Skift Tour Operator Summit

CEO Rafat Ali announced that in 2020 Skift is adding three new summits to its roster. For the first time, they will host a summit in the tour operator industry, focusing on the multi-day tour sector. The Skift Tour Operator Summit is scheduled during the fall of 2020 in New York City.

doubling down on conferences in 2020 and adding 3 new vertical on

We are doubling down on conferences in 2020 and adding 3 new verticals. Family Travel, Tour Operator & Loyalty, all three sleepy sectors are needing a Skift reinvention

Rafat Ali, CEO of Skift



The website describes the Skift tour operator event as the ‘first Skift Tour Operator Summit that will explore how forward-looking tour operators are marketing to and attracting younger audiences, and taking advantage of millennials’ penchant to consult travel and tour operator agents for their comprehensive and experiential trip-planning needs. ‘

This one-day summit will be held in New York City during the fall of 2020, on the day after the Skift Family Travel Summit. Skift writes that the exact date will be announced soon.


The Skift Tour Operator Summit Will Focus On Multi-Day Tours.

Mr. Ali clarified to Tourpreneur via twitter that ‘this Summit is not on day tours & activities which is a very hot sector & Arival is doing a great job there. Ours is focused on multi-day tours sector, a very different sector.’

Skift believes ‘the vast and global packaged tour operator sector is one of the last travel sectors yet to be fully digitally transformed.

Much like the intense tech and investor activity happening in the day-tours-and-activities sector, the multi-day packaged tour sector is potentially on the cusp of seeing the same set of forces hit it and transform it from inside-out, and could become the right balance of high-touch-high-tech business that everyone aspires to.

From tour suppliers to destination management companies, destination marketing organizations, travel agents, to the new breed of online sellers and tech disruptors, to the changing consumer traveling and buying preferences, we will bring together all parts of this sprawling sector in an intense day of discussions and learnings.’

The Tourpreneur Take on the Skift Tour Operator Summit

Shane Whaley, host of Tourpreneur

Tourpreneur’s mission is to help flatten the learning curve for all tour operators so we are excited that Skift are hosting a one day summit for tourpreneurs, albeit aimed at multi-day tour operators.


This announcement is yet another validation that our industry is attracting the recognition it deserves. Before Arival started up three years ago there were very few conferences/events aimed at tour operators.

This has all changed in 2019, both ITB in Berlin and WTM in London hosted one or half day events focused on tour operators. Arival also launched their first events in Berlin and Bangkok.

Shane Whaley, Producer and Host, Tourpreneur Podcast



I must give credit to Skift for recognizing the great job that Arival performs and also for looking to create a different kind of event to Arival. Our industry is so broad, so fragmented that there is no need for cookie-cutter events.

Tour Operators are more hungry for learning than ever before. Our stats bear that out, the Tourpreneur Podcast now has listeners in 110 countries and has been listened to more than 20,000 times. This growth in just under one year of being in existence.



Many tour operators tell me that they struggle to attend multi-day events because of their tour business commitments, so we welcome any opportunity for those tour operators to attend a one-day event.



Tourpreneur will attend both Arival and Skift and we look forward to seeing many of our readers and listeners in attendance. We hope to bring you an interview with Skift on the podcast so we can share more about what they have planned for their first tour operator summit.

What is Skift?

Skift is the largest industry intelligence platform providing MEDIA, INSIGHTS and MARKETING to key sectors of travel.

Skift, Inc. is a media company founded in 2012 that provides news, research, and marketing services for the travel industry. It was founded by Rafat Ali and Jason Clampet.

Multi Day Tours
Interested in multi-day tours? Check out our interview with TourRadar – the OTA that specializes in multi-day tours.

Interested in learning more about multi-day tours? Check out our interview with TourRadar – the OTA that specializes in multi-day tours. Available here.

Shane Whaley is the Host and Producer of the Tourpreneur Podcast