What is Adventure Travel Tourism?
Let’s get down to the basic definition of this interesting travel genre sweeping the social media feeds and minds of travelers near and far. Adventure travel tourism is more than an average stereotypical vacation. It is as it sounds, an adventure. Due to the fact that each individual holds their own definition of adventure it has been broadly defined as, when travelling, two of these three elements are included: physical activity, interaction with nature and cultural learning. For example, if you take a trip to Costa Rica and take a hike up to a waterfall lookout and proceed to hang-glide over the jungle trees, that is adventure tourism. If you visit Costa Rica and stay at an all-inclusive resort where you remain poolside sipping tropical drinks all day, that is not adventure tourism.
Those were just examples, but adventure tourism does not have to be international. It can be domestic and the exact definition is whatever you make it! If you have experienced travel adventure tourism or would like to in the future, read on and learn more about what it is and how to accomplish your own adventure!
Is it Popular?
Don’t people go on vacation to relax and take a break from the rigors of daily life? For many, an adventure is a way to relax. The market for adventure tourism is on a steady rise in North America, Latin America and Europe. Not every adventure seeker has the same definition of adventure either. For some it is a safari and camping with local populations in Africa and for others it could be a cooking class making local foods while also learning the language of where they are visiting.
The market for adventure tourism is impacting other markets from retail to travel to local markets that provide “adventurous experiences.” With the increased popularity comes an increase in companies that sell travel accessories and gear used by adventurers. Airfares to formerly less extensively traveled locations are in high demand as well.
Who are the Adventure Tourists?
There are more than you would guess and fit into a wide range of ages and identities! The majority of adventure travelers are between 35-47 years old and are either single or married. Fewer adventure travelers tend to be divorced or separated. Most adventurers have a post-secondary education. The role of gender is nearly equal between male adventurers and female adventurers.
Where are the travelers coming from? Amongst North America, Latin America and Europe, Latin America has the most soft and hard adventure travelers, constituting a bit over one third of all travel. Second place goes to European travelers; twenty-five percent of them embark on travel adventure being soft or hard adventure tourism. Third place is the North American market, which is still high compared to a decade ago with twenty percent of travel now being deemed some genre of adventure.
International Versus Domestic
There are different levels of adventure tourism, to make the concepts easier. Soft adventure tourism could be a small hike or trying local food. Hard adventure tourism which could be backpacking in India. The majority of soft adventurers participating do so domestically and just over fifty percent of them are passport holders. In contrast, the majority of hard adventurers do so internationally and three fourths of them are passport holders.
Length and Price of the Average Adventure Travel Tourism
There is a slight variation for both length of travel and price depending on the type of adventure. There are hard, soft and average adventure travelers. For the hard adventure travel tourist, the average length of stay is 7 days with an average price of: $462 USD. The soft adventure traveler stays an average of 8 days and spends: $822 USD. Finally, the average mass traveler stays for an average of 7.5 days and spends $591 USD.
Is it Cultural?
Is adventure travel tourism a product of the cultural generation that spans continents telling people that there are no limits or boundaries? The same generation that dreams big and also has the resources to accomplish their dreams. Travel is easier than it has even been. The linked global community makes international travel seem more local than ever. There is a certain air of accessibility that exists currently more than ever before. Adventure travel tourism is equally as important to Americans as to Europeans and Latin Americans. It would appear that it is indeed a global cultural trend of the generation of seekers and wanderers.
Is Adventure Travel Tourism for Me?
Twenty-six percent of all the traveling population is hooked on it. With an industry estimated at $89 Billion USD, with no slow-down in sight, there is a strong chance it is for you. With different levels and definitions of how to accomplish an adventure travel tourism experience, you can easily find a way to make your experience unique and special!
Adventure travel tourism is a way to have more than a vacation. It is an experience that can shape who you are as a person and how you see the world. Some adventures that are more physical in nature can work to build confidence and really impact a person for the better.
There are more and more avenues to travel as a local adventurer. There is an industry developing to rent homes and apartments instead of hotels. This gives an average trip the boost of feeling as if you live there with a kitchen to cook in and local neighbors to speak to.
Regardless of what adventure travel tourism means to you, the point is to travel and to think outside of box. There is no right answer or exact guideline. An open mind and drive to try something out of the ordinary is key to having an adventure you will remember for the rest of our life.
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For some ideas for your next adventure travel vacation, check out National Geographic Expeditions and Back Roads.