Tours and Activities Operators – your industry is growing in size and popularity with travellers in 2018!
The Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) recently released a report outlining significant growth within the Adventure Tourism industry for 2018. The ATTA distributed an Adventure Travel Trends Snapshot Survey to several Adventure Tourism operators.
More than 70% of Operators who responded, reported recent growth within their operations. Likewise, 40% of respondents reported growth as a result of an increase in travellers (5).
Tripadvisor also reported a rise in popularity aquatic adventure sports. Activities such as snorkeling and kayaking/canoeing are up (+64%) and (+49%) respectively, within this year’s fastest growing tourism categories.
The question is – why?
Travel websites such as Intrepid and TripAdvisor are reporting Adventure Tourism amongst the top trends for 2018. Intrepid, for example, listed “More challenges than Cocktails” as a top adventure travel trend for 2019 (23). Rather than a swim-up bar, working professionals are opting for challenges and adventure, to unwind. Intrepid reports that individuals looking to recharge are consistently opting for adventure tourism activities such as such as hiking and kayaking, set in beautiful, natural areas, for relaxation rather than sitting poolside.
While the Adventure Tourism industry is growing, so are new key sources of Adventure Tourists. Asian tourists in particular, are now more likely to choose adventure tourism options. The China Outdoor Association, for example, reported that 60 million Chinese tourists are participating in adventure sports such horseback riding, or mountaineering (6).
One major drive for increasing numbers of Asian tourists looking for adventure is social media. The ATTA study found that outbound “Chinese adventure tourists are young and wealthy… interested in visiting exotic destinations that deliver exceptional photographic memories for them to share on social media” (8). This results in Asian tourist flocking to areas with natural landscapes in order to capture beautiful, exciting moments to share with friends and family back home.
PR Newswire has reported that adventure tourism has been made popular because of social media. . . It’s no wonder that the Adventure Tourism industry has been growing in tandem with social media. Guests want to show off their once in a lifetime experience
Tour operators need to be providing both experience, and the means of showing off the experience. After all, travellers are demanding the ability to show off their adventures to their friends and family, so make sure your tour photo/video program is professional, easy and showcases the best of your brand’s personality.