San Francisco, Calif. (PRWEB) December 20, 2012
As 2012 draws to a close, Viator.com, the leading resource for researching and booking tours and activities worldwide, is taking stock of the past 12 months and looking ahead to some of the trends predicted to make an impact in the activities sector in 2013. According to Viator, travelers hitting the high seas, those making use of mobile technologies and lovers of libations and culinary experiences will be noteworthy travel trendsetters in the year to come.
Shore Excursions – Savvy Pax Will Bypass the Cruise Lines
Cruise passengers have long relied on their cruise lines for access to shore excursions in their ports of call – often paying high premiums for crowded tours and cookie cutter experiences. A typically savvy group, cruisers are now researching and booking shore excursions on their own more than ever before, as evidenced by Viator’s year-over-year growth of more than 300 percent in the shore excursion category across all Viator channels. With an estimated 21 million travelers* taking a cruise in 2013, Viator is anticipating continued strong growth. To expand cruise travelers’ access to even more high quality shore excursions, Viator has added four more cruise lines to its dedicated Shore Excursion website (shoreexcursions.viator.com) – Disney, Celebrity, Crystal Cruises and Regent Seven Seas – joining other major lines including Carnival Cruises, Costa Cruises, Holland America, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean. Excursions in new ports are also being added regularly including recent additions throughout Canada and Central and South America.
Have Phone will Book (Tours and Activities)
There was once a time when travelers needed to count on their hotel’s concierge to direct them to a reputable tour guide – especially if they were booking at the last minute. But those days are long gone as access to the best things to do in the most popular destinations is just a few clicks away, and, completely mobile. Viator has seen sales across its mobile channels, including the award winning Viator Tours & Activities App for iPhone, more than double in the past year. Viator anticipates the mobile trend to grow substantially in 2013, and has built the technology necessary to meet the last minute and in-destination travelers’ needs by accommodating last minute bookings (sometimes just hours ahead of local start time) and providing e-vouchers for the majority of activities. Viator apps for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Android, as well as a robust mobile website, also provide on-the-go travelers with helpful planning tools like access to more than 350,000 reviews and photos, as well as a catalogue of professionally produced videos.
Travelers with Special Cravings – Wine, Beer and Culinary Tours on the Rise
In certain destinations, there’s often no better way to truly experience the culture than through the region’s native cuisine – eating, and drinking, like the locals. Sales in this category have historically been strong, but in the last year beer tours in particular have jumped more than 50 percent showing the travelers’ desire to drink in their destination – both figuratively and literally. To meet the growing demand for this type of travel experience, the team at Viator has been building relationships with local culinary-focused partners around the world and adding tours to the category, including the Craft-Beer Crawl of Manhattan or Brooklyn, Small-Group Toronto Beer Tour, and Behind-the-Scenes Paulaner Brewery and Beer Tour in Munich. Wine tastings, vineyard tours, small group and private cooking lessons, pastry making and tasting, and fine dining experiences are just a sampling of the gastronomic indulgences Viator customers eat up.
For more information on the trends Viator is keeping an eye on for 2013, as well as details of the 2012 Viator Travel Awards, travelers can visit the Viator Travel Blog, as well as Facebook and Twitter.
*Cruise passenger estimates from the “Cruise Trends Forecast 2013,” Cruise Market Watch.
Viator® is the world’s leading online resource for travel experiences, providing access to more than 10,000 tours, attractions and activities in 800-plus destinations in more than 150 countries. Viator– the Latin word for traveler – offers a one-stop shop to plan, research and book trip activities via its Web and mobile platforms with resources such as more than 350,000 traveler reviews, ratings and photos, suggested itineraries and the Viator Travel Blog. Viator’s in-house travel experts hand-pick trusted local operators to ensure quality, value and service, all backed by a low-price guarantee. Viator sells its products through Viator.com, the Viator Tours and Activities App for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android, the Viator Ultimate Experience Guide for iPad, the Viator Shore Excursions website, local language sites for European, Latin American and Asian markets and more than 2,000 affiliated sites that include major hotel chains and airlines, online travel agencies, city-specific sites and more. Viator is a privately held company, with lead investment from The Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest private equity firms. Founded in 1995, Viator is headquartered in San Francisco with regional offices in Sydney, London and Las Vegas.