September 24 - 27, 2018       Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas

The Theater

The brightest minds, biggest brands and most provocative voices explore and debate the essential themes shaping the Tours, Activities & Attractions industry. What should you expect? No sales pitches. No PR. Just the essential trends and perspectives that matter most to your business:

  • Exclusive research on what travelers want in-destination
  • The innovations in tours, activities and attractions shaping the guest experience of tomorrow
  • Insights on what’s next for the OTAs, Google, Airbnb, TripAdvisor and more
  • Perspectives that matter from tour, activity and attraction operators
  • Inspiring stories from innovative suppliers from around the world

Theater Session I: Online Travel Agencies – Ask Me Anything

Like it or not, online travel agencies (OTAs) are playing a growing role in our industry. What are their future plans? What will it mean for your business? Hear from leaders of two of the biggest online sellers of tours, activities and attractions. We – and you – get to ask them the tough questions.

Suppliers’ Say

Providers small and large of tours, activities and attractions take the stage in a roundtable to have their say on the OTAs.


More panelists to be announced
Moderator: Alex Kremer, Co-founder, Arival

Theater Session II: It’s a Big, Big World Out There

Our industry is the Best Part of Travel – and it’s also one of the largest. There are so many ways to reach new customers. Learn about five major segments of travel and tourism and how you can connect to grow your business.

Theater Session III: Locals, Pros, Stories & Futures

Connecting with locals, creating authentic experiences… is this the hot new thing or just marketing spin? This Arival Theater session features big debates, compelling stories of successful experience businesses, and a look to the future of our sector by one of travel’s earliest – and most adventurous – visionaries.

The Big Debate: Like a Local? Or with a Pro?

A leading global tour operator and innovative startups debate the future of professional touring vs. traveling with locals and discuss what travelers really want.


Moderated by Bruce Rosard, Co-founder and COO, Arival

Big Voice: Savor the Story

How a once corporate lawyer found her story by delving into one city’s soul and food.

Akila McConnell, Founder & Chief Eating Officer, Atlanta Food Walks

Big Voice: Are You Xperienced?

Fast cars at a race track near you. These guys created something entirely new. Maybe you can too.

Adam Olalde, Co-founder and CEO, Xtreme Xperience

Our Future: Reading the Tours, Activities & Attractions Tea Leaves

This venture investor, former CEO of Expedia and one-time CEO of adventure touring company Butterfield & Robinson shares his take on the future of our amazing marketplace.

Erik Blachford, Venture Partner, Technology Crossover Ventures

Theater Session IV: Connecting with the Customer

There’s nothing sweeter than having customers come directly to you and connect with your brand. This essential Arival Theater session is about you, your brand, learning from customer feedback, and how to connect with customers directly.

Arival Talk: Using Humor to Sell Stuff

Humor can be a powerful tool to help you cut through the clutter, connect with your customer and ultimately sell products and services. Creative brand marketing guru DJ O’Neil will speak to why humor works and cover basic tenets and techniques to think about when you employ humor in marketing and customer communications.

DJ O’Neil, Founder and Creative Director, Hub Strategy and Communication

What the Heck Are We (and How Do We Brand)?

In a market as fragmented as Tours, Activities & Attractions, do brands matter? How can companies small and large extend their brand to new destinations and services? This roundtable assembles key voices from our industry who are doing just that.



Arival Talk: How’s Your Rep?

Online reputation management is more important than ever. Yelp’s brand evangelist John Carroll delivers an essential and insightful guide to managing customer reviews and keeping your online rep tip top.

John Carroll, Senior Brand Evangelist, Yelp

Big Voice: Weathering the Storm – Staying Strong When Your Reputation is Under Attack

Hear how one of the our industry’s biggest brands picks up and moves forward amid one of the toughest PR challenges imaginable.

Dan Dipiazzo, Vice President, Marketing, SeaWorld

Theater Session V: Big Trends, Big Voices, Big Bookings

Arival’s closing Theater session is Bigger and Better featuring exclusive new traveler research and insights from some of our industry’s biggest and most innovative voices.

What Your Customers Want

Arival Insights presents new, exclusive research on what travelers want, how they choose and book, and how you can increase your slice of the pie.

Douglas Quinby, Co-founder and CEO, Arival

The Big Interview

The CEO of one the few global touring brands on transforming the iconic tour into an experience for the future.

Alex Payne, CEO, Big Bus Tours
Interview with Douglas Quinby, Co-founder & CEO, Arival

Big Voice: The Price of Entry

One of the busiest, donation-only museums had to make the tough call to implement a visitor fee. How they executed the change – and maintained a positive customer experience – was a work of art.

Haley Ward, Head of Tourism Sales & Marketing, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Arival Talk: Unforgettable: The Tours that Get Remembered

Be a Better Guide founder and tour guide whisperer Kelsey Tonner tells us how to connect with guests and create experiences that will stay with your customers forever.

Kelsey Tonner, Founder, Be A Better Guide

Arival Talk: Do You Know Your DMO?

Do you work with your local destination marketing organization (DMO)? Are you getting everything you should from them. This talk takes you through the essentials every tour, activity should know to get the most from their DMO.

Claire Carlin, Vice President, Partnerships & Alliances, Destination D.C.

Big Voice: Let’s Add a City – or Several!

How Culinary Adventure Co. expanded its food tours to eight major cities across Canada

Kevin Durkee, Owner & Big Cheese, Culinary Adventure Co.

Ask Me Anything – Booking Experiences

The world’s biggest accommodation site has set its sights on our sector. We discuss their plans with their new VP of Experiences.

Ram Papatla, Vice President, Global Experiences,
Interview with Douglas Quinby, Co-founder & CEO, Arival

Arival Partners

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