Travel activities at your destination gets twice the money of car rental business

Tour activitiesWhat do you do when you get to your destination? Well, apparently you spend $27 billion. A recent report from travel industry research firm PhoCusWright says that’s how much was dropped on the travel activities, events, attractions and tour space in 2009. Yep, $27 billion sounds like a big number, and doubtless, it is. But, did you know that it’s almost twice the size of the car rental market in the United States?

Several factors are responsible for the growth of this sector of the travel business, including “a growing aggregator network and advancements in technology and commercial models will power significant growth in advance bookings and online distribution,” says PhoCusWright.

And, it’s going to keep going.

Look for double-digit growth for travel activity bookings via online channels through 2012.

“The challenges of connecting to myriad small providers with limited technical capability and a low average transaction value have inhibited online distribution of travel-related activities,” notes Douglas Quinby, senior director, research at PhoCusWright. He adds that “while the market remains highly fragmented, key activity aggregators and a flood of innovation related to local search, social media and mobile devices are creating unprecedented opportunities.”

[photo by Richard Hsu via Flickr]