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  November 1-4, 2020     Phoenix 360 | Live & Virtual

Phoenix 360

Nov 1-4, 2020

Live & Virtual

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Orlando 2019 Theater Sessions

The brightest minds, biggest brands and most provocative voices explore and debate the essential themes shaping the Tours, Activities & Attractions in the tours, activities and attractions industry.

What should you expect? No sales pitches. No sponsored sessions. Just the essential trends and perspectives that matter most to your business

Check out the Theater Sessions from Arival Orlando 2019 to give you an idea of what to expect.

The Great Tech Debate: A Roundtable with Reservations​

The rapid growth and adoption of reservation systems have made mission-critical tech accessible to even the smallest operators and brought much of our industry online. But just how different are all of these systems (Arival has identified more than 100), how do operators begin to choose, and what does it mean now that alignments are emerging between some tech systems and major online travel agencies? We’ll dive in and pull no punches as we talk tech and what it means to you with the CEOs of four reservation system companies.

Chris Atkin, CEO of Rezdy
Ruzwana Bashir, Co-Founder & CEO of Peek
Jason Morehouse, Co-founder & CEO of Checkfront
Max Valverde, CEO of FareHarbor

Ask Me Anything: Airbnb

Experiences, the once-fledgling tours and activities initiative of the online accommodation giant, is growing up fast. Airbnb now boasts more than 30,000 experiences around the world, a new multi-day tour division and more. This candid interview will delve into how Airbnb is working operators, and we’ll ask their head North America the questions you need answered to see if you should be working with them.


Can Branding Grow Your Tour & Activity Business

Amid the rapid growth of tours and activities, where are global brands? Why hasn’t this taken hold? More and more companies are building multi-destination tour brands, seeking to extend their names and establish brand standards across multiple destinations and experiences. Will it work? And what does it mean for operators? When should an operator extend their brand, or consider licensing a global brand? This panel of aspiring global brands will tackle these questions and more.
Tony Carne, Managing Director of Urban Adventures
Jack Louis, President of Fat Tire Tours
Alice Jong, Research Manager of Phocuswright


A Very Visible Impact

Every tour operator wants their tours and experiences to have an impact. But Invisible Cities in the UK, Scotland, seeks to be transformational for its guides as well as its guests. Founded in 2016, this company trains individuals affected by homelessness to become guides and lead alternative tours – now across four cities. Invisible Cities’ founder shares her vision for making the invisible visible, and how tour and activity operators can have a social and local impact.
This talk is made possible through support from Geotourist, which provides audio guides for your smartphone.
Speaker: Zakia Moulaoui, Founder & CEO of Invisible Cities


Ask Me Anything: TripAdvisor

It’s one of our industry’s biggest online brands, the largest platform for traveler reviews and—for many operators—an important source of bookings. In this one-on-one interview, we (and you) ask the questions that matter most to your business. Ask Me Anything: TripAdvisor Experiences with Dermot Halpin


Creating Content that Captivates​

Every creator and seller of tours, activities, and attractions today must also be a content marketer. But what content will pop with your customers? Culture Trip has used the power of data and research to rise to the top of search and social when it comes to in-destination travel content. In this talk, Alex Shebar, Head of Experiences at Culture Trip, shares some of the brand’s methods that you can apply today to capture more eyeballs and increase the reach of your content – and your brand.


Tap the Corporate Experiences Market

Our industry is mostly focused on the leisure traveler, but have you thought about selling into businesses? More companies are offering experiences as employee benefits and incentives. This keynote walks us through the big shift underway in the corporate benefits and retention marketplace, and how tour, activity and attraction operators can find new growth opportunities by creating unique experiences that serve local and global businesses. Speaker: Arielle Fuller, Head of Experience Curation at Blueboard


Disruption is Universal

No matter how large or how small, no company is immune to the disruption that technology innovation and changing traveler demands can bring. In this session, you’ll learn how Universal, one of the leading global theme park brands, approaches some of the most disruptive forces in our industry. Plus, you’ll get their take on key trends in tech, distribution and what’s next for the guest experience.
Frank Belzer, Senior Vice President – Portfolio Sales at Universal Parks and Resorts
Jenna Blumenfeld, Managing Editor at Arival


Hotels Want You – Marriott

Travelers may stay in rooms, but they seek experiences, and lodging providers can be a key point of sale for operators. In this talk, we’ll hear how the world’s biggest hotel chain is approaching the Best Part of Travel, and how you can grow your sales through hotel and accommodation partners.
Speaker: Susan DeBottis, VP, Tours & Activities at Marriott International


How to Win the Spanish Speaking Traveler

Across 20 countries and some 500 million people (as well as more than 50 million in the U.S.), Spanish is the mother tongue. As incomes and the demand for travel rise, so does our industry’s need to understand and serve this diverse group of travelers. This talk walks through the opportunities—and do’s and don’ts—to reach and win this diverse and growing market.
Speaker: Alberto Gutierrez, Founder & CEO at Civitatis


Let’s Get Direct about Growth and Distribution

This operator roundtable delves into challenges and best practices around working with OTAs, managing distribution channels and building a direct and diversified sales strategy.
Bruce Rosard, Co-founder & COO at Arival
Liz Gilbert, Director, National Accounts & Travel Industry Sales at Hornblower Cruises & Events
Kelly McHugh, Marketing & Development Director at Pacific Whale Foundation
Gus Moore, Owner / Operator at Miami Tour Company


Operator Story: Putting People First

Grow grow grow goes the corporate credo, but grow at any cost? Sue Cooper of Lazy Dog Adventures and the author of Millionaire in Flip Flops has a different message: you can grow a great business and have a balanced lifestyle. The secret to that story starts with the people and community around you.
Speaker: Sue Cooper, Top D.O.G at Lazy Dog Adventures


The Joy of Growing Pains

Growth in most companies is hardly a straight line up, but more like an adventure course with plenty of downs as well as ups. In this operator story, James Blick shares the lessons learned from Devour’s tours and detours since its founding in 2012 to its expansion to seven cities across Europe.
Speaker: James Blick, Co-Founder & COO at Devour Tours

Next from Asia The Rise of Southeast Asia

While all eyes have focused on China, travel demand from Southeast Asia—from Indonesia to the Philippines and beyond—has been surging. This talk introduces us to the next big wave of travelers from Asia, and how you can capture the market.
Speaker: Christian Suwarna, CEO of Traveloka Experience at Traveloka

Operator Story: Branding Bad

What started out as a failed business venture finally found its success by having their guests unleash their “bad side.” Hear about the journey took to transition from a product company to an experience company with its branding and focus on family fun.
Speaker: Sweet John Muehlbauer, Director of Experience at

Using Customer Insights to Create Culinary Experiences

What makes the ideal customer experience? How do you design your tours, activities or experiences to great the best possible outcome? The co-founder of one of the largest online culinary experience marketplaces shows how they use their customer learnings to help their hosts perfect their offerings, and how you can do the same.
Speaker: Stephanie Lawrence, Co-founder at Traveling Spoon

The Science of Designing an Amazing Guest Experience

How do you begin to design a major new attraction in a destination that already has it all? In this talk, attractions industry veteran Jason Horkin walks us through the design-led approach they took to develop the Vessel and the Edge, and how New York City’s Hudson Yards tackled design and development challenges in the very busy Big Apple.
Speaker: Jason Horkin, Executive Director at Related/Hudson Yards

Online Expectations of the Next Gen

We all know lots of reviews and great photos are essential, but the next generation of travelers want something more. Drawing on parallels from online retailing, one of the world’s largest travel sellers walks through the distinct aspirations and digital shopping expectations of Gen Z and shares how operators should think about their own online presence to reach this rising generation.
Speaker: Luke Taylor, Senior Director Supply Partnerships at Expedia Group

Tools for Tomorrow’s Operator

How travelers experience a tour, an attraction or activity and the ways in which operators can deliver those experiences are changing rapidly. In this first-time session at Arival, we feature new innovations that could change the way you do business. Then, the Arival Observation Deck, comprised of four veteran operators and investors, evaluate each presentation live on stage and ask key questions to help determine if these tools could be a part of your tomorrow.
The Tools & Innovators:
Alex Govoreanu, Questo – the game is the tour
Christian Watts, Magpie – all of your content, everywhere
Michael Weiss, Bitemojo – food tours by smartphone
The Arival Observation Deck:
Erik Blachford, Technology Crossover Ventures
Georgette Blau, On Location Tours
Chris Hemmeter, Thayer Ventures
Nichole Williamson, M56
Group Moderators:
Alex Kremer, Arival
Douglas Quinby, Arival

Traveler Trends: What Your Customers Want

Arival returns with its in-depth look at U.S. travelers and what they want from tour, activity and attraction operators for 2020. Arival’s new research looks at everything from how travelers choose and book and what drives tour and activity selection to the role of food, traveler reviews and what makes a great guest experience. These are exclusive research insights available only at Arival.
Speaker: Douglas Quinby, Co-founder & CEO at Arival

See Highlights of
Arival Americas

Watch Videos of Previous Events Below:


Hear What Attendees Say


“If you’re in the Tours and Activities space you MUST attend this conference, it’s as simple as that."

Ben Holz, Activity Maui

“Bravo Arival! Finally an industry conference dedicated specifically to the needs and wants of the tours and activities sector! The content was so relevant and the cost of the conference was accessible enough to allow a last minute add on. Can’t wait for next year’s conference!"

Michelle Israel, San Diego Zoo

“It’s a totally community oriented event. It was spectacular to meet everyone here. We are really witnessing the birth of our industry right here."

Alex Meerab, Checkfront

Arival Orlando Attendees Tell Us What They Thought of the Event (And Major Takeaways)

Tour operators react and share their experience from ARIVAL Orlando 2019. Tourpreneur Host Shane Whaley asked 14 Arival attendees what they thought of the Arival Orlando event and what were some of the major learnings. [email protected] Presented by Checkfront. Tune in for espresso shot style interviews!



How We Moved to the Caribbean and Built a Boat Tour Business from Scratch

Ellen Mannaert left her corporate job in Holland to start up a boat tour operator in Punta Cana. In this candid interview, Ellen of Breakers Boat Trips Punta Cana shares her lessons on not just setting up a tour business, but being a tour operator in a foreign country. We also talk about boat trips marketing, how Ellen sells tours through hotels and how most of her OTA bookings for her tours are coming via Bookit.

Ellen also shares why she decided to attend Arival for the first time and why it is important to follow our passion.

Meet David Naczycz of Urban Adventures, NYC

10 minutes with David Naczycz of NYC Urban Adventures. David sat down with Tourpreneur Podcast Host Shane Whaley and revealed how built his tour company and why he decided to work with Urban Adventures.

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