Mike Barrow

12 August 017

TECH BYTE: Survey says in-destination activities are most popular among Millennials

iSeatz, the travel technology company powering ancillary product booking and merchandising, recently commissioned research to determine current perceptions and preferences regarding the sale of ancillary goods and services by accommodation providers.

The recent survey found that 81% of respondents had participated in a bookable in-destination activity during their last trip, with day trips, excursions and sightseeing tours (42%), visiting museums, galleries or cultural attractions (30%) and outdoor activities (28%) being the most popular.

Day trip, excursion and sightseeing tours are the most booked in-destination activity, especially among 18- to 34-year-olds, as 50% booked one for their last leisure trip. The stage at which these in-destination activities are booked varies significantly.  For both tours and activities (including snorkeling, sightseeing tour or yoga class) and general admission activities (such as museum, zoo, theme park or monument), most were booked while the consumer was within the destination and, for the most part, on the day of the activity itself.

In contrast, ticket events such as concerts, sporting events and theatre tickets tend to be booked prior to travelling, with only just over one-third booked the day before or the day of the event itself and nearly one-third securing tickets before booking the flight.  Such a pattern makes sense, as in many cases the event in question may be the motivation for the trip, making the pre-booking of event tickets essential.

Baby Boomers resist pre-booking, while Millennials embrace it. Regardless of the category, pre-booking activity decreases with age.  In all cases, those aged 18-34, followed by those aged 35-54, were far more likely to pre-book their in-destination activities.

Older travelers (55+) showed a marked resistance to pre-booking, with most making their bookings only once they had arrived in the destination and on the day of the activity itself. “Facilitating the purchase of ancillary in-destination activities during booking or confirmation communications clearly represents an interesting opportunity for accommodation providers,” said Kenneth Purcell, Founder and CEO of iSeatz.

He added that “Millennials and Gen Xers are a strong and willing market, showing the highest likelihood of engagement in these activities. When well-executed, hoteliers can benefit from the added profit margin and full-service feel ancillary in-destination offerings add to their brand.”

In-destination activities most popular among Millennials, those aged 18-34 represent the highest potential for pre-purchase of in-destination ancillary products, notably being the heaviest consumer across all segments, particularly for day trips / excursions as well as theme or amusement park admission. “From breakfast and bike rentals to in-room entertainment and event tickets, ancillary sales offer a compelling way for providers to boost their bottom line,” says Phocuswright research analyst Mark Blutstein.

To learn more about the iSeatz approach to accommodation ancillary merchandising and in-path solutions, visit

by Mike Barrow