Essential Activities Facts for 2018

Tipps & Tricks  Vanessa Judas

The biggest sales days in 2018

When it comes to the sales highlights of the year, Christmas pretty much takes the cake. December alone accounted for 23 of the 30 highest performing days in 2018. The 17th and 18th of December — just one week before Christmas — showed the most activity in terms of bookings and voucher sales despite being at the start of the week (let’s hope the boss didn’t notice!).

All other days in late December were nearly on par with these, including Christmas Eve, thanks to last-minute shoppers. And although Christmas Day and the day after Christmas clearly weren’t part of this trend, the 27th, 28th and the other business days following Christmas certainly were, with demand for tours and activities spiking again.

Read how to get most out of the holiday sale season with custom Christmas vouchers

The 2nd and 3rd of January (just last week) were also very strong sales days and would easily be among the top 20 days of 2018 if they weren’t actually in 2019 — that’s the power of New Year’s resolutions!

The best-performing operator categories during Christmas 2018

The clear sales victor of Christmas 2018 was escape rooms, followed by trampoline parks at number two, and museum, travel, tour and event tickets at number three. Winter sports were also popular following the holidays, but we’re honestly a little confused by the high number of boat tour bookings — luckily vouchers and gift certificates can be redeemed in Spring, too.

Interesting trends throughout the year

Sales distributed across four main periods of the year

According to our data, 2018 can be divided into four main periods across all types of tours and activities. Compared to Q1, the other three quarters of the year generated 50% more sales on average. Exceptions to this are August (due to the high Summer temperatures in Europe), with 95% more sales, and of course December, which showed up to three times more sales as compared to the beginning of the year.

Interesting developments and sudden spikes

With the arrival of Spring weather in April and the natural transition to outdoor activities, bookings for tickets of all kinds increased considerably — by a factor of six, in fact. And the opposite was true in September, when cooler weather pushed the demand for dance classes up by a factor of nine. May and June — the start of water sport season — showed a jump in bookings of up to 320 percent.

Bookings for bungee jumping, action camps and survival training all tripled in June and July, which is hardly surprising. But it’s anybody’s guess what inspired the clear spike in martial arts and combat sports bookings in December. The doubling of laser tag bookings, however, is definitely because of Father’s Day in Germany.

The top 15 sectors in 2018 in terms of sales

To find out which types of activities and events generated the most sales in 2018 and to learn more about what you might add to your offerings to bring in more bookings, check out our top 15 ranking below:

  1. Escape rooms
  2. City and cultural activities
  3. Travel and adventure
  4. Boat tours
  5. Trampoline parks
  6. Cooking classes
  7. Event tickets
  8. Laser tag
  9. Classes
  10. General sports
  11. Water sports
  12. Tastings
  13. Restaurants
  14. Museums
  15. Motor sports

5 things you should be doing to prep for 2019

Start by taking a look at the previous business year and figuring out which periods are the busiest for you. These are your essential sales periods. Get ready for these first! Next, compare your slower times of the year with the bookingkit sales calendar to see which potential sales opportunities you can take advantage of and start getting ready for these.

There are a number of different things you can do to make sure you are well prepared, including theming and designing your website, cross-selling across all your tours and activities, creating vouchers and a dedicated area on your website for selling them, and — last but not least — arranging special activities for different occasions. Next, you should make a plan. You can use our Holiday Checklist as a template for this.

The good thing about prep work is that it’s essentially always the same, whether you’re getting ready for Valentine’s Day, Easter or Christmas. The materials and methods are for the most part very similar and can be reused year after year. The next thing you need to do is create a basic stock of materials (pictures, videos, voucher designs and text templates) for major holidays and events. Be sure to select and create content you’re going to want to reuse. Your basic stock will save you time, which you can use instead to come up with campaigns, promotional ideas and new activities to fill in the remaining holes in your calendar.


How we know all this (and where we get our numbers)

Our digital booking and management software is used by thousands of operators across a wide range of leisure-related sectors and activity categories. This means we have a lot of digital booking data at our disposal which we can analyze and use to help our customers identify trends early on and see how their businesses stack up against current market developments. We make our biggest findings and recommendations available online to everyone to help the entire tours and activities industry operate more professionally and to remain diverse and creative.

Want to try bookingkit and be a part of our community? Book a demo here


Vanessa Judas
Vanessa is an expert in the activities industry and a member of the online marketing team at bookingkit. When she's not looking for current trends and the latest tips and tricks from the leisure industry, she likes to be active and to explore the hotspots of Berlin.


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