The Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) recently released research on today’s adventure traveller in The Adventure Tourism Market Study 2013, focusing on Europe, North America, and South America, whose regions account for the majority (69%) of global departures. The main takeaway –adventure tourism is on the rise. With the growth of adventure tourism worldwide, adventure travellers are looking for their new adventure. You need to make sure your company is in on the action. We’ve summed up five valuable points from this report and what they mean for your tourism business:
1) The adventure travel industry is worth $263 BILLION
Adventure is clearly a growing, lucrative market segment. UNWTO reports a record-setting 1-billion international departures occurred in 2012. With this increase in worldwide travel comes an increase in adventure travel. In order to make use of this record-setting number, your company should consider offering activities that fill at least two of ATTA’s adventure travel definition (see inset image).
Remember, adventure is not only for thrill-seeking shark divers and base-jumpers but refers mostly to travellers who choose to spend two weeks cycling around Italy or on a safari in Namibia. In fact, the majority of adventure travellers are seeking adventure by day and luxury by night, and they are willing to pay a premium for authentic, outstanding experiences. Destinations and tour operators should curate unique experiences to attract this segment.
2) 45% of adventure travellers plan on using a tour operator on their next trip
Adventure travellers are more likely to use professional services, such as guides and tour operators, compared to non-adventure travellers. This is a major bonus for tourism businesses. You may think that all adventure tourists prefer to travel on a whim, but this new study shows that almost half desire expert guidance. And expert guidance means planning, management, and operations are needed. In other words, JOBS! So, keep planning and marketing those locally-guided adventure trips because they are not only needed for your local economy but also wanted by many adventure tourists.
3) 69% of adventure travellers plan their trips online
Surprise! The internet is the major source of planning information for the adventure traveller. The report shows that the vast majority (69%) of these tourists are planning their trips online. In fact, the “digital elite” (travellers who use at least two digital devices, i.e., a smartphone and tablet, to plan and purchase travel services) have increased by 600% – from 5% in 2011 to 33% in 2013! Many adventure travellers belong to the “digital elite,” and to capture their attention, destinations and tour operators need to have robust mobile sites or apps, as well as, engaging content. If you don’t, these potential customers will just go elsewhere. Your competition is always just one-click away.
4) 78% of adventure travellers are now on Facebook
Facebook is no longer just for young people. The report confirms that 78% of adventure travellers, whose average age is 36, use Facebook. The study also shows that 39% of adventure travellers admit to “travel promotion” and bragging on social media when they return. Additionally, they find travel inspiration from the photos and posts of their online connections. So, start encouraging your current and past clients to ‘like’ your Facebook page, ‘check in’ when they are at your destination, and ‘tag’ you in their trip photos. This will help your destination brand gain broader exposure through social networks.
5) National Geographic is the top read for adventure travellers
The legendary National Geographic continues to be the magazine read most by adventure travellers. At Solimar International, we partner with National Geographic to create geotourism for destinations. If you read above, you know that the majority of adventure travellers plan trips online and that the digital elite have increased tremendously. Taking all of this into account, tourism businesses need online content that is eye-catching and engaging, such as interactive maps that explore the destination. National Geographic Geotourism maps offer tourists this useful tool. To learn more about how our National Geographic Map program can help your tourism business and destinations, click here.
This post is from our friends at Solimar international.