Dive into our exclusive interview with Douglas Quinby, CEO of ARIVAL, as he unveils compelling insights on the future of travel, sustainability, AI’s role in the industry, and much more. A must-read for all travel enthusiasts and industry professionals!
In a comprehensive interview with TravelDailyNews Asia-Pacific at the ARIVAL | Activate Bangkok event, Douglas Quinby, Co-Founder and CEO of ARIVAL, shared key insights into the travel industry’s future and the role the event is playing in it.
The mission for ARIVAL, according to Quinby, is to create a platform for operators of day tours, activities, attractions, events, and experiences. The goal is to bring the industry together, fostering a space to understand the new technologies, distribution changes, and evolving consumer preferences. The three-day event is especially significant in 2023, after the travel industry was severely impacted by the pandemic. Quinby anticipates an extraordinary recovery in Asia over the next 18 months, and the event is geared towards reigniting and preparing the industry for this resurgence.
Choice of Bangkok
Asked about the choice of Bangkok for the event, Quinby cited its status as one of the world’s great cities and its appeal to travelers, ranging from its people to its fantastic tour operators and its celebrated Thai omelettes.
Impact of Sustainability and AI
Quinby addressed two vital areas of concern: sustainability and AI. He affirmed the travel industry’s crucial role in driving sustainability initiatives. He mentioned that ARIVAL is seeing an increasing number of operators reducing single-use plastics, sourcing from local communities, and working towards ensuring that a significant amount of revenue from tours and activities benefits the local communities.
Quinby also noted the rising trend of travelers seeking connections with local cultures and experiences, leading to an increasing focus on secondary destinations. This trend presents an opportunity for the travel industry to elevate these lesser-known locations and create new revenue-generating opportunities.
Large tour and activity platforms, such as Amusement, are also stepping into sustainability roles, requiring adherence to sustainability standards for their operators. ARIVAL is doing its part by working to keep its events as sustainable as possible.
Quinby is equally enthusiastic about AI’s potential impact on the travel industry. While it has been a topic of discussion for years, tools like ChatGPT have made AI more accessible, generating excitement about its potential applications. He pointed out that AI is already being utilized by online travel agencies and other platforms for recommendation engines, but there is an opportunity to use it more effectively to serve up content that is relevant for travelers, enhancing the search and discovery process.
Focus for the Next Event
When asked about the next ARIVAL event in Orlando, Quinby said the focus would be on the advancement of technology, booking systems, connectivity, future trends, experience design, consumer trends, sustainability, inclusivity, and accessibility in tours. AI will undoubtedly be a key topic of discussion. The aim is to address the diverse needs of the industry, with approximately 50 hot topics planned for Orlando.
In summary, Douglas Quinby’s interview highlighted ARIVAL’s commitment to fostering a sense of community among travel operators and preparing them for the significant recovery anticipated in the post-pandemic world. With a focus on technology, sustainability, and consumer-centric approaches, ARIVAL is certainly positioned to play a critical role in reshaping the future of the travel industry.
Darin is monitoring the Asia-Pacific travel & hospitality market and reports the most important news of the region. Her role includes interviewing C-level executives as well as running the content campaigns of companies and NTOs
She holds a MAMBM from the University of Westminster in UK and a photography certificate from the Kensington and Chelsea College in UK.