By James Hebert
There’s getting to a destination. There’s staying at a destination. And then there’s that third little thing: What to do while you’re there?
Those in-destination experiences — tours, activities and attractions — have become a $254 billion global industry, says Bruce Rosard, co-founder and COO of Arival.
Tour, activity and attraction operators from both the San Diego region and around the world will attend the conference, which also has a strong virtual component (hence the “360” in the name).
They’ll be able to connect with fellow operators as well as technology companies, distributors and other businesses that support this large and growing sector.
Arival 360 also will offer a wide-ranging lineup of speakers, including the SDTA’s own president and CEO, Julie Coker.
Rosard and his company like to call in-destination experiences “the best part of travel,” and Arival’s research indicates there are about a million companies in the sector worldwide — from small local tour operators to huge, name-brand attractions.
“Food tours, kayak tours, surf shops —they’re all part of our world,” says Rosard. “So are the San Diego Zoo, the Midway Museum, the big stuff. Everything from a one-man band to Disney World — that’s all part of our industry.”
Both the San Diego Zoo/Safari Park and the USS Midway Museum are part of the local contingent participating, along with SeaWorld San Diego, Legoland California, the San Diego Padres & Petco Park Tours, San Diego Walks and other area operators.
Rosard expects about 600 people to attend Arival 360, of which some 65 to 70 percent are operators.
“People are really excited to come,” Rosard says, noting that not only is San Diego “a very sexy destination” but that “the vaccination rates are as high as any city in the country. So we looked at San Diego as a safer destination.”
Rosard is particularly excited about three special events and programs during the conference: a dedicated two-hour forum for attractions and larger operators; a culinary experiences forum; and a series of four sessions on diversity, equity and inclusion.
Visit the conference’s website to find out more about those events and to register for Arival 360.