NEEDHAM, Mass., Feb. 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- TripAdvisor®, the world's largest online provider of bookable experiences, tours, and activities, today shares its top travel trend report for the experiences segment. TripAdvisor bookings data revealed that iconic sites remain wildly popular, while travelers are expanding their horizons and bringing growth to new, non-traditional and experiential categories.
...while cultural categories - like food tours, cooking classes, and historical and heritage experiences - are seeing bookings skyrocket Globally, travelers are expanding their horizons, and several categories grew quickly in 2017. Historic and heritage experiences (such as a Charleston Harbor History Tour and a Tour of Historic Fenway Park) saw the most growth (+125% in bookings), and culinary is a clear trend: cooking classes and food tours both appeared among the top five categories, each with 57% bookings' growth. By gross booking value, food tours saw the most growth in 2017.
US travelers are booking more cooking and restaurant experiences... In line with global trends, US bookings placed cooking classes and food tours in the top ten, with 51% and 49% growth respectively. An interactive Spanish Cooking Experience in Barcelona where travelers learn to make paella and Spanish tapas with a local chef, and a guided Street Food Tour in Rome with pizza, pastries, and sightseeing, were among the fastest growing experiences for US and global travelers.
...and getting active in the great outdoors. Historical and heritage experiences may have topped the list of fastest-growing categories for US travelers (+98% in bookings), but aquatic activities dominated the top ten, taking half of the top spots. Sunset cruises (+89% in bookings), snorkeling (+64%), sailing trips (+55%), catamaran cruises (+51%), and kayaking and canoeing experiences (+49%) all ranked in the year's fastest-growing categories.
Travelers around the world are increasingly opting out of line-ups Skip-the-line access at some of the world's busiest landmarks and sites (like the Colosseum) appeared in both the most-popular and fastest-growing lists for global travelers.
Fast facts on skip-the-line experiences:
Two of the three most popular products in 2017 were skip-the-line, and likewise for four of the ten fastest-growing experiences in 2017.
TripAdvisor lists more than 1,200 skip-the-line tickets globally, with options at some of the most popular sites in the world, including the Eiffel Tower, the Sagrada Familia, and the London Eye.
Skip-the-line tours were also the second-fastest growing category for US travelers by gross booking value in 2017.
"We're seeing more travelers balancing their itineraries with a mix of classic sightseeing and more unique local experiences," said Laurel Greatrix, director of communications. "Of course travelers heading to Rome want to explore the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel, but they're also booking experiences like food tours to enhance their trip, and see the city like a local."
"Travelers are also being more economical with their time," Greatrix continued. "Skip-the-line tour options are among the fastest-growing tours in the world, and were among the fastest growing categories for US travelers in particular, allowing travelers to see more than just the back of someone's head."
Methodology: Most popular experiences are based on bookings in 2017, for products under $150 USD per person. Fastest growing experiences and categories are based on year-over-year growth in bookings from 2016 to 2017. Most popular new products are based on experiences added between April 2016 and April 2017 and ranked by bookings between April 2017 and December 2017.
About TripAdvisor TripAdvisor, the world's largest travel site**, enables travelers to unleash the full potential of every trip. With over 570 million reviews and opinions covering the world's largest selection of travel listings worldwide -- covering 7.3 million accommodations, airlines, attractions, and restaurants -- TripAdvisor provides travelers with the wisdom of the crowds to help them decide where to stay, how to fly, what to do and where to eat. TripAdvisor also compares prices from more than 200 hotel booking sites so travelers can find the lowest price on the hotel that's right for them. TripAdvisor-branded sites are available in 49 markets, and are home to the world's largest travel community of 455 million average monthly unique visitors*, all looking to get the most out of every trip. TripAdvisor: Know better. Book better. Go better.