommend your services to others.

Understanding Commissions

As a travel agent, understanding commissions is essential for maximizing earnings. Commissions are the primary source of income for many travel agencies and agents. They are typically earned from booking flights, hotels, car rentals, and other travel services on behalf of clients.

These commissions can vary based on the travel provider and type of service booked. It’s crucial to have a clear understanding of commission structures offered by different suppliers in order to negotiate better deals and maximize profits.

Travel agents should also be aware of any incentives or bonuses offered by suppliers, as these can significantly boost earnings. Building strong relationships with preferred suppliers can lead to higher commission rates and exclusive offers for clients.

Creating Niche Services

As a travel agent, I develop niche services to cater to specific customer needs. This may involve creating specialized packages for unique destinations, such as eco-tourism adventures or culinary tours.

By offering niche services, I can differentiate my agency from competitors and attract clients seeking tailored experiences. Additionally, developing expertise in niche areas allows me to provide valuable insights and recommendations that set me apart as an industry expert.

My goal is to identify underserved markets and design custom itineraries that resonate with those audiences. This approach not only enhances customer satisfaction but also boosts my agency’s revenue potential through premium service fees and exclusive partnerships with niche suppliers.

In conclusion, travel agencies can generate income through various revenue streams, including commissions from bookings and service fees. They have adapted business models to diversify their earnings by offering custom itineraries and niche services.

Maximizing earnings as a travel agent involves understanding different types of agents and tips for increasing income. Overall, the profitability of travel agencies is dependent on their ability to adapt to changing market dynamics and offer unique value to clients.

1. How do travel agencies make money?

Travel agencies make money through commissions from airlines, hotels, car rental companies, and tour operators when they book travel services for clients.

2. Can I save money by booking directly instead of using a travel agency?

In some cases, you may find lower prices by booking directly; however, travel agencies often have access to special deals and can provide valuable expertise and support.

3. What are the different revenue streams for travel agencies?

Travel agencies earn revenue through commissions, service fees charged to clients, selling travel insurance or packages, and through partnerships with other businesses in the industry.

4. Do all travel agencies charge service fees?

Not all travel agencies charge service fees; it varies based on the agency’s business model and the complexity of the trip being planned.

5. How much commission do travel agents receive?

Commissions for travel agents vary but typically range between 10-15% of the total booking cost depending on the type of service booked.

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Destinations behind a paywall? What to know about the increasing tourist fees worldwide.

tourist guide revenue

Travelers to Venice will have to pay up to see its historic canals and islands, which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

To regulate heavy tourist traffic and “protect residents,” the City of Water announced tourist groups will be capped at 25 people – about half the capacity of a tourist bus – and ban loudspeakers, which create “disturbances,” according to the Italian city. Over the summer, crowds in St. Mark’s Square, the city’s main plaza, caused bridges to back up , and tourists saw overflowing trash cans. 

The city said the biggest culprits are day-trippers, who don’t add much economic value to the city – like eating at local hotels or restaurants – while still putting pressure on the city’s infrastructure. In 2022, 30 million people visited the City of Canals, but only 3.2 million stayed overnight in the historic city center. 

“I refuse to visit the city during tourist season even when friends and family are staying with me because the crowds are so crazy,” Nathan Heinrich, an American writer and designer who holds dual citizenship in Italy and lives just outside Venice, told USA TODAY.

This year, the city will trial a new day-tripper entrance fee of €5 per person ($5.44) during 29 peak days between April and mid-July. To enforce the fee, daytime visitors must register online and download a QR code, which officials will randomly ask to verify. If a traveler doesn't have the code, they can pay the tax on the spot along with an extra fine of up to €100 ($108.82).

Learn more: Best travel insurance

What to do in Hawaii? Locals weigh in on if these popular spots are worth the hype

The news makes Venice the latest popular destination to increase fees aimed at tourists. Last year, Amsterdam announced it would increase its tourist tax by 12.5%, making it the highest in Europe. Closer to home, Hawaii failed to pass a widely supported bill in May that would make tourists pay for a $50 pass to enjoy the islands’ natural beauty.

As the demand to see and experience new places only strengthens, many popular destinations are working to add or increase fees aimed at the sheer number of travelers they get.

“There are concerns about overtourism and the strain it puts on the local infrastructure, the environmental impacts, and frankly it’s just a revenue stream,” Jason Block, CEO of travel advising company and a collection of travel brands known as WorldVia Travel Group, told USA TODAY. “You look at these places that are really dependent on tourism as an industry – and especially coming out of the pandemic where they lost a lot of that revenue – they’re playing a little bit of catch-up. They’re also seeing other destinations implementing without much impact to demand.”

Experts consider these fees the future of travel, so here’s how they are going to affect travelers. 

What are tourist taxes?

Tourist taxes are “something virtually every destination has in some shape or form” as a way to generate income from travelers, Block said. 

Nearly all destinations have a lodging tax, which is automatically added to your final hotel bill. Honolulu raised its lodging tax two years ago, adding up to 18% onto the hotel room rate. Destinations also have similar fees added onto final airline ticket prices or port charges if traveling by cruise ship.

More destinations are raising these fees to coincide with the increased demand. In January 2023, Aruba raised its lodging tax from 9% to 12.5%, and Amsterdam’s will rise from 7% to 12.5% this year. 

As for entrance fees like Venice’s or the upcoming electronic visa for the United Kingdom , these are newer concepts, but Block fully expects them to stay.  

“The lodging taxes have been there forever now, but you’re seeing places that have a separate environmental fee or levy or another line item, like an entry fee,” Block said. “You’ll see three, four, five line items. So it starts with your simple hotel transaction or a short weekend flight, a night in a hotel, and activities could have a lot of different tax lines.”

Where does the tourist tax revenue go?

It’s not all bad news for travelers, Block said. 

The money from tourist taxes are more likely than not reinvested into the destination. Though the revenue is typically aimed at improving life for the residents, it will also “make the travel experience better,” Block said. “One of the worst things you can do is pay for your dream trip to Venice and have a bad experience because the sewers are overrun or the roads are bad.”

Not so hidden. Blame social media and pent-up demand for exposing your favorite hidden vacation spot

Iceland , known for its striking natural beauty, said it would broaden its accommodation tax to help protect its environment for future generations. The fee increase also aligns with the country’s goal to be carbon-neutral by 2040. 

“Tourists are enjoying (these resources), so they should foot part of the bill,” Block said. 

How are tourist taxes going to affect travelers? 

It depends. As more places introduce more fees, there can be concerns of a lack of transparency, Block said. It’s crucial for travelers to look closely at the breakdown of their airfare or hotel room and not just base their budget off the advertised price, he added. 

Though these fees seem inconsequential at first, they can add up. “When you add it all up for a week for a family of four, even if you’re sharing a single hotel room, that’s not insignificant,” Block said. Paris charges a flat €4 ($4.35) per person per night lodging fee, so for a family of four for seven nights, there’s an additional €112 ($121.88) on the hotel bill. 

Despite this, many travelers support the fees if it means contributing to the destination’s sustainability. 

"It's such a stunning place, with its canals and narrow alleys, but the sheer number of people visiting is putting a strain on it,” said Kayden Roberts, a digital nomad who visited in 2023. “Introducing a tourist tax here makes a lot of sense. It's not just about making money; it's about keeping Venice beautiful and preserving its cultural and historical treasures.”

Heinrich, the American designer, doesn’t think tourists will even bat an eye at the fees and will continue with their travel plans. “Anyone who can afford to take a trip to Italy can most likely afford a few extra euros to take a day trip into the city,” he said.

Others are worried the increase in tourist taxes could limit accessibility for travelers with lower budgets, but finding a solution is tricky. “This could be the start of a slippery slope of exclusivity that puts popular and important tourist destinations behind a paywall," said Heather Rameau, a content creator for travel brands based in Washington, D.C. “Ultimately, we all share this world and deserve access to see its beautiful places.

“Is there a need to better regulate and control the number of people visiting popular tourist spots, especially those that have a delicate ecosystem or are at risk due to climate change or other factors? Yes,” she said. “But is charging more money the way to do it? I'm not sure.”

International tourism revenue - Country rankings

International tourism revenue, 2020:.

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Fact sheet: 2022 national travel and tourism strategy, office of public affairs.

The 2022 National Travel and Tourism Strategy was released on June 6, 2022, by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo on behalf of the Tourism Policy Council (TPC). The new strategy focuses the full efforts of the federal government to promote the United States as a premier destination grounded in the breadth and diversity of our communities, and to foster a sector that drives economic growth, creates good jobs, and bolsters conservation and sustainability. Drawing on engagement and capabilities from across the federal government, the strategy aims to support broad-based economic growth in travel and tourism across the United States, its territories, and the District of Columbia.

Key points of the 2022 National Travel and Tourism Strategy

The federal government will work to implement the strategy under the leadership of the TPC and in partnership with the private sector, aiming toward an ambitious five-year goal of increasing American jobs by attracting and welcoming 90 million international visitors, who we estimate will spend $279 billion, annually by 2027.

The new National Travel and Tourism Strategy supports growth and competitiveness for an industry that, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, generated $1.9 trillion in economic output and supported 9.5 million American jobs. Also, in 2019, nearly 80 million international travelers visited the United States and contributed nearly $240 billion to the U.S. economy, making the United States the global leader in revenue from international travel and tourism. As the top services export for the United States that year, travel and tourism generated a $53.4 billion trade surplus and supported 1 million jobs in the United States.

The strategy follows a four-point approach:

  • Promoting the United States as a Travel Destination Goal : Leverage existing programs and assets to promote the United States to international visitors and broaden marketing efforts to encourage visitation to underserved communities.
  • Facilitating Travel to and Within the United States Goal : Reduce barriers to trade in travel services and make it safer and more efficient for visitors to enter and travel within the United States.
  • Ensuring Diverse, Inclusive, and Accessible Tourism Experiences Goal : Extend the benefits of travel and tourism by supporting the development of diverse tourism products, focusing on under-served communities and populations. Address the financial and workplace needs of travel and tourism businesses, supporting destination communities as they grow their tourism economies. Deliver world-class experiences and customer service at federal lands and waters that showcase the nation’s assets while protecting them for future generations.
  • Fostering Resilient and Sustainable Travel and Tourism Goal : Reduce travel and tourism’s contributions to climate change and build a travel and tourism sector that is resilient to natural disasters, public health threats, and the impacts of climate change. Build a sustainable sector that integrates protecting natural resources, supporting the tourism economy, and ensuring equitable development.

Travel and Tourism Fast Facts

  • The travel and tourism industry supported 9.5 million American jobs through $1.9 trillion of economic activity in 2019. In fact, 1 in every 20 jobs in the United States was either directly or indirectly supported by travel and tourism. These jobs can be found in industries like lodging, food services, arts, entertainment, recreation, transportation, and education.
  • Travel and tourism was the top services export for the United States in 2019, generating a $53.4 billion trade surplus.
  • The travel and tourism industry was one of the U.S. business sectors hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent health and travel restrictions, with travel exports decreasing nearly 65% from 2019 to 2020. 
  • The decline in travel and tourism contributed heavily to unemployment; leisure and hospitality lost 8.2 million jobs between February and April 2020 alone, accounting for 37% of the decline in overall nonfarm employment during that time. 
  • By 2021, the rollout of vaccines and lifting of international and domestic restrictions allowed travel and tourism to begin its recovery. International arrivals to the United States grew to 22.1 million in 2021, up from 19.2 million in 2020. Spending by international visitors also grew, reaching $81.0 billion, or 34 percent of 2019’s total.

More about the Tourism Policy Council and the 2022 National Travel and Tourism Strategy

Created by Congress and chaired by Secretary Raimondo, the Tourism Policy Council (TPC) is the interagency council charged with coordinating national policies and programs relating to travel and tourism. At the direction of Secretary Raimondo, the TPC created a new five-year strategy to focus U.S. government efforts in support of the travel and tourism sector which has been deeply and disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the full strategy here

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25 states with highest tourism revenue in the us.

In this article, we will discuss the 25 states with highest tourism revenue in the US. If you want to skip our discussion on the US tourism industry, you can go directly to the 5 States With Highest Tourism Revenue in the US .

According to the International Trade Administration, overseas tourists contributed $233.5 billion to the US economy in 2019. The travel and tourism industry in the US played a vital role, contributing significantly to the economy by generating $1.9 trillion in economic output and providing 9.5 million American jobs. This contribution accounted for 2.9% of the overall US GDP. Additionally, tourism industry statistics reveal that international travelers spend more in the US than in other countries, accounting for 14.5% of the total global expenditure on international travel. You can read about the 30 Top Tourists Attractions in the USA here.

In 2020, US travel expenditures recorded a 42% decline due to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as of April 2022, a recovery has taken place, with US travel spending increasing to $100 billion. This 3% increase surpasses pre-pandemic levels, driven primarily by leisure travel. On the other hand, the scenario for business travel remains complex as the increased use of video conferencing tools has resulted in remote meetings being more convenient in many situations. The historical data from the US Travel Association indicates that US travel spending typically grows by 2% to 4% annually, suggesting that there is still potential for a more substantial rebound in the future.

Major Players Shaping the Tourism Landscape

Several companies can be viewed as key players in the tourism industry. One such company is Airbnb, Inc. (NASDAQ: ABNB ), which aims to offer budget-friendly accommodation options and focuses on travelers who want a more localized experience . Many tourists are interested in "living like a local," a phrase Airbnb, Inc. (NASDAQ:ABNB) employs to attract the audience to their platform. Looking at the US tourism statistics by city in 2022, Airbnb, Inc. (NASDAQ:ABNB) hosts in the US facilitated over 44 million guest arrivals in regions without hotels. This resulted in host earnings of $10.5 billion as well as additional economic activity.

The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS ) stands as another major player in the tourism industry with its theme parks and hotels. A recent study by Oxford Economics revealed that The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) resulted in a total statewide economic impact of $40.3 billion in Florida during 2022. Furthermore, the company also created 263,000 direct and indirect jobs, contributing to 1 out of every 32 jobs in the state. The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) also generated a total of $6.6 billion in tax revenue. Moreover, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) has engaged 2,500 small businesses based in Florida, contracting them to provide various products and services.

Ranking on Fortune's World's Most Admired Companies List, Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG ) is another notable player in the industry. It is the parent company of well-renowned brands, including Priceline.com, Booking.com, and Cheapflights. Based in Connecticut, the company’s network is spread across more than 220 countries. Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:BKNG) remains the key provider of online travel and related services, offering facilities like flight ticketing, accommodation reservation, rental car booking, and price comparison, among other things. The US travel market size is evident in the remarkable recovery of Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:BKNG) from the significant downturn during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2022, the company reported a revenue of $17.1 billion, reflecting an increase of $6 billion from the previous year. Room reservations accounted for 91% of the total bookings made through the company this year. Furthermore, international travel statistics indicate that Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:BKNG) facilitated the booking of over 60 million rental car days and 20 million flight tickets in the same period.

Here's what RiverPark Advisors said about Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:BKNG) in its Q3 2023 investor letter:

“Booking Holdings Inc.  (NASDAQ:BKNG): BKNG was a top contributor in the quarter following better than expected bookings, revenue and profit margins in the company’s 2Q driven by strong summer travel demand. BKNG reported $40 billion of bookings, $5.5 billion of revenue, and 23% EBITDA margins, which were $1.5 billion, $300m, and two percentage points ahead of expectations, respectively. In addition to strong summer demand, management pointed to continued strength in leisure travel (they raised travel booking guidance for the remainder of the year), building momentum in its alternative accommodation business and improvement in marketing efficiency. Booking is the world’s leader in online travel, operating in 200 countries with brands including Booking.com, priceline.com, agoda.com, Kayak, Rentalcars.com, and OpenTable. The company has been a dominant online travel agency for more than a decade with a high-margin business model that requires limited capital expenditures, typically less than 3% of revenue, producing $6.2 billion of free cash flow for 2022 and $7.2 billion expected for 2024. The company has used its free cash flow for episodic acquisitions as well as to return cash to shareholders. BKNG is well positioned in travel as the largest player in online lodging bookings and the second largest player in alternative accommodations.”

James Kirkikis/Shutterstock.com

Our Methodology

To determine the 25 states with highest tourism revenue in the US, we referred to data provided by the International Trade Administration. The states were shortlisted, taking into account the number of visitors, as a strong correlation exists between heightened visitor numbers and revenue generation. We have ranked the states in ascending order of both the number of visitors and their respective market shares in the US tourism industry.

States With Highest Tourism Revenue in the US

25. indiana.

Market share: 0.7%

Visitation figures 2022: 168,000

Indiana has gained recognition for its association with auto racing, particularly hosting the renowned Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Indiana also boasts a cost of living that is 10% below the national average.

24. Wisconsin

Visitation figures 2022: 175,000

Wisconsin is famed for its dairy industry and boasts scenic beauty. Many tourists visit Devil’s Lake, renowned for camping and hiking opportunities. Wisconsin Dells is famous for having one of the largest water parks in America.

23. Connecticut

Market share:  0.9%

Visitation figures 2022: 225,000

Connecticut's major attractions are its museums as well as art galleries, including the Yale University Art Gallery. Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo and Mystic Aquarium also provide a fun experience for many families.

22. Michigan

Market share: 1.1%

Visitation figures 2022: 261,000

Michigan is famous amongst tourists due to its breathtaking landscapes and many outdoor activities, including rafting in the Menominee River. One of the most popular outdoor locations for visitors in Michigan is the Tahquamenon Falls State Park.

Visitation figures 2022: 273,000

Ohio's tourism sector recorded $53 billion in revenue from tourists in 2022. Popular theme parks like Cedar Point and Kings Island and locations like the Hocking Hills, Lake Erie shores, and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park are among the popular attraction points for tourists.

20. Tennessee

Market share: 1.2%

Visitation figures 2022: 292,000

The American Museum of Science and Energy in Oak Ridge, the Parthenon in Nashville, Downtown Knoxville, Andrew Jackson's Hermitage, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are some of the major attractions in the state. Visitors contributed $27.5 billion in revenue to Tennessee's tourism industry in 2022.

19. Louisiana

Market share: 1.3%

Visitation figures 2022: 314,000

The rich and diverse culture attracts tourists to Louisiana . The fur-producing region of Avery Island, the Cajun and zydeco music of Southwest Louisiana, and the State Capitol in Baton Rouge are among the popular tourist destinations.

18. Colorado

Visitation figures 2022: 321,000

Visitor spending in Colorado was recorded at $21.9 billion in 2021. The Colorado Springs Garden of the Gods, the Denver Zoo, and the Rocky Mountains are some of the major tourist attractions in the state.

17. Maryland

Market share: 1.4%

Visitation figures 2022: 326,000

Some of the state's attractions are the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., Baltimore's Inner Harbour, and the National Aquarium.

16. North Carolina

Visitation figures 2022: 340,000

In 2022, North Carolina recorded visitor spending of $28.9 billion. The Blue Ridge Mountains, the Smoky Mountains, and the Outer Banks are some of the state's top tourist destinations.

Market share: 1.7%

Visitation figures 2022: 412,000

In 2021, visitor spending in parks alone in Utah was recorded at $1.6 billion. The vibrant city of Salt Lake City, the state's national parks, and dark sky parks offer visitors exceptional outdoor experiences.

14. Virginia

Market share: 1.8%

Visitation figures 2022: 438,000

The state boasts Colonial Williamsburg, a living history museum that offers an immersive experience into the era of America's founding. Furthermore, nature enthusiasts are drawn to the state's Shenandoah National Park, home to beautiful hiking trails that showcase Virginia's natural beauty.

13. Georgia

Market share: 1.9%

Visitation figures 2022: 465,000

The state's capital, Atlanta, is a famous travel destination with places like the World of Coca-Cola, the Georgia Aquarium, and the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site. Another tourist destination in Georgia is Savannah, which is famous for its beautiful parks and historic neighborhoods.

12. Washington

Market share: 2.0%

Visitation figures 2022: 467,000

Washington has a range of geological features, including the Cascade Mountains, Columbia River, and Coast, which attracts many tourists. The variety of landscapes offers an opportunity for outdoor activities such as camping, wildlife viewing, and winter sports.

11. Pennsylvania

Market share: 2.5%

Visitation figures 2022: 592,000

Pennsylvania has popular tourist destinations, including Philadelphia's Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. The Pocono Mountains and other natural landmarks are located in the state. Pennsylvania is also famous for Hershey's Theme Park.

10. Arizona

Market share: 2.8%

Visitation figures 2022:663,000

Millions of tourists have been drawn to the state due to its natural features, which include the Grand Canyon, Sedona, Monument Valley, and the Sonoran Desert.

9. Massachusetts

Market share: 3.4%

Visitation figures 2022: 807,000

Massachusetts attracts tourists due to its rich history and cultural sites. It is also known for universities such as Harvard and MIT. Historic downtown Boston has sites like the Freedom Trail. Meanwhile, Faneuil Hall Marketplace provides entertaining shopping and dining experiences for visitors.

8. New Jersey

Market share: 3.6%

Visitation figures 2022: 867,000

New Jersey has many natural features, including beaches and mountains, that make it popular among tourists. The Jersey Shore and Atlantic City are some of the famous destinations. The state also has many historic places, including the Ringwood Manor and Batsto Village. New Jersey has secured the ninth place on our list of 25 states with highest tourism revenue in the US.

Market share: 4.0%

Visitation figures 2022: 953,000

The state is a very popular location for tourists due to its natural beauty. There are many activities for visitors in Hawaii, including hiking, golfing, snorkeling, and surfing. The Hula culture in Hawaii is also a major attraction for tourists as it is a blend of traditional music and choreography.

6. Illinois

Market share: 4.7%

Visitation figures 2022: 1,135,000

Chicago is a famous tourist destination with places like Navy Pier, Millennium Park, and the Art Institute of Chicago. The state's historical sites include Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield.

Click to continue reading and see the 5 States With Highest Tourism Revenue in the US .   Suggested articles:

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Disclosure: None. 25 States With Highest Tourism Revenue in the US  is originally published on Insider Monkey.

United States Tourism Revenues

Tourism revenues in the united states decreased to 20709 usd million in april from 21065 usd million in march of 2024. tourism revenues in the united states averaged 13378.63 usd million from 1999 until 2024, reaching an all time high of 21137.00 usd million in february of 2024 and a record low of 3835.00 usd million in september of 2020. source: office of travel and tourism industries,   markets,   gdp,   labour,   prices,   money,   trade,   government,   business,   consumer,   housing,   taxes,   energy,   health,   climate.

Travel, Tourism & Hospitality

Tourism in Canada - statistics & facts

Industries supported by tourism in canada, impact of the coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic, key insights.

Detailed statistics

Contribution of tourism to GDP in Canada 2010-2023

Tourism expenditure in Canada 2000-2019, by commodity

Number of international tourist trips to Canada 2013-2021

Editor’s Picks Current statistics on this topic

Contribution of tourism to GDP in Canada 2010-2023, by industry

Leading source countries for international tourists to Canada 2019-2021

Number of international tourist trips to Canada 2022, by province of entry

Further recommended statistics

  • Premium Statistic Contribution of tourism to GDP in Canada 2010-2023
  • Premium Statistic Contribution of tourism to GDP in Canada 2010-2023, by industry
  • Premium Statistic Tourism expenditure in Canada 2010-2023
  • Premium Statistic Tourism expenditure in Canada 2000-2019, by commodity
  • Premium Statistic Tourism expenditure on transport in Canada 2006-2019, by type
  • Premium Statistic Contribution of tourism to employment in Canada 2016-2020
  • Premium Statistic Contribution of tourism to employment in Canada 2016-2019, by industry

Contribution of tourism to the gross domestic product (GDP) in Canada from 2010 to 2023 (in billion Canadian dollars)

Contribution of tourism to the gross domestic product (GDP) in Canada from 2010 to 2023, by industry (in billion Canadian dollars)

Tourism expenditure in Canada 2010-2023

Tourism expenditure in Canada from 2010 to 2023 (in billion Canadian dollars)

Tourism expenditure in Canada from 2000 to 2019, by commodity (in billion Canadian dollars)

Tourism expenditure on transport in Canada 2006-2019, by type

Tourism expenditure on transport in Canada from 2006 to 2019, by type (in billion Canadian dollars)*

Contribution of tourism to employment in Canada 2016-2020

Contribution of tourism to employment in Canada from Q4 2016 to Q4 2020 (in thousands)

Contribution of tourism to employment in Canada 2016-2019, by industry

Contribution of tourism to employment in Canada from Q4 2016 to Q4 2019, by industry (in thousands)*

  • Premium Statistic Hotel and motel industry market size in Canada 2010-2022
  • Premium Statistic Monthly occupancy rate of hotels in Canada 2019-2020
  • Premium Statistic Monthly average daily rate of hotels in Canada 2019-2020
  • Premium Statistic Monthly average revenue per available room of hotels in Canada 2019-2020
  • Basic Statistic Best-rated hotels in Canada 2023, by Condé Nast Traveler score
  • Premium Statistic Hotel / private accommodation online bookings by brand in Canada 2024

Hotel and motel industry market size in Canada 2010-2022

Market size of the hotel and motel sector in Canada from 2010 to 2022 (in billion U.S. dollars)

Monthly occupancy rate of hotels in Canada 2019-2020

Monthly occupancy rate of hotels in Canada from 2019 to 2020

Monthly average daily rate of hotels in Canada 2019-2020

Monthly average daily rate of hotels in Canada from 2019 to 2020 (in Canadian dollars)

Monthly average revenue per available room of hotels in Canada 2019-2020

Monthly average revenue per available room of hotels in Canada from 2019 to 2020 (in Canadian dollars)

Best-rated hotels in Canada 2023, by Condé Nast Traveler score

Hotels in Canada with the highest Condé Nast Traveler readers' score as of October 2023

Hotel / private accommodation online bookings by brand in Canada 2024

Hotel / private accommodation online bookings by brand in Canada as of March 2024

Food and drink services

  • Basic Statistic Monthly sales of food services and drinking places in Canada 2017-2022
  • Basic Statistic Sales of drinking places in Canada by month 2018-2023
  • Premium Statistic Quick service restaurant industry market size in Canada 2012-2022
  • Premium Statistic Full service restaurant industry market size in Canada 2012-2022
  • Premium Statistic Bar and nightclub market size in Canada 2010-2022

Monthly sales of food services and drinking places in Canada 2017-2022

Monthly sales of food services and drinking places in Canada from January 2017 to August 2022 (in billion Canadian dollars)

Sales of drinking places in Canada by month 2018-2023

Monthly sales of drinking places in Canada from 2018 to 2023 (in thousand Canadian dollars)

Quick service restaurant industry market size in Canada 2012-2022

Market size of the quick service restaurant sector in Canada from 2012 to 2022 (in billion U.S. dollars)

Full service restaurant industry market size in Canada 2012-2022

Market size of the full service restaurant sector in Canada from 2012 to 2022 (in billion U.S. dollars)

Bar and nightclub market size in Canada 2010-2022

Market size of the bar and nightclub sector in Canada from 2010 to 2022 (in billion U.S. dollars)

Attractions

  • Premium Statistic Visitors to national parks and historic sites in Canada 2011-2022
  • Premium Statistic Leading national parks in Canada 2020, by number of visitors
  • Premium Statistic Amusement park industry market size in Canada 2011-2022
  • Premium Statistic Golf driving ranges & family fun centers industry market size in Canada 2011-2022

Visitors to national parks and historic sites in Canada 2011-2022

Number of visitors to national parks and historic sites in Canada from 2011 to 2022 (in millions)

Leading national parks in Canada 2020, by number of visitors

Leading national parks in Canada as of March 2020, by number of visitors (in thousands)

Amusement park industry market size in Canada 2011-2022

Market size of the amusement park sector in Canada from 2011 to 2022 (in million U.S. dollars)

Golf driving ranges & family fun centers industry market size in Canada 2011-2022

Market size of the golf driving ranges & family fun centers industry in Canada from 2011 to 2022 (in billion U.S. dollars)

Impact of the coronavirus pandemic

  • Premium Statistic Tourism spending loss due to COVID-19 in Canada by containment level 2019-2023
  • Premium Statistic COVID-19: job loss from lost tourism in Canada by containment level 2020-2023
  • Premium Statistic Tourism job loss due to COVID-19 in Canadian provinces by containment level 2020
  • Premium Statistic COVID-19's effect on hotel KPIs in Canada in November 2021
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Tourism spending loss due to COVID-19 in Canada by containment level 2019-2023

Coronavirus-related tourism spending losses in Canada from 2019 to 2023, by containment level (in billion Canadian dollars)

COVID-19: job loss from lost tourism in Canada by containment level 2020-2023

Coronavirus-related job losses due to lost tourism spending in Canada from 2020 to 2023, by containment level (in 1,000s)

Tourism job loss due to COVID-19 in Canadian provinces by containment level 2020

Job losses in selected Canadian provinces due to COVID-19’s impact on travel spending in 2020, by containment level (in 1,000s)

COVID-19's effect on hotel KPIs in Canada in November 2021

Impact on the hotel industry's key performance indicators in Canada due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in November 2021

Hotel occupancy in Canada 2019-2020

Average hotel occupancy in Canada, comparing June 2019 and June 2020

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Augmented Reality (AR)

Augmented Reality in Tourism and Travel

13 minute read

October 18th, 2023

Rock Paper Reality

Rock Paper Reality

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Augmented Reality in Tourism and Travel

Augmented reality (AR) is revolutionizing the way we travel and interact with the world. From interactive maps and personalised recommendations to remote assistants and translation apps, the potential for AR usage in tourism is boundless. The virtual tourism market alone is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30.2% between 2023 and 2028, to reach a valuation of $23.5 billion. There is no doubt that augmented reality is reshaping the tourism industry, empowering brands to remain relevant in a competitive and changing market space.

With informative overlays and augmented attractions, this transformative technology seamlessly blends the physical and digital to offer new immersive experiences. Augmented reality in tourism doesn’t only enhance customer satisfaction but enables next-level marketing and opens up new revenue streams for travel businesses.

Let’s explore the many ways that the use of augmented reality in travel and tourism can shake up your business with remarkable competitive advantages.

Key Takeaways

  • AR enables travel operators to enhance their services by offering simplified navigation, on-demand destination information, and eliminating language barriers.
  • AR helps agents and operators improve travel personalization—a key component to fostering engagement and customer satisfaction.
  • AR in travel opens avenues for new revenue streams and improves consumer confidence by allowing customers to gain detailed insights before committing to a booking.
  • AR tourism tools in hospitality establishments can significantly reduce operational and administrative costs. They can also help drive bookings to on-site services and improve guest experiences.

How Can AR Enhance Travel Experiences?

As the quality of augmented reality improves and increased accessibility leads to lower implementation costs, AR is becoming increasingly popular as a travel tool. Whether it’s a museum visit or a trip to a foreign country, AR promises to change, improve, and expand the very nature of travel and tourism.

Enabling the Use of AR Travel Guides to Explore Destinations Virtually

Although the experience of travel is proverbially priceless, the truth is that it can put quite a dent in your client’s pocket. An augmented reality travel guide can help ensure that the destination your clients spend their money on is just as beautiful as the brochure promises.

Using AR, tourists can explore famous landmarks, interactive museums, and natural wonders from the comfort of their own homes. They can view 3D models of iconic buildings like the Eiffel Tower or the Taj Mahal and even take virtual walking tours through bustling city streets or far-flung wilderness. An example of this is the travel app Antarctic Heritage Trust AR , which takes users on an expedition to Antarctica. Here a user can explore the icy landscape with 360º images and videos and access artefacts from the buildings.

AR also allows tourists to learn about the history and culture of a destination through interactive exhibits, historical reenactments, and educational games. Augmented reality travel apps can depict how an area looked in the past and restore historical scenes and events. It can also invite users to preview exciting new sites currently under construction.

Historik is a tourism app that recreates historic buildings and objects at specific points of interest. By pointing their mobile camera at a landmark, travelers can access a visual representation of the history and significance of the site. They can swipe through artefacts and even set up self-guided tours.

The Benefits of an AR Travel Guide

By allowing your clients to explore destinations virtually with integrated AR, you’ll offer the following unique benefits:

  • Increased accessibility – AR technology allows people with limited mobility or disabilities to experience and explore destinations that might otherwise be inaccessible to them.
  • Improved buyer confidence – By first experiencing a destination virtually, travelers can make more informed decisions. When they book the real adventure, they’ll be sure to pick the right option for them, reducing the risk of refunds and complaints.
  • Enhanced educational opportunities – AR can provide interactive and informative experiences that truly add value. It can be used to efficiently inform travelers about the history, culture, and natural wonders of a destination.

Leveraging AR to Navigate Unfamiliar Places

With its ability to blend the virtual and physical, tourists can use AR for navigation. When exploring an new area, a traveler can point their mobile phone camera into the street and sit back while an AR tourist guide superimposes directions on the view. With real-time directions and a visual orientation of where they are, they can navigate unknown places with ease.

For example, the AR tourism app World Around Me highlights nearby ATMs, restaurants, hotels, attractions, hospitals, shops, and transportation stops. Similarly, PeakVisor enhances outdoor activities by providing interactive guides for hiking trails, mountaineering, and adventure sports.

Using AR to Entertain Guests

AR can add a new dimension to your guest experiences at museums, art galleries, historical sites, and other attractions. Besides offering augmented reality tour guides on the traveler’s mobile phone, AR apps can also offer real-time information about paintings, artefacts, animals, and more.

For example, Museum Buddy offers self-guided tours, object narrations, museum maps, and a wealth of information for some of the world’s most popular museums. What would traditionally be a one-way viewing encounter can now become an immersive cultural experience, enabling visitors to truly submerge themselves in an era or environment.

Additionally, AR travel gaming apps such as Geocaching engage visitors in virtual treasure hunts or invite them to solve puzzles. This can take exploring parks, zoos, gardens, and historical sites to a new level of fun.

How Can AR Improve Customer Satisfaction in Travel and Tourism?

Integrating AR into customer experiences is key for travel and tourism companies that wish to stay competitive. In 2021, the AR market was worth $8.6 billion, and it is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 38% by 2030.

This rapid expansion only serves as testament to how powerful AR is in helping businesses deliver better customer service.

How Can AR Improve Customer Satisfaction in Travel and Tourism?

Using AR to Provide Personalized Travel Experiences

With competition fiercer than ever, the key to standing out is providing a high quality, uniquely personal experience. In fact, 63% of customers say they will stop using a brand if it uses poor personalization tactics .

With ready-made packages and all-inclusive deals, traditional travel itineraries and activities are often a one-size-fits-all approach. But what if you could tailor every part of your customer’s journey, certain that they will love what they get? You can. With AR integrations and features, your clients can book a room after virtually browsing multiple options, seamlessly navigate points of interest to them, and enjoy interactive, tailored itineraries.

Improving Customer Communication and Collaboration Through AR

Using AR, customers can leave reviews and ratings for places they visit in real time. This feedback is invaluable for travel and hospitality businesses and can help to enhance communication with your audiences. You could also consider implementing useful features like AR avatars or virtual representatives to guide customers through their travel experiences. These avatars can provide assistance, suggest activities, and answer common questions, improving communication and customer support.

How Can AR Increase Travel and Tourism Revenue?

AR features can captivate visitors, streamline the travel experience and drastically enhance visitor interactions. From informative overlays to real-time translations, these tools can drive engagement, confidence and ultimately consumer spending.

How Can AR Increase Travel and Tourism Revenue?

AR can also help travel and tourism businesses to move into new markets and expand their offerings in ways that differentiate them from their competitors. Here are some opportunities for building new revenue streams using AR:

Enhanced Virtual Tours

Users can explore destinations virtually, navigate attractions, and even interact with virtual elements in real time. This technology opens up opportunities to generate revenue through augmented tours, ticket sales, and partnerships with local businesses.

Virtual Shopping Experiences

AR technology can transform traditional souvenir shopping. Using AR-enabled apps or devices, tourists can virtually try on clothing, accessories, or test products before purchase.

This not only enhances the shopping experience but provides a unique way for travel companies to generate additional revenue. They can partner with local retailers to offer exclusive discounts and promotions for AR shoppers. This creates a win-win situation for both travelers and businesses.

Smartify’s eShop platform, for instance, lets users access art from galleries like The National Gallery in London and buy prints, souvenirs, mementos, and gifts directly from their smartphone.

Augmented Advertising

With AR-enabled devices, marketers can create interactive and engaging advertisements that blend seamlessly with real-world environments. Featuring creative design work and animation, these campaigns extend your brand into the digital layer and can be highly impactful.

Gamification in Travel & Tourism

With integrated game-like features, users can participate in interactive challenges, complete quests, and earn rewards as they explore different destinations. Jurassic World Alive is a prime example of this. The app invites users to find virtual dinosaurs in different real-world locations, enabling them to learn about the ancient creatures at the same time.

Applying this concept in various settings can make travel more engaging and educational. It also provides opportunities for travel and tourism companies to generate additional revenue. They can offer premium game experiences, extra features, or in-game purchases and upgrades.

AR as a Tool to Boost Sales and Conversion

AR as a Tool to Boost Sales and Conversion

By providing virtual tours of destinations, cruise ships, and leisure facilities, travel agents and marketers give potential customers a sneak peek into holiday bliss. This can increase interest and likelihood of booking.

AR also makes it easy for travelers to book day tours on demand. They can browse and engage in activity options from within an app—and use the same app to instantly book the activity. This is especially useful for weather-dependent activities or to avoid long lines.

How Can You Leverage AR in the Hospitality Industry?

Leveraging augmented reality in hospitality has the power to turn your customer experiences—and your bottom line—around. AR tools can reduce operational, training, and administrative costs, improve the guest experience, and drive more bookings.

AR in Hotels

Holiday Inn uses augmented reality to offer virtual 360º hotel tours to prospective visitors. These tours help users to:

  • Decide which room size is the best fit for them
  • Get a realistic idea of amenities
  • Explore leisure and dining facilities
  • Evaluate the suitability and capacity of conference and event rooms
  • Explore room upgrade advantages and compare the benefits
  • Gain a comprehensive overview of the facility layout, room privacy, noise levels, and views

Furthermore, you can integrate AR with social media platforms to create interactive and shareable content, increasing brand exposure and engagement.

Training Hotel Staff Using AR

AR can enable employees to learn in a hands-on manner. They can use AR tools to visualize complex processes, simulate real-life scenarios, and receive real-time feedback. They can also practise handling customer-facing scenarios in an augmented environment and receive enhanced training with interactive guides and demonstrations.

Improving Guest Services With AR in Hotels

AR brings a whole new dimension of convenience to the way guests interact with hotels. With virtual concierge services, visitors can instantly access information, make bookings, and request assistance by simply scanning their surroundings. Whether it’s making a dinner reservation, finding out how the entertainment system works, or getting directions to the fitness center, guests can access everything in the palm of their hand.

Holding a mobile phone camera toward the entertainment system might cause an overlay with instructions to appear on the screen. Or, as a user points their camera down the hallway, the AR application might superimpose directions to the restaurant, spa, or fitness center

AR can also enhance dining experiences. By scanning a menu, guests could access information or ingredients, or even see how the dish was prepared. They could also scan a bottle label, as in the case of Chronic Cellars Purple Paradise , to access games.

Similarly, prestigious Scotch whisky brand The Glenlivet partnered with Rock Paper Reality to create a virtual tasting room , so as to expand whisky access and education to a new swathe of younger consumers. The Sample Room experience immerses users in the heart of a 360º tasting room, where they can learn more about the story behind the brand’s 18-, 21- and 25-year expressions—all by scanning a QR code on the back of a bottle. An AR tool like this offers twofold advantages for hospitality establishments: educate staff on the fly, and enhance the guest experience.

Augmented Reality: The Future of Tourism

Augmented Reality: The Future of Tourism

Augmented reality is transforming the tourism industry and shaping the future of travel experiences. It holds immense potential to offer travellers a whole new way to explore and engage with the world around them.

Rock Paper Reality can help you take full advantage of this technology to drive growth in your travel or tourism business. From Fortune 500s to start-ups, we’ve been helping companies leverage the latest technology to drive growth strategies for over a decade.

Our team of highly skilled innovators looks forward to bringing your augmented reality vision to life. Let’s chat .

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6 ways to increase profit margins in the tourism industry

Maximizing your tourism profit

By Rezdy — 22 Nov 2018

costs   pricing strategy   pricing structure   profit margin   revenue

Updated March 2023 – As a tour operator, maximizing tourism profit is crucial to the success of your business. However, with so many factors to consider, it can be difficult to know where to begin. 

So, how do tour operators maximize profit and increase their profit margins over time? The key is to constantly assess and adjust your business strategies and operating procedures. In this article, we will discuss six effective ways that tourism operators can increase their profit margins and take their business to the next level. Whether you’re a seasoned tour operator or just starting out, these tips will help you stay ahead of the game and boost your bottom line.

What is your profit margin?

Your profit margin is defined as the revenue that you generate through your tour and activity company above what is needed to cover your operating expenditures. Ideally, your profit margins will continue to increase year over year, allowing you to continue to build your business, develop your brand and encourage customer loyalty.

As a tour and activity company, earning a profit is not only essential for your survival but also for your growth. While there are several ways to increase your profit margins, one factor that can greatly impact your bottom line is the average commission rates that you pay to your sales channels. Direct and indirect channels such as online travel agencies, wholesalers, and travel agents can all play a significant role in your business’s success. Therefore, it’s important to evaluate and negotiate the average commission rates you’re paying to these channels regularly. By doing so, you can ensure that you’re not overpaying for their services and that you’re maximizing your revenue.

6 ways to maximize your tourism profit margins

Here are 6 effective ways to maximize your tour operator’s profit margin:

1. Find ways to add value to customers

tourist guide revenue

This is particularly important if your tour prices are higher than your competitors. Most travelers are willing to overlook the price point of a tour if they can see that there is added value to booking with your company. Personalized service, attention to detail, and upgraded equipment are a few ways that you can easily increase the value of your products.

Another effective strategy that can help you differentiate your tour and activity company is selling packaged tours . By bundling multiple activities or services into a single package, you can create a unique and attractive offering for your customers. Packaged tours also enable you to offer a discounted price point for customers who purchase multiple activities, thereby increasing the perceived value of your products.

2. Target high-quality traffic in online marketing campaigns

Driving traffic to your tour and activity website is a critical component of any successful marketing strategy. However, simply generating large volumes of traffic is not enough. To truly maximize your tourism profit margins, you need to focus on attracting the right kind of visitors – those who are most likely to book your tours and activities.

One of the most effective ways to do this is by formulating a robust SEO (search engine optimization) strategy. This involves optimizing your website for the keywords and phrases that are most relevant to your business and target audience. By doing so, you can increase your visibility in search engines and attract highly targeted organic traffic to your site.

In addition to SEO, another effective way to attract high-quality traffic is through pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns. With PPC, you can create targeted ads that appear in the search results or on social media platforms and only pay when someone clicks on your ad. This allows you to reach highly targeted audiences and drive relevant traffic to your site, without wasting money on unqualified leads.

3. Optimize your website for conversions

In today’s digital age, having a strong online presence is essential for any tour and activity company looking to succeed. One effective way to increase your online sales and maximize your revenue is by optimizing your website for conversions. A well-designed website with fast site speed, engaging multimedia elements, and online booking capabilities can significantly improve your conversion rate and provide a seamless user experience for your customers.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that website optimization can be a costly endeavor. Managing your budget and prioritizing your investments is critical to ensuring that you’re making the most of your resources. Investing in high-quality multimedia content, such as professional photos and videos, can help attract and engage potential customers.

4. Create informative content regularly

tourist guide revenue

Attracting and retaining customers is essential to maintaining a healthy profit margin in the tourism industry. One way to achieve this is through content marketing, which involves creating and sharing valuable, informative content that resonates with your target audience.

A blog is an easy way to provide your target market segments with engaging information about your tours and activities as well as the destination in which your business is located. However, your content marketing strategy should look beyond the words on the screen. You also will want to create videos, slideshows, and other visual pieces of content to attract the most motivated travelers to your brand.

5. Launch retargeting campaigns

Launching a retargeting campaign can be an effective way for tour operators to boost their profit margin by converting potential customers who may have abandoned their website before making a booking. By reminding visitors of your brand and the services you offer, retargeting campaigns can help to increase the likelihood of conversion.

Retargeting ads can be strategically placed across various platforms such as search engine results pages, social media platforms, and even email inboxes. This helps to keep your brand top-of-mind for potential customers, making it more likely that they will return to your website to complete their booking. Furthermore, retargeting campaigns can be personalized to show relevant offers or promotions based on a visitor’s previous browsing behavior, making it more likely that they will engage with the ad and make a purchase.

6. Automate your emails

build tourism profits by automating emails

One of the most powerful tools in a tour operator’s arsenal is the use of automatic emails. These pre-written emails can be sent out automatically to customers at specific points in their journey, helping to keep them engaged and informed about your business. Whether you’re looking to solicit feedback about your tours, promote your latest discounts and packages, or simply stay top-of-mind with your customers, automated emails can be a powerful tool for driving tourism profit.

By setting up automatic emails that are triggered by specific actions or events, such as booking a tour or signing up for a newsletter, you can create a seamless and personalized experience for your customers. This can help to build trust and loyalty, ultimately resulting in higher customer satisfaction and repeat business.

As you increase your tourism profit margins, you will be able to add to the products that you offer, improve your tour and activity operating equipment and ultimately develop better brand loyalty.

By utilizing an online booking software such as Rezdy, you’ll be able to generate more revenue through advanced features such as:

  • The ability to accept online & mobile payments in multiple currencies via integration to secure payment gateways
  • Intuitive reporting tools that will allow you to make informed business decisions
  • The ability to sell add-ons and extras
  • Setting up a dynamic pricing strategy to maintain your revenue even during low seasons
  • Offering promo codes  and coupons

Furthermore, a tour operator reservation system will allow you to optimize your processes and broaden your distribution strategy. Tools such as a real-time availability viewer, automatic guest communication and automated manifest updates allows you to automate your repetitive tasks – thus, saving you time. And connection to the industry’s largest distribution network – Rezdy Channel Manager – will give you access to connect with over 25,000 active agents looking to resell your products.

Ready to join the thousands of Rezdy operators that on average grew their bookings by 27% in 2022? Start your FREE 21-day trial or book a demo with us today.

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to subscribe to the Rezdy newsletter, where you’ll receive weekly updates and learnings from the experiences industry, straight into your inbox!

Download our Guide to Building Online Products that Convert

Ready to start building online products that convert and take your tour operator business to the next level? Download our comprehensive Guide to Building Online Products that Convert today and learn how to optimize your online offerings for maximum profit and customer satisfaction.

With practical tips, best practices, and real-world examples, this guide is a must-read for any tour operator looking to boost their bottom line and build a loyal customer base.

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Travel and tourism satellite account for 2018-2022.

The travel and tourism industry—as measured by the real output of goods and services sold directly to visitors—increased 21.0 percent in 2022 after increasing 53.6 percent in 2021, according to the most recent statistics from BEA’s Travel and Tourism Satellite Account.

Chart: Annual Growth in Real Tourism in 2018-2022

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Measures how much tourists spend and the prices they pay for lodging, airfare, souvenirs, and other travel-related items. These statistics also provide a snapshot of employment in the travel and tourism industries.

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Related Expertise: Travel and Tourism , Pricing and Revenue Management

A New Blueprint for Pricing and Revenue Management in Travel and Tourism

November 01, 2017  By  Lamberto Biscarini ,  Alberto Guerrini ,  Gabriele Ferri ,  Pranay Jhunjhunwala , and  Tom McCaleb

Hotter-than-ever competition. Overcapacity. Commoditized offerings. Fickle customers comparing prices and products with mere swipes of their mobile screens. These and other forces are squeezing many travel and tourism players, putting unprecedented pressure on prices in some sectors and geographies. But the same forces are also creating new opportunities—because companies that achieve a competitive edge in pricing will see a magnified impact on performance.

Under these conditions, A Renaissance for Revenue Management in Travel and Tourism? is more crucial than ever. With that in mind, some players have begun experimenting with innovative techniques like personalized pricing and dynamic online repricing. But even before these advances deliver their full impact, companies still have a major opportunity to get more from P&RM.

P&RM’s Potential for Travel and Tourism

The Boston Consulting Group’s recent survey of C-suite executives and P&RM leaders from multiple travel and tourism sectors suggests that P&RM counts among the most pressing topics on industry leaders’ minds 1 1 BCG’s survey targeted only executives and heads of P&RM in the industry and included companies representing more than 10% of global travel and tourism market share across sectors. Notes: 1 BCG’s survey targeted only executives and heads of P&RM in the industry and included companies representing more than 10% of global travel and tourism market share across sectors. . Almost half of the participating executives were not fully satisfied with their company’s P&RM capabilities. And among all our respondents, 85% expressed the belief that a sharper focus on P&RM could lift revenue per capacity unit (RCU)—total passenger revenue in relation to total capacity offered—by more than 2%, while more than 20% anticipated a boost of more than 8%.

Indeed, BCG’s experience with clients confirms that the right approach to P&RM can exert a major impact on companies’ top line—as much as a 10% increase in revenue per capacity unit (RCU).

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Sure, some sectors—most notably, commercial aviation—have long used practices like dynamic pricing. For companies in these sectors, additional benefits from improved P&RM may fall in the 2% to 6% range—still a valuable opportunity. But in sectors where use of sophisticated P&RM practices hasn’t yet become standard—such as railways, cruise lines, and tour operators—deploying such practices can deliver a considerably larger advantage.

tourist guide revenue

Wanted: A Better Approach to P&RM

Yet mastering the complex art of P&RM isn’t easy. Success hinges on active involvement from stakeholders at all levels of the organization—from the CEO to IT system managers. As the company moves along the path to better P&RM, it can encounter a number of common pitfalls.

For instance, the P&RM team may not be attuned to the strategic direction defined by top management. Our survey findings suggest that many P&RM heads see less of an opportunity from improving P&RM than senior executives perceive. Companies in which the two groups are aligned on P&RM’s potential have a better chance of fully capitalizing on the opportunity.

Other companies fall into the “black-box” trap. In this trap, the P&RM team doesn’t have full visibility into how the P&RM systems they’re using operate. Consequently, those systems may not fully support the company’s objectives, its business model, or the competitive dynamics of the industry as these change over time.

To overcome these challenges, craft the right P&RM strategies, and ensure that those strategies are successfully executed, companies need a holistic, end-to-end approach to P&RM.

A Closer look at BCG’s P&RM Blueprint

BCG’s P&RM blueprint—developed from the outcomes of 100-plus client projects across a range of travel and tourism sectors and geographies—is built on the understanding that to effectively manage their pricing and revenue, companies must address four crucial questions:

  • Is our P&RM approach set up to deliver on our company’s strategic priorities?
  • Is our P&RM methodology sophisticated enough to help us maximize our revenue—but not so sophisticated that we have difficulty using it?
  • Do our dedicated systems and tools effectively support all key P&RM decisions made in our company?
  • Is our P&RM team empowered to consistently apply best practices?

The BCG blueprint is designed to help companies answer these questions and identify changes needed to optimize revenue in their day-to-day operations.

tourist guide revenue

SET YOUR STRATEGY

In developing P&RM strategies, travel and tourism companies must weigh a number of considerations, such as which value drivers to maximize; how to define their competitive positioning; and which customers should be prioritized.

Choose the right value drivers. As many as 70% of our survey respondents said they base their P&RM decisions on how best to maximize load factor, occupancy, or other equivalent measures of capacity utilization—even at the expense of average price. In our experience, strategies aimed at maximizing RCU, which combines load factor and average price, deliver greater value. What’s more, companies that focus on improving total revenues across tickets and ancillary products sold are better positioned to capture the full value on offer in specific markets and customer segments.

The way a company is organized can influence choices about which value drivers to focus on. For example, companies with a strong sales function—one that has veto power on pricing or even full ownership over pricing decisions—may tend to focus on maximizing volume rather than RCU. Such companies may thus set prices that don’t capture the full potential of individual customers’ willingness to pay (WTP).

To help senior leaders make the right strategic choices, P&RM teams should provide dedicated reports showing performance on the full set of relevant metrics.

De-average your competitive positioning. Our survey results suggest that in sectors with commoditized products and scant opportunity for differentiation, companies tend to use benchmarking to determine their price positioning. Indeed, 90% of the P&RM heads in our survey who work in commercial aviation rely on benchmarking to set prices. Sectors with opportunities to more sharply differentiate their offerings, such as cruises and tour operators, are more likely to use a strategic approach, by basing their pricing on WTP.

Some companies have an opportunity to develop price positioning strategies no longer at high-level but for individual markets—such as a rail route or a cruise itinerary—and by taking an analytical, structured approach to capturing each market’s full potential value. For instance, they must factor into their analyses elements such as intensity of competition, cross-price elasticity, WTP, and the product’s quality service index.

  • Set customer segment priorities with market research and advanced analytics. Roughly 80% of our survey respondents said that their company seeks to address different needs in priority customer segments to fully capitalize on their WTP. But to accomplish this, companies need both a thorough understanding of customers’ unsatisfied needs and an analytical approach to measuring WTP. Few companies meet this dual imperative. Instead, many define customer segments based only on their own experiences with customers. They could craft smarter segmentation strategies by augmenting their experiences with additional data and insights gleaned from external consumer research. The result is a strong fact base to inform decisions about price structure as well as ancillaries and bundling strategies.

EVOLVE YOUR METHODOLOGY

To implement their P&RM strategies, companies need the right methodology—the set of algorithms and logical steps the organization uses to make decisions in areas such as price structure and dynamic pricing, promotions and personalization, and ancillaries and bundling. With the right methodology, all key P&RM activities are more likely to consistently deliver the intended impact on the final prices presented to customers.

  • Challenge your price structure and dynamic pricing methodologies. Twenty percent of the P&RM heads represented in our survey said they’re not satisfied with the accuracy of price-elasticity estimates used in their algorithms. Even in sectors that have long used dynamic pricing (such as commercial aviation), operators can squeeze more value from this practice by embedding competitive pricing in their algorithms, including measuring cross-price elasticity of demand. Additionally, companies can unlock further value by adapting their P&RM methodology to markets and seasons in which customer booking behavior and price sensitivity change substantially.
  • Measure the impact of promotions and personalization . Findings from our survey suggest that travel and tourism companies tend to use promotions as a tactical measure; for instance, to stimulate demand or to fill last-minute capacity. More than 85% of our respondents acknowledged using promotions in such ways. To get more strategic value from promotions, many companies could take a more analytical approach to assessing their impact; for instance, by measuring promotions’ return on investment—something that only one-third of our survey respondents do.
  • Advance your ancillaries and bundling capabilities. Across travel and tourism sectors, the ancillaries and bundling offering has been increasingly important for driving up-selling and cross-selling. Yet less than 20% of our survey respondents said that their company has invested considerably in P&RM for ancillaries and bundling.

In our experience, companies can boost value significantly by improving their pricing methodology for ancillaries and bundling. For instance, they can conduct more scientific analyses of differences in WTP. A good first step to unlocking this opportunity can be to deploy business intelligence tools and systems to better support ancillary and bundling revenue management decisions.

SHARPEN YOUR TOOLS

To systematically apply their selected P&RM methodology, companies need support from P&RM systems and tools—which must process vast volumes of data to inform day-to-day pricing decisions. The right system fit, along with appropriate system architecture, interfaces, and decision-support tools, can help.

Manage your P&RM system fit to company’s objectives and capabilities. Companies rely heavily on IT systems to manage dynamic pricing. These systems comprise sophisticated algorithms aimed at helping a company to optimize prices based on demand estimates and supply constraints. In some companies, such systems are more sophisticated than they need to be to maximize prices and revenue—and may even become too sophisticated for P&RM teams to use, given their current capabilities.

Using custom-built systems or customizing vendor-provided systems seems to help companies surmount these challenges. In our survey, 85% of respondents from companies operating such systems said they were satisfied with their P&RM performance and consider their dynamic pricing “strong.” Only 60% of respondents using an off-the-shelf system expressed the same sentiments.

  • Do not overlook P&RM team interactions with interfaces and decision-support tools. To get the most value from their P&RM system, companies must make numerous complex technical choices. These include how best to design user interfaces and which P&RM-related tasks will be automated versus performed by analysts in the P&RM team. By making smart choices in such areas, companies improve the odds that their P&RM system will deliver the data that analysts need to make effective pricing decisions.

ENABLE YOUR ORGANIZATION

To make sure that their chosen P&RM methodology will work as intended, companies must also activate organization enablers such as the following.

  • Set your P&RM function structure to maximize ROI on costly P&RM systems. Our survey results show that companies offering a standardized product tend to centralize their P&RM function. Roughly 80% of our respondents in the commercial aviation sector said that responsibility for all crucial P&RM activities lies at the corporate level in their company. This perhaps isn’t surprising: Heavy investment in sophisticated P&RM systems creates a strong incentive to centralize the function so senior leaders can tighten their control over P&RM teams and build capabilities that their company needs. In sectors with higher product differentiation for diverse markets, companies may want to locate control over dynamic pricing and promotions that should be tailored to specific customer needs and market trends at the regional or country level instead of at the corporate level.
  • Pricing analysis, such as combining detailed data on revenue performance with deep knowledge of the market, and developing strategic recommendations.
  • Inventory analysis, including managing day-to-day tactical pricing decisions that require the use of large datasets, at times with limited information at hand.
  • Data science; for example, applying advanced analytical approaches (such as linear optimization and AI) to develop P&RM models that drive optimal pricing decisions.

Experts who excel at pricing analysis or inventory analysis along with data science will bring the most value to P&RM teams in the future.

  • Define the right P&RM decision processes. In many companies, P&RM analysts decide how to use their time and prioritize the product and service offerings they manage. Some devote more time to departures (for example, by train or airplane) scheduled for the next few days, driven by alerts or habit. But in that timeframe, analysts have only so much power to fill any residual capacity before it “spoils.” For example, when demand is weak, build volume last minute is very difficult. P&RM teams could exert a much bigger impact on profitability if they systematically prioritized their work according to the potential upside they can achieve. To help them do so, companies must design a consistent approach to prioritization, supported by decision-support tools.
  • Motivate your P&RM team with performance management schemes. Several companies consider P&RM analyst work merely operative and technical. This viewpoint overlooks the substantial impact on a company’s revenues that analysts can achieve—if they consistently demonstrate exceptional performance in their role. The right incentive systems can help. Performance metrics that strike a balance between the accuracy of an analyst’s decisions and the top-line impact on his or her product portfolio can motivate team members to step up their performance. Equally important, this approach can help companies attract and retain the best P&RM talent.

Given the tough conditions reshaping the travel and tourism industry today, companies can’t afford to ignore the opportunity to strengthen their P&RM approach. BCG’s P&RM blueprint provides an end-to-end approach that can help. By applying this blueprint, companies improve their chances of breaking free from the forces currently squeezing travel and tourism players—and achieving revenue benefits of up to 10%.

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Alberto Guerrini

Managing Director & Partner

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The future of tourism: Bridging the labor gap, enhancing customer experience

As travel resumes and builds momentum, it’s becoming clear that tourism is resilient—there is an enduring desire to travel. Against all odds, international tourism rebounded in 2022: visitor numbers to Europe and the Middle East climbed to around 80 percent of 2019 levels, and the Americas recovered about 65 percent of prepandemic visitors 1 “Tourism set to return to pre-pandemic levels in some regions in 2023,” United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), January 17, 2023. —a number made more significant because it was reached without travelers from China, which had the world’s largest outbound travel market before the pandemic. 2 “ Outlook for China tourism 2023: Light at the end of the tunnel ,” McKinsey, May 9, 2023.

Recovery and growth are likely to continue. According to estimates from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) for 2023, international tourist arrivals could reach 80 to 95 percent of prepandemic levels depending on the extent of the economic slowdown, travel recovery in Asia–Pacific, and geopolitical tensions, among other factors. 3 “Tourism set to return to pre-pandemic levels in some regions in 2023,” United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), January 17, 2023. Similarly, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) forecasts that by the end of 2023, nearly half of the 185 countries in which the organization conducts research will have either recovered to prepandemic levels or be within 95 percent of full recovery. 4 “Global travel and tourism catapults into 2023 says WTTC,” World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), April 26, 2023.

Longer-term forecasts also point to optimism for the decade ahead. Travel and tourism GDP is predicted to grow, on average, at 5.8 percent a year between 2022 and 2032, outpacing the growth of the overall economy at an expected 2.7 percent a year. 5 Travel & Tourism economic impact 2022 , WTTC, August 2022.

So, is it all systems go for travel and tourism? Not really. The industry continues to face a prolonged and widespread labor shortage. After losing 62 million travel and tourism jobs in 2020, labor supply and demand remain out of balance. 6 “WTTC research reveals Travel & Tourism’s slow recovery is hitting jobs and growth worldwide,” World Travel & Tourism Council, October 6, 2021. Today, in the European Union, 11 percent of tourism jobs are likely to go unfilled; in the United States, that figure is 7 percent. 7 Travel & Tourism economic impact 2022 : Staff shortages, WTTC, August 2022.

There has been an exodus of tourism staff, particularly from customer-facing roles, to other sectors, and there is no sign that the industry will be able to bring all these people back. 8 Travel & Tourism economic impact 2022 : Staff shortages, WTTC, August 2022. Hotels, restaurants, cruises, airports, and airlines face staff shortages that can translate into operational, reputational, and financial difficulties. If unaddressed, these shortages may constrain the industry’s growth trajectory.

The current labor shortage may have its roots in factors related to the nature of work in the industry. Chronic workplace challenges, coupled with the effects of COVID-19, have culminated in an industry struggling to rebuild its workforce. Generally, tourism-related jobs are largely informal, partly due to high seasonality and weak regulation. And conditions such as excessively long working hours, low wages, a high turnover rate, and a lack of social protection tend to be most pronounced in an informal economy. Additionally, shift work, night work, and temporary or part-time employment are common in tourism.

The industry may need to revisit some fundamentals to build a far more sustainable future: either make the industry more attractive to talent (and put conditions in place to retain staff for longer periods) or improve products, services, and processes so that they complement existing staffing needs or solve existing pain points.

One solution could be to build a workforce with the mix of digital and interpersonal skills needed to keep up with travelers’ fast-changing requirements. The industry could make the most of available technology to provide customers with a digitally enhanced experience, resolve staff shortages, and improve working conditions.

Would you like to learn more about our Travel, Logistics & Infrastructure Practice ?

Complementing concierges with chatbots.

The pace of technological change has redefined customer expectations. Technology-driven services are often at customers’ fingertips, with no queues or waiting times. By contrast, the airport and airline disruption widely reported in the press over the summer of 2022 points to customers not receiving this same level of digital innovation when traveling.

Imagine the following travel experience: it’s 2035 and you start your long-awaited honeymoon to a tropical island. A virtual tour operator and a destination travel specialist booked your trip for you; you connected via videoconference to make your plans. Your itinerary was chosen with the support of generative AI , which analyzed your preferences, recommended personalized travel packages, and made real-time adjustments based on your feedback.

Before leaving home, you check in online and QR code your luggage. You travel to the airport by self-driving cab. After dropping off your luggage at the self-service counter, you pass through security and the biometric check. You access the premier lounge with the QR code on the airline’s loyalty card and help yourself to a glass of wine and a sandwich. After your flight, a prebooked, self-driving cab takes you to the resort. No need to check in—that was completed online ahead of time (including picking your room and making sure that the hotel’s virtual concierge arranged for red roses and a bottle of champagne to be delivered).

While your luggage is brought to the room by a baggage robot, your personal digital concierge presents the honeymoon itinerary with all the requested bookings. For the romantic dinner on the first night, you order your food via the restaurant app on the table and settle the bill likewise. So far, you’ve had very little human interaction. But at dinner, the sommelier chats with you in person about the wine. The next day, your sightseeing is made easier by the hotel app and digital guide—and you don’t get lost! With the aid of holographic technology, the virtual tour guide brings historical figures to life and takes your sightseeing experience to a whole new level. Then, as arranged, a local citizen meets you and takes you to their home to enjoy a local family dinner. The trip is seamless, there are no holdups or snags.

This scenario features less human interaction than a traditional trip—but it flows smoothly due to the underlying technology. The human interactions that do take place are authentic, meaningful, and add a special touch to the experience. This may be a far-fetched example, but the essence of the scenario is clear: use technology to ease typical travel pain points such as queues, misunderstandings, or misinformation, and elevate the quality of human interaction.

Travel with less human interaction may be considered a disruptive idea, as many travelers rely on and enjoy the human connection, the “service with a smile.” This will always be the case, but perhaps the time is right to think about bringing a digital experience into the mix. The industry may not need to depend exclusively on human beings to serve its customers. Perhaps the future of travel is physical, but digitally enhanced (and with a smile!).

Digital solutions are on the rise and can help bridge the labor gap

Digital innovation is improving customer experience across multiple industries. Car-sharing apps have overcome service-counter waiting times and endless paperwork that travelers traditionally had to cope with when renting a car. The same applies to time-consuming hotel check-in, check-out, and payment processes that can annoy weary customers. These pain points can be removed. For instance, in China, the Huazhu Hotels Group installed self-check-in kiosks that enable guests to check in or out in under 30 seconds. 9 “Huazhu Group targets lifestyle market opportunities,” ChinaTravelNews, May 27, 2021.

Technology meets hospitality

In 2019, Alibaba opened its FlyZoo Hotel in Huangzhou, described as a “290-room ultra-modern boutique, where technology meets hospitality.” 1 “Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has a hotel run almost entirely by robots that can serve food and fetch toiletries—take a look inside,” Business Insider, October 21, 2019; “FlyZoo Hotel: The hotel of the future or just more technology hype?,” Hotel Technology News, March 2019. The hotel was the first of its kind that instead of relying on traditional check-in and key card processes, allowed guests to manage reservations and make payments entirely from a mobile app, to check-in using self-service kiosks, and enter their rooms using facial-recognition technology.

The hotel is run almost entirely by robots that serve food and fetch toiletries and other sundries as needed. Each guest room has a voice-activated smart assistant to help guests with a variety of tasks, from adjusting the temperature, lights, curtains, and the TV to playing music and answering simple questions about the hotel and surroundings.

The hotel was developed by the company’s online travel platform, Fliggy, in tandem with Alibaba’s AI Labs and Alibaba Cloud technology with the goal of “leveraging cutting-edge tech to help transform the hospitality industry, one that keeps the sector current with the digital era we’re living in,” according to the company.

Adoption of some digitally enhanced services was accelerated during the pandemic in the quest for safer, contactless solutions. During the Winter Olympics in Beijing, a restaurant designed to keep physical contact to a minimum used a track system on the ceiling to deliver meals directly from the kitchen to the table. 10 “This Beijing Winter Games restaurant uses ceiling-based tracks,” Trendhunter, January 26, 2022. Customers around the world have become familiar with restaurants using apps to display menus, take orders, and accept payment, as well as hotels using robots to deliver luggage and room service (see sidebar “Technology meets hospitality”). Similarly, theme parks, cinemas, stadiums, and concert halls are deploying digital solutions such as facial recognition to optimize entrance control. Shanghai Disneyland, for example, offers annual pass holders the option to choose facial recognition to facilitate park entry. 11 “Facial recognition park entry,” Shanghai Disney Resort website.

Automation and digitization can also free up staff from attending to repetitive functions that could be handled more efficiently via an app and instead reserve the human touch for roles where staff can add the most value. For instance, technology can help customer-facing staff to provide a more personalized service. By accessing data analytics, frontline staff can have guests’ details and preferences at their fingertips. A trainee can become an experienced concierge in a short time, with the help of technology.

Apps and in-room tech: Unused market potential

According to Skift Research calculations, total revenue generated by guest apps and in-room technology in 2019 was approximately $293 million, including proprietary apps by hotel brands as well as third-party vendors. 1 “Hotel tech benchmark: Guest-facing technology 2022,” Skift Research, November 2022. The relatively low market penetration rate of this kind of tech points to around $2.4 billion in untapped revenue potential (exhibit).

Even though guest-facing technology is available—the kind that can facilitate contactless interactions and offer travelers convenience and personalized service—the industry is only beginning to explore its potential. A report by Skift Research shows that the hotel industry, in particular, has not tapped into tech’s potential. Only 11 percent of hotels and 25 percent of hotel rooms worldwide are supported by a hotel app or use in-room technology, and only 3 percent of hotels offer keyless entry. 12 “Hotel tech benchmark: Guest-facing technology 2022,” Skift Research, November 2022. Of the five types of technology examined (guest apps and in-room tech; virtual concierge; guest messaging and chatbots; digital check-in and kiosks; and keyless entry), all have relatively low market-penetration rates (see sidebar “Apps and in-room tech: Unused market potential”).

While apps, digitization, and new technology may be the answer to offering better customer experience, there is also the possibility that tourism may face competition from technological advances, particularly virtual experiences. Museums, attractions, and historical sites can be made interactive and, in some cases, more lifelike, through AR/VR technology that can enhance the physical travel experience by reconstructing historical places or events.

Up until now, tourism, arguably, was one of a few sectors that could not easily be replaced by tech. It was not possible to replicate the physical experience of traveling to another place. With the emerging metaverse , this might change. Travelers could potentially enjoy an event or experience from their sofa without any logistical snags, and without the commitment to traveling to another country for any length of time. For example, Google offers virtual tours of the Pyramids of Meroë in Sudan via an immersive online experience available in a range of languages. 13 Mariam Khaled Dabboussi, “Step into the Meroë pyramids with Google,” Google, May 17, 2022. And a crypto banking group, The BCB Group, has created a metaverse city that includes representations of some of the most visited destinations in the world, such as the Great Wall of China and the Statue of Liberty. According to BCB, the total cost of flights, transfers, and entry for all these landmarks would come to $7,600—while a virtual trip would cost just over $2. 14 “What impact can the Metaverse have on the travel industry?,” Middle East Economy, July 29, 2022.

The metaverse holds potential for business travel, too—the meeting, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) sector in particular. Participants could take part in activities in the same immersive space while connecting from anywhere, dramatically reducing travel, venue, catering, and other costs. 15 “ Tourism in the metaverse: Can travel go virtual? ,” McKinsey, May 4, 2023.

The allure and convenience of such digital experiences make offering seamless, customer-centric travel and tourism in the real world all the more pressing.

Hotel service bell on a table white glass and simulation hotel background. Concept hotel, travel, room - stock photo

Three innovations to solve hotel staffing shortages

Is the future contactless.

Given the advances in technology, and the many digital innovations and applications that already exist, there is potential for businesses across the travel and tourism spectrum to cope with labor shortages while improving customer experience. Process automation and digitization can also add to process efficiency. Taken together, a combination of outsourcing, remote work, and digital solutions can help to retain existing staff and reduce dependency on roles that employers are struggling to fill (exhibit).

Depending on the customer service approach and direct contact need, we estimate that the travel and tourism industry would be able to cope with a structural labor shortage of around 10 to 15 percent in the long run by operating more flexibly and increasing digital and automated efficiency—while offering the remaining staff an improved total work package.

Outsourcing and remote work could also help resolve the labor shortage

While COVID-19 pushed organizations in a wide variety of sectors to embrace remote work, there are many hospitality roles that rely on direct physical services that cannot be performed remotely, such as laundry, cleaning, maintenance, and facility management. If faced with staff shortages, these roles could be outsourced to third-party professional service providers, and existing staff could be reskilled to take up new positions.

In McKinsey’s experience, the total service cost of this type of work in a typical hotel can make up 10 percent of total operating costs. Most often, these roles are not guest facing. A professional and digital-based solution might become an integrated part of a third-party service for hotels looking to outsource this type of work.

One of the lessons learned in the aftermath of COVID-19 is that many tourism employees moved to similar positions in other sectors because they were disillusioned by working conditions in the industry . Specialist multisector companies have been able to shuffle their staff away from tourism to other sectors that offer steady employment or more regular working hours compared with the long hours and seasonal nature of work in tourism.

The remaining travel and tourism staff may be looking for more flexibility or the option to work from home. This can be an effective solution for retaining employees. For example, a travel agent with specific destination expertise could work from home or be consulted on an needs basis.

In instances where remote work or outsourcing is not viable, there are other solutions that the hospitality industry can explore to improve operational effectiveness as well as employee satisfaction. A more agile staffing model  can better match available labor with peaks and troughs in daily, or even hourly, demand. This could involve combining similar roles or cross-training staff so that they can switch roles. Redesigned roles could potentially improve employee satisfaction by empowering staff to explore new career paths within the hotel’s operations. Combined roles build skills across disciplines—for example, supporting a housekeeper to train and become proficient in other maintenance areas, or a front-desk associate to build managerial skills.

Where management or ownership is shared across properties, roles could be staffed to cover a network of sites, rather than individual hotels. By applying a combination of these approaches, hotels could reduce the number of staff hours needed to keep operations running at the same standard. 16 “ Three innovations to solve hotel staffing shortages ,” McKinsey, April 3, 2023.

Taken together, operational adjustments combined with greater use of technology could provide the tourism industry with a way of overcoming staffing challenges and giving customers the seamless digitally enhanced experiences they expect in other aspects of daily life.

In an industry facing a labor shortage, there are opportunities for tech innovations that can help travel and tourism businesses do more with less, while ensuring that remaining staff are engaged and motivated to stay in the industry. For travelers, this could mean fewer friendly faces, but more meaningful experiences and interactions.

Urs Binggeli is a senior expert in McKinsey’s Zurich office, Zi Chen is a capabilities and insights specialist in the Shanghai office, Steffen Köpke is a capabilities and insights expert in the Düsseldorf office, and Jackey Yu is a partner in the Hong Kong office.

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How you can incorporate AI when upselling tours

How you can incorporate AI when upselling tours

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How to optimize your tour pricing strategy and increase revenue

Carla Vianna

As your customers begin to travel again, you want to make sure your tour company is ready to make up for lost time and revenue.

Tour pricing will play a big role in travel’s comeback. It’s what determines whether your company makes a profit or simply breaks even. Yet a lot has changed following pandemic-related travel restrictions, and there are more factors at play now when it comes to tour pricing.

On the one hand, money-sensitive travelers will always be looking for a good deal. Yet, on the other hand, guests looking for high-quality, more personalized experiences will be willing to pay a little extra — especially after spending so much time at home.

In this post, we’ll help you optimize your pricing strategy and increase your revenue through both private and public tour bookings.

What is a tour pricing strategy?

Why is it important?

What to consider when setting tour prices

Public vs. Private Tours: What to consider when setting prices

Tour personalization

Demand and seasonality, operating expenses, what is a tour pricing strategy .

Your tour pricing strategy refers to the method you use to price your tours and how that price stands against your operating costs. When it comes to tour pricing strategies, the two most common options are markup or markdown pricing.

  • Markup pricing strategy: The markup approach involves setting your tour prices so that each booking generates a profit. To achieve this, you first need to calculate how much it costs to run your tours. Then, you’ll markup that number so that every tour booking not only covers those costs but also brings in a profit.
  • Markdown pricing strategy: The markdown approach does quite the opposite. Instead of marking up your prices, you’re actually going to lower them to attract price-sensitive customers and increase your booking volume. You can use the markdown strategy to make your tour or attraction more desirable than your competitors.
  • Dynamic pricing: Also known as surge pricing, dynamic pricing is a strategy in which prices continuously fluctuate based on real-time supply and demand.

Whichever strategy you choose, it’s always important to fully understand the costs associated with running each tour. Even when taking the markdown approach, you want to ensure you’re not losing money on your bookings.

Why is it important? 

Your pricing strategy can set you apart from your competitors. This is because your prices affect your positioning and perceived value in the market.

A company that charges a high price or a premium rate for its tours may be viewed as a luxury experience, for instance. Meanwhile, tours and experiences with lower prices will attract a different audience, including price-sensitive customers.

Neither approach is right or wrong, but it’s important to be cognizant of the pricing strategy you choose.

At the end of the day, tour pricing matters most because it determines how profitable your company will be.

Even if you’re closing more bookings than your competitors, if your pricing is off, you might still be losing money on each booking. A company whose tour prices don’t at least cover its operating costs will have a hard time staying afloat.

Before pricing a tour, you’ll want to evaluate your revenue and expenses.

Revenue describes the income you earn from selling your tours and experiences. However, you’re not pocketing all of that revenue. A portion of it is being used to offset your expenses.

Your expenses consist of both fixed and variable operating costs, such as the monthly rent for your office space or the gas needed to fuel your tour vehicles.

Fixed costs are the ones that remain the same regardless of the number of tours booked (your rent) while variable costs can fluctuate based on your booking volume (the gas).

A few of the most common expenses for tour businesses are tour guide salaries, equipment, a website, marketing, and booking software.

Whatever your expenses are, it’s important to add them up before pricing your tours. This will help you determine your breakeven point, or how much is needed to fully cover the costs of running your tours.

Remember that the goal behind strategic tour pricing is so that your revenue always covers your expenses.

Public vs. Private Tours: What to consider when setting prices 

When you start pricing your tours, you also need to consider the type of tour you’re going to offer. Offering both public and private tours allows you to cater to a larger audience.

The couple looking for a romantic, more personalized experience, for example, might prefer a private tour. It’s not just couples: The ongoing pandemic has made private tours more attractive for everyone .

That’s good news for the companies that offer them. Private tours are typically customizable and offer a more intimate experience than a group tour, which also makes them more expensive. For a tour company, this means you can make more money off a single tour if it’s private.

Here are five things to consider when pricing a private tour versus a public tour.

One of the reasons people don’t mind paying more for a private tour is because they get a more personalized experience. If a mother and daughter book a private walking tour in New York City, they’re going to have an experience that’s more tailored to their likes and preferences. The tour guide will have room to get to know them, ask about their interests, and even show them places that aren’t on the typical public tour. This makes the tour more valuable than a public tour, and therefore, allows a tour business to charge more for the experience.

Now is a great time to check the demand for private tours for your company. As people start to travel again, some are still thinking twice about group tours and activities. If there’s high demand for your private tours, you can factor that into your pricing.

Seasonality should be taken into consideration for both private and public tours. A whitewater rafting company is probably busiest in the summer months, meaning they have an opportunity to mark up prices during that time.

A private tour will have different capacity needs than a private tour, and that can impact how you price it. Private tours are typically smaller than public tours (unless it’s a large group event). This means you may need to sell twice as many two-person private tours to reach your full capacity. With that in mind, you may want to price your private tours higher than your regular tours so that you’re still making a profit, even when you have fewer people going on a tour.

Your variable costs will fluctuate depending on the number of private or public tours you offer. If you’re running multiple private tours at once, for instance, you might need to hire additional guides. Your fixed costs — like rent and marketing — will remain the same regardless of the kind of tours you’re running. It’s important to identify all of your operating costs before pricing both your public and private tours.

Keep in mind that setting your tour prices is an ongoing process. As your business evolves and customer demand changes, so should your pricing strategy.

Whether you’re offering public tours, private tours, or a combination of both, use this guide to find the best pricing strategy for your tour business.

Writer Carla Vianna

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us-travel-tourism-statistics-2021-2020

U.S. Travel & Tourism Statistics 2020-2021

The ultimate fact guide to america's tourism industry including outbound, inbound, domestic & business travel figures..

The American tourism industry is thriving, International and domestic travel is currently contribution over $1.1 trillion to the United States GDP every year. When looking at the annual travel split of domestic and international travel, Americans domestically traveling within the country last year made up the lion's share, totaling 2.29 Billion, a 2% increase from the previous year. Following past US tourism trends, the volume of Americans outbound traveling internationally was of course much less, amounting to 79.6 Million, which was a 3.5% increase from the previous year.

Leisure based travel accounts for 73.8% of all tourism in America, leaving 26.2% for business and other reasons. Overall the tourism expenditure accounts for $1,089 Billion a year, and the industry provides a direct source of employment for 5.29 million jobs.

RELATED: 2022 Tourism Trends & Outlook

RELATED: Tourism Experts & Inspiring Speakers For Your Next Meeting

TOP U.S. TOURISM STATISTICS:

US Citizen domestic tourism:   Americans take 2.29 Billion domestic trips each year.

US Citizen outbound tourism:   Americans take 93.0 Million international outbound trips each year.

International Inbound Tourism:   Annually, there are currently 79.6 Million international visitors to the US.

$1,089 Billion:   Yearly American tourism expenditure ($932.7b domestic / $156.3b international)

Expenditure sources:   $267.7B on food services, $232.2B on lodging, $200.4B on public transport, $166.5B on auto transportation, $112.6B on recreation, $109.6B on retail.

15.7 Million   American jobs were supported by travel in 2018.

By 2028,   yearly U.S. tourism is estimated to hit the $2.4 trillion mark.

Days/yr. traveled by age group: Gen Z   (29 days) , Millennials   (35 days) , Gen X   (26 days)   and Baby Boomers   (27 days).

Top 5 inbound countries:   Mexico (19.1m), Canada (12.3m), UK (4.9), Japan (3.4), China (2.9)

Top 5 outbound by continent:   Europe (17.7m), Caribbean (8.7m), Asia (6.2m), South America (2.1m), Central America (3.2m)

Top US cities visited:   New York (9.8m), Miami (5.38m), LA (4.98m), Orlando (4.47m), San Francisco (3.57m), Vegas (3.33m)

Business vs. leisure:   U.S. travelers took 466.2 million domestic trips for business (26.2%), and 1,779.7 million for leisure (73.8%)

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Quick links: navigate our statistic topics, how many americans travel out of their country a year, how much did americans and tourists spend on travel last year, how much is the travel industry worth to america, which american age groups travel the most, why do americans travel, what are the popular trending activities in america, how do americans book their travel.

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US INBOUND & OUTBOUND TOURISM STATISTICS

US domestic travel increased by +2%  YTD in 2019 with Americans taking 2.29 Billion domestic trips.

Domestic leisure travel increased 1.9%   in 2019 to 1.9 billion.

80% of all US domestic trips  were for leisure travel in 2019.

Domestic business travel in 2019   accounted for 464 million trips.

US Citizen outbound tourism:   Americans take 93.0 Million international outbound trips each year. (+6.3% YTD Change)

International Inbound Tourism:   Annually, there are currently 79.6 Million international visitors to the US. (+3.5% YTD Change)

Top 5 inbound countries:   Mexico (19.1m), Canada (12.3m), UK (4.9), Japan (3.4), China (2.9).

Top 5 outbound by continent:   Europe (17.7m), Caribbean (8.7m), Asia (6.2m), South America (2.1m), Central America (3.2m).

Top US cities visited:   New York (9.8m), Miami (5.38m), LA (4.98m), Orlando (4.47m), San Francisco (3.57m), Vegas (3.33m).

Each year,   35% of American families   plan vacations 50 miles or more from home.

In a Travel Leaders Group survey,   24%   of Americans stated they plan to travel to Europe.

22%   of American vacations are via road trips.

USA’s top 5 road trip routes:   #1 Las Vegas – National Parks, #2 Northern California - Southern Oregon Coast, #3 Northern New England, #4 Blue Ridge Parkway #5 Black Hills.

The lion’s share of the United States tourism is from its own citizen’s domestic travel, with over 2.29 billion Americans taking trips within the country. This saw a +2% year to date increase, which is enormous considering that domestic travel spend was worth $932.7 Billion.

As you can see from the US outbound travel statistics above, the number of Americans traveling out of the country is remarkably low compared to domestic travel. According to Trade.gov, outbound tourism hit 93 Million last year and saw a sizable +6.3% year to date increase, showing more Americans are willing to take an outbound trip and travel out the country.

The outbound travel expenditure of these 93 million people was worth $156.3 Billion to America’s tourism industry, so 6.3% is a very significant outbound tourism statistic! The hottest US outbound destinations were Europe, Caribbean, Asia, South America, and Central America.

The US inbound tourism statistics also paint a fascinating picture of America’s continued tourism industry growth, with visitors flocking from Mexico, Canada, UK, Japan, and China. International visitors totaled 79.6 Million with a 3.5% year to date increase, with the top US vacation destinations being cities such as New York, Miami, LA, Orlando, San Francisco, and Las Vegas.

Sources :   Statista ,   AAA ,   TravelLeadersGroup ,   TravelAgentCentral ,   MMGY

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AMERICAS TOURISM INDUSTRY SPEND STATISTICS

American’s spent around   $930 billion USD   on domestic travel in 2018.

In 2017 the amount spent on summer vacations was around   $101.1 billion USD , up from $89.9 billion in 2016.

$1.1 Trillion   / $1,089 Billion: Yearly U.S. travel and tourism expenditure ($932.7b domestic / $156.3b international).

U.S. leisure spend totalled   $761.7 billion   in 2018 from domestic and international travellers.

U.S. business sped totalled   $327 billion   in 2018, with $136 Billion from travellers attending conventions or meetings.

Expenditure Sources:   $267.7B on food services, $232.2B on lodging, $200.4B on public transport, $166.5B on auto transportation, $112.6B on recreation, $109.6B on retail.

Behind nightlife/dining,   travel was voted   America’s most popular choice for spending disposable income at   36%.

$101.1 Billion   is spent every year in America on summer vacations alone.

The average American spends   $6,080 on international trips.

Inbound overseas tourists stay an average of 18 nights and   spend $4,200   while in America.

Overseas travellers account for   84%   of international tourist spend, despite being half of all international arrivals.

Canadian tourists are the biggest spenders with   £22.2 billion   in the U.S. every year.

New York brings in  $16.1 Billion   a year from international visitors.

If you’re wondering how much Americans spend on travel each year, it was huge; International and domestic travelers spent $1.1 Trillion US dollars ($1,089 Billion). Americans spending through domestic travel increased by a massive +5.8% year to date, whereas international tourism spends only saw a 0.3% bump from the previous year. To break this down, this sort of spending would support 8.9M jobs, which in turn would generate $171 Billion in tax and $268 Billion in payroll.

Out of the $1.1 Trillion spending, leisure travelers from both international and domestic spent $762 Billion in 2018, which was a +6.1% increase from the previous year. When looking at business travel spend, it had risen +2.4% to $327 Billion, with 41.5% coming from

What are American tourists spending this $1.1 Trillion on? According to the latest US travel spending statistics, food services such as restaurants, bars, and grocery stores were the most popular spending category at 26.7%. This was followed by 23.1% on lodging, 20.0% on public transport, 16.6% on auto transportation, 11.2% on recreation, and 10.9% on retail.

Furthermore, this $1.1 Trillion spending isn’t the only financial impact of the tourists. When you look at the inputs used to supply or produce the goods travelers desire, and take into account the spend of the employees of travel businesses – there is a considerable multiplier of the financial impact to the US economy, estimated to be a total of $2.5 Trillion.

Sources :  US Travel ,  US Travel 2 ,  Phocuswright ,  TravelAgenctCentral ,  Squaremouth ,  Statista

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US TRAVEL AND TOURISM INDUSTRY JOB STATISTICS  

The travel industry accounts for   7.1%   of America’s private employment.

15.7 Million American jobs   were supported by travel in 2018.

8.92 Million   American travel-related jobs were supported by tourism in 2018 (7.73M domestic / 1.19M international)

$1 Million   in travel revenue directly produces eight jobs with the industry.

1 in 10 jobs   in the U.S. depend on the travel industry (Excluding farming).

$267.9 Billion   in payroll is generated yearly by U.S. travel and tourism ($234.6 Billion domestic / $33.3 Billion international).

$170.9 Billion   in tax revenue is generated yearly by U.S. travel and tourism ($147.3 Billion domestic / $23.6 Billion international).

A massive   $117.4 billion   of the $170.9b in tax revenue was spent on leisure travel, $53.5b on business.

International and domestic business travel generated   $327.3 billion   in 2018 through direct spending.

In 2018, U.S. residents recorded   463.6M   trips for business (38% being events and meetings).

The tourism industry is vital to the US economy, so much so that it accounts for 7.1% of the countries private employment. Overall, 15.7 Million American jobs were supported by the tourism industry last year, making one in eight non-farm jobs dependent on it in some way, direct and indirectly. The trend is on the up, the 15.7 Million American jobs in the travel industry had a +1.3% increase from the previous year.

Jobs, where workers are supplying goods or services directly to visitors, would be classed as ‘direct’ - this supported 8.9 million U.S. travel-specific jobs. The remaining 6.8 Million jobs were classed as indirect, these would include areas whereby workers created goods or services which helped produce the goods or services (sold or used by the 8.9M direct jobs).

The travel industry is known for being extremely labor intensive, its upwards trends have the power to develop new career opportunities much fast than any other niche. If you exclude the farming industry, one in ten jobs would be dependent on the travel industry – as an example, one in five non-farming industry jobs would be created from $1 million sales, but the same value in the travel industry would create one in eight.

Sources :  US Travel 1 ,  US Travel 2

US TRAVEL STATISTICS BY DEMOGRAPHIC

42%   of Americans own a passport, up from 27% 10 years ago.

Days a year traveling by age: Millennials ( 35 days ), Gen Z ( 29 days ), Baby Boomers ( 27 days ), and Gen X ( 26 days ).

Millennials :   62%   of parents travel with kids under five.

Millennials :   58%   prefer traveling with friends, 49% book last-minute vacations.

Millennials :   58%   want to solo travel,   26%   already have.

Solo Travel Women:   Take 3 more trips a year and are the most likely to travel alone.

Solo Travel: 43%   take over three trips a year.

Solo Travel: 50%   have a college or university diploma/degree.

Family: 4 out of 10   plan a trip with a family each year.

Family: 80%   take summertime trips to travel with family.

Family: 42%   opt for spring break vacations.

Baby Boomers:   Aim to take 4+ leisure vacations a year.

Baby Boomers: 30%   opt for a cruise as their vacation choice.

When analyzing the latest US outbound travel statistics by age, it was clear that millennials are the group willing to travel for the most extended period at 35 days a year, while generation X vacationed an average of 26 days.

Millennial Americans that are without children are now less of the typical ‘tourist’ and more of the ‘experience’ generation. Most of their booking habits are focused on exploring cultures, booking retreats, or activities rather than visiting theme parks and tourist trap areas. Their freedom and spontaneity let almost half of them book last-minute vacations, with or without friends as, to them, solo travel means cultural growth and meeting new people.

These travel age statistics also show us that half of the solo travelers take up to 3 more trips a year, have a college or university degree, and American solo travel is more prominent in women. What percentage of Americans own a passport? The myth was only one in ten do which appears in many blogs across the web, but now the Census and State department confirm that over 42% of Americans own a passport.

One travel by age group statistic shows almost one in three baby boomers opt for a cruise as their vacation and aim to take at least 4 trips per year. When it comes to families, the majority go during summer break (80%), and only 4 in 10 plan trips with their family. However, millennial families are far more likely to travel with younger children, at 62%.

Sources : Expedia, Resonanceco,  InternetMarketingInc ,  PRNewswire ,  SoloTravelWorld ,  TravelAgentCentral ,  NYU 1 ,  NYU 2 ,  AARP ,  TripAdvisor

REASONS AMERICANS TRAVEL FACTS & STATISTICS

Business/Leisure: U.S. travellers took   466.2 million   domestic trips for business (26.2%), and   1,779.7 million   for leisure (73.8%).

Family:   95%   prioritized their family to be happy and entertained.

Family:   89%   prioritized vacation deals and value.

Family:   85%   needed planning around school holidays.

Family:   85%   wanted outdoor activities for their family.

Gen Z:   55%   travelled to increase their knowledge and experience.

Gen Z:   40%   travelled to avoid stress and relax.

Millennials:   43%   want to find themselves.

Millennials:   23%   want to meet new people.

57%   of U.S. travellers would choose a free heritage vacation over alcohol for a year.

56%   of global international travellers agree it taught them life skills.

51%   want to escape normal life and recharge mentally.

42%   take trips to visit friends and family.

35%   are travelling to experience local delicacies.

Top   bucket list vacations   are volunteering trips (39%), food travel adventure (38%), mystery journey (38%), ancestry/heritage trip (36%), and sabbatical (36%).

59%   of solo travellers stated the reason they went alone is to see the world without waiting for others.

Why do Americans travel? When looking at the data from several survey sources, it was clear that the gender and age of respondents had little impact on the three most important factors.

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The most important reasons why Americans travel were:

Being with friends and family

Fun experiences (did index higher in younger generations)

Relaxing and unwinding

In terms of gender-based travel reasons, men indexed higher than women overall for exploring the great outdoors or outdoor activities that fall into that category. Generation Z, Millennials, or general age groups from 18-35 had higher responses around wanting to travel for music events or festivals than people aged 35 and over.

The most important trend we’ve noticed from reviewing multiple studies around American’s desires for travel is that younger generations are factoring in ‘experience tourism,’ this was very common in their responses. Experience tourism can be defined by people wanting to book activities or retreats, meet new people and ‘find themselves’. This is popular among solo travellers, like a cultural trip to Thailand for a detox retreat rather than visiting a traditional tourist attraction like a theme park.

Americans over 35 were keen on finding a vacation where food and drink was priority. Visiting a town or city that had cultural foodie scenes or breweries were very trendy.

Sources : ShortTermRentalz,  Wysetc ,  Trekksoft ,  TravelNews ,  USTravel ,  Booking.com ,  HospitalityNet ,  SoloTravelWorld

US TOURISM & TRAVEL ACTIVITY STATISTICS

Top 5 culture activities:   #1) 65% visit history/art museums, #2) 59% visit aquariums, #3) 56% visit science museums, #4) 55% visit theme parks, #5) 55% visit zoos

73%   of families take their children to a theme park, 34% aim for a world famous one.

Overseas visitors top 5 activities:   #1) 54% Shopping, #2) 49% visit historical/cultural sights, #3) 49% Restaurants, #4) 46% Monuments / National Parks, #5) 46% Sightseeing tours.

Trending:   89% increase in sunset cruise excursions trips since last year.

Trending : 64% increase in snorkelling activities since last year.

Trending : 55% increase in sailing trips since last year.

Trending : 49% increase in kayaking and canoeing experiences since last year.

33%   of visitors will get spa or beauty treatments while on vacation.

15%   of travellers book mindfulness or meditation retreats.

One of the reasons Americans do not travel abroad that much is that there is so much to offer in their own country. There is a wealth of cultural activities such as art galleries, museums that index high on the popular activities list, not to mention the volume of theme parks, zoos, and aquariums across the country.

Families want to book all-inclusive trips where everything is taken care of, and they can focus on shopping or taking their children sightseeing. An overwhelming volume of people wanted to book a cruise in the future, which pairs well with relaxing is one of the most popular reasons for travel data above. Cruises were particularly popular in respondents over the age of 45, as well as self-guided tours, whereas group tours were one of the least popular options for booking.

Even though sporting related activities are trending up, going to a physical sporting event was one of the least popular reasons Americans book travel, with most wanting to support their team… from home.

Sources :  MMGY ,  NYU , StatisticBrain,  TripAdvisor ,  Booking.com

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US TOURISM BOOKING STATISTICS

65%   of hotels are booked on the smartphone the same day as it was researched.

79%   of Americans researching trips will eventually book on their smartphone via app or online.

90%   of U.S. travellers use apps at their destination to make life easy.

#1 factor   in Americans booking travel is price, but reviews and amenities are close runners up.

Americans aged 18-24 classed   reviews   as the second most crucial factor in the booking.

Overall, travel is most commonly booked between   1 to 3 months   in advance.

Men are more likely to last-minute book their trips   2 to 4 weeks   out.

Excluding price as the main factor for Americans booking travel, amenities, and reviews were the most popular choices. So when comparing hotels, resorts or cruises of similar price, these are the factors that will sway the booking decision.

Popular amenities people look for when booking hotels are free breakfasts, pool access, fitness centers, and on-site restaurants. Public transportation was the least influential factor for people considering amenities when booking; this increased with ride-share options.

Only 11% of travellers book trips 6 months out; the most standard booking periods were for trips within 1 to 3 months.

Demographics wise, travelers without children would be the target market for last-minute booking, the no strings attached lifestyle leaves their schedules open. This makes them the ideal target for using last-minute deals to sign them up to hotel or travel loyalty programs.

Sources : StatisticBrain,  ThinkWithGoogle ,  Trekksoft

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