It’s almost unfathomable to believe that we are at the end of 2022, and we’ve been up in arms with a worldwide pandemic for just under 3 years now. At this point, most people are eager to transition to normal life and get back to traveling. In our industry, many travelers were more interested in watersports activities, and in spite of inflation, storms, and other disruptions, our partners saw some incredible numbers and success throughout 2022. As we wrap up this year, we’ll discuss lessons tour operators learned, our growth, new and exciting integrations, and what to expect in 2023.
Table of Contents
- Season 2022 Lessons Tour Operators Learned
- Number of Partners Acquired – Attractions They Offer, & Locations
- Customer Bookings
- Challenges Experienced & Takeaways
- Call Center Was a Worthwhile Investment Overall
- New Integrations with Peek & Xola
- What’s in Store for 2023?
- COVID Restrictions are Becoming an Afterthought
- What TripShock Partners are Saying
Season 2022 Lessons Tour Operators Learned
Vacationers wanted to travel. As of October, 32% of American travelers are making leisure travel a high-budget priority over the next 3 months. There was a surge of domestic travelers due to pent-up demand, resulting in a 19% increase in the amount of U.S. travelers this year. TripShock remained abreast of travel trends and was ready.
In 2022, small group tours were the most popular travel product, leading tour operators to expand their offers. To remain relevant and competitive in the market, operators had to adjust to new trends and mobile bookings. Not only was there a large spike in mobile bookings, but these types of bookings are growing at a fast pace in comparison to the past two years. Additionally, watersports activities have grown by more than 300% between 2019 and 2022 while sailing and water tour experiences have grown by 122%.
Number of Partners Acquired – Attractions They Offer, & Locations
TripShock acquired 84 partners in 2022. Several will remain with the company, while others are departing. The attractions offered range from fishing to boat tours and watersports. When it comes to locations, many markets have been discontinued. TripShock’s focus will be on the growth and development of 4 main regions and will consider adding smaller destinations that are within those regions
- Clearwater-St. Pete area
- Southwest Florida
- Southeast Florida
- Coastal Carolina
Although TripShock has fewer orders right now, we are pacing with 2019 sales figures because of higher prices. We had lower sales in Q1, but Q2 and Q3 exceeded those of 2019, and in October alone, we made $800k compared to $1.3mil for all of Q4, which puts us on track to exceed that figure by the end of the year.
When searching for travel deals and destinations, travelers are booking trips and experiences as soon as they see an opportunity. 72% of mobile bookings occurred in the 48 hours after turning up Google searches that included the words “today” and ‘tonight.” A large number of millennials are contributing to the rise in last-minute bookings. 82% of what’s known as “short trip” travelers have booked within one week or less of their departure date. At TripShock, most orders are placed within 48 hours or less of arrival based on daily sales observations.
Challenges Experienced & Takeaways
Nearly four out of five travelers experienced some type of travel-related issue while venturing out on an overnight trip. Due to pent-up demand, about 29% of travelers experienced longer wait times, while more than half saw higher prices. Another 14% of travelers said that they lost money due to disrupted or even canceled plans. Based on data from the consumer price index, the prices of flights increased by 38% while the cost of lodging increased by 22%.
Call Center Was a Worthwhile Investment Overall
Thousands of TripShock customers are pleased with how easy planning, booking, and canceling activities are. The customer service staff has gone out of their way to provide assistance in every aspect; this doesn’t stop once the customers have booked. TripShock‘s customer service staff gives travelers peace of mind by being available for every concern and question that may arise during a trip. Phone support is offered every day from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Our staff at TripShock is dedicated not only to providing prompt service to our customers but also to assisting our partners. Our Partner Support Staff is available to help on a daily basis with everything from price changes to calendar updates.
New Integrations with Peek & Xola
TripShock has added new integrations — Peek and Xola, to make it easier to book tours and activities. Each marketplace provides unique features that increase efficiency and boost productivity. Peek maximizes time and streamlines bookings and sales for our partners. Along with our existing integrations, such as Bókun, Rezdy, FareHarbor, and WaveRez, Xola is a new integration that enables us to sell in real-time for Xola partners so that they can boost their overall numbers.
What’s in Store for 2023?
In 2022, there were mixed gains for the tour operator industry. Tour operators have an optimistic perspective that’s cooling a bit as we enter 2023. Nearly two in three operators met or exceeded their number of bookings compared to 2019 resulting in substantial gains over the prior two years of the pandemic. What’s the outlook for 2023? Three in four operators feel somewhat too very optimistic about 2023.
According to Phocuswire, it’s expected that tour activities will exceed the 2019 revenue in 2023.
Growth in the online travel sector will continue. Additionally, without any major disruptions, the tours and activities industry is projected to surpass pre-pandemic levels by 2024. Technology plays a big role in travel trends. Modern technology will continue to influence the tourism industry. The COVID pandemic has pushed companies to accelerate their technology by three to four years.
COVID Restrictions are Becoming an Afterthought
During the course of the COVID pandemic, many countries issued social restrictions. As the risks have started to decrease due to rapid tests and vaccinations, there are fewer restrictions at play. Nearly all countries have lifted travel restrictions, which means that international tourists can now explore destinations beyond their local neighborhoods. Keep in mind there may still be varying levels of restrictions depending on the destination.
What TripShock Partners are Saying
TripShock tour providers are amazed at the results of partnering with us. Take a look at the glowing testimonials.
“We have been working with TripShock for several years, and the results have been exceptional. We have worked closely with their marketing team to sell trips that would likely not get booked. We recommend them to any tour company looking to find new customers and fill empty seats”, –Donna Marler, Co-Owner of Olin Marler Charters.
“I’m in business today because of TripShock — the team they have, from the reservations department to marketing dialing in the SEO, to the numbers of trips booked, hands down, it’s been a no-brainer for me. It’s my first year in which I have a team of people working for me behind the scenes and the business I want to do this year, which is a good thing. For a growing company and people that plan on scaling a business, it’s an absolute no-brainer to partner with a company like this”, –Marcus Vigil, Owner & Captain at You Call It Water Adventures.
“TripShock personnel are so easy to work with and always available when I need direction. Our customers have had no complaints with the TripShock process. A large percentage of our business comes from TripShock. We are so grateful and look forward to continuing our relationship with TripShock!”, –Jocelyn Johnson, Owner & Operator at Everything But Fish.
Thanks to our partners. We are looking forward to continuing to work and grow with you because that’s what the TripShock family is.