Today’s hot industry topic online and off is adventure travel. Having owned an adventure travel company and now owning a marketing company who has promoted adventure travel companies for the past seven years, I find it fascinating that a turn of events has moved people toward this topic.
It appears more people are buying less ‘stuff’ and spending their money on experiences. Secondarily, with the popularity of Instagram, profiling the coolest places ever – people are scratching their heads and asking, how do I go there?
Insert – Adventure Travel
Adventure travel has a number of meanings, both implicit and explicit. According to Google, Adventure Travel is defined as “a type of tourism involving travel to remote or exotic locations in order to take part in physically challenging outdoor activities.”
Wikipedia then softens that definition by stating that Adventure Travel is a type of niche tourism – wherein travelers perceive and possibly experience, risk, specialized skills and physical exertion.
Types of Adventure Travel
- Backpacking or Hiking
- Rock Climbing
- Mountain Biking
- Bungee Jumping
- Bicycle Touring
- Jungle Tours
- White Water Rafting
- Scuba Diving
There are soft adventures and hard adventures when it comes to Adventure Travel – they both involve travel and an experience that is cool and interesting. Each option is typically very photogenic, require one to try something different and unique, and provide the experiencer with a memory of a lifetime.
Soft Adventure Tourism
The term tourism and travel basically take on the same meaning and are exchanged frequently. Examples of Soft Adventure Travel or Adventure Tourism would include:
- Scenic Drives
- Jeep tours
- Visiting a Dude Ranch
- Wine Tours
- Food Tours
- Spiritual Tours
- Whale Watching
- Segue Driving
- Trolley Tours
- Helicopter Tours
- Horseback riding
- Restaurant Tours
- Vineyard Tours
Soft tours tend to be less strenuous. This doesn’t mean soft travel is just for those who don’t want a physical challenge, it is just a slower pace and one can enjoy the tour despite their age or health. Soft tours and luxury tours often go hand-in-hand. Companies like Trafalgar have been ramping up their soft tours by displaying more experiential trips on their front page with opportunities for people to have Deeper, Richer, Experiences.
What’s New In Adventure Travel?
Travel Industry Reports are also all a buzz over the increase in adventure travel that will be occurring in 2017. Virtuoso stated that the #2 trend is active and adventure travel – which includes the Hard Adventure Travel with activities like swimming with whales, diving with sharks or hiking the Swiss Alps.
Here are some other fascinating travel statistics – according to Trekksoft – Millennials are beating out Baby Boomers when it comes to travel, as they have more disposable income. Millennials also are good at sniffing out unique trends. The downside, which any tour operator could see as an upside, is that Millenials are often very particular. If you operate a tour company, ask yourself – How good is the coffee you are serving? Are you using a Chemex with locally roasted beans? Do you know where the local breweries are or where one can buy some craft beer? What kind of food are you serving? Is the presentation of the food photo worthy? Is your company authentic or commercial and a bit hokey? Stick with authentic. Rethink your services and offerings. Try to create a very customized and tailored experience.
A second underlying trend is that 80% of travel decisions are made by women. Women are traveling solo a lot more than in previous years. (Up from 72% in 2014) If you own or operate a travel or tour company, this is something to keep in mind. Women want to adventure and they are willing to do this on their own. Think of this trend when creating your marketing materials and the images you are displaying to convey the branding behind your company.
According to a Trekksoft report, “To escape from run-of-the-mill and homogenized experiences, travelers are seeking out more adventurous and experiential travel. Olapic suggests that travelers are viewing (on average) 27 different sites before booking a trip, with one of the biggest drivers behind this the thirst for visual content that shows authentic travel.”
So remember, change up your trips to be a bit more unique and give them a Unique Selling Proposition or USP that is memorable
Traveling With the Whole Family
Adventure Travel doesn’t have to mean being a triathlon runner on vacation. Whole families are experiencing adventure travel. The age limits for zipline tours or even white water rafting are actually quite low. Safety gear and equipment are in place, and families are making memories together all around the world.
Grown children and families are also enjoying adventuring together. Group rates with discounts are often expected, so if you operate your own tour – create a family plan. Like the phone company, the more you add, the cheaper the package becomes –
There are many people of all ages, physical capacity and with unique interests taking a new look at adventure travel. Tell us about your unique adventure travel company and what makes it stand out from the rest!