Adventure travel has evolved into its own travel niche encompassing physical activity, a connection to nature and immersive cultural experiences. Adventure travelers demand much more than exposure to nature, they want to experience something new and out of the ordinary.
The demand for adventure vacations has risen due to increased activity levels of vacationers sharing worthy adventures across social media. Adventure travel options by innovative operators are becoming popular due to the growing ability to customise everything from trips to gear.
Today’s adventure travelers prefer to cash in on experiences instead of products, signifying a major shift in the way people are spending their disposable income. Swapping an ordinary beach vacation to truly experience nature seems so appealing to many.
Many adult travelers want to experience their vacation their way and not the way other people want to do it and they are looking for something more interesting than the traditional packaged holidays.
The search for adventure travel options is being fueled by Gen Z, vacationers aged 22 and below who enjoy being active while scoping out a new spot. Adventurous social shares on an Instagram post can actually drive people to take a trip as social validation is just as influential as considerations like weather when travelers are deciding where to visit.
The beachside vacation or regular sight-seeing holidays are losing market to adventurous activities such as hiking, rock or mountain climbing, caving, surfing, deep-sea diving and skydiving that help contribute to a happier, healthier lifestyle that includes sleep, diet and exercise.
Catering for the adventure curious
Adventure activities such as horseback riding, kayaking and expedition cruising are becoming more popular. Adventure travelers often seek out stays at luxury resorts with customised amenities and service, in addition to the inclusion of a day or two immersed in soft-adventure activities.
Exotic destination boom
Resort and hotel management teams are seeing an increasing interest in more exotic and offbeat destinations. Today’s adventure traveler is a bit more adventurous and wants to get off the beaten track, stretch the limits and go to destinations they wouldn’t have before.
Gearing up for action
Adventure travel gear has reached an all-time high in terms of quality, function and even fashion as brands are making more attractive clothing and working with a team of athletes who provide product experiences for improvement.
Working with niche groups
Expect to see more niche trips and tour operators developing their products based on feedback from niche groups. It’s now far easier to connect with lifestyle and passion points when traveling anywhere due to communication and technology.
Social media buzz
Social media now influences where people want to travel many customers are picking destinations based on what they see shared on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. While some clients may be choosing to disconnect during their trips, others are providing a live stream of their activities.
As travelers experience the culture and nature of destinations through adventure travel, the population at large will become more aware of the need to travel responsibly. Resort and hotel management are working along with tour operators towards protecting and sustaining the environments they visit, as well as cooperate with local communities and make sure they are also benefiting from the tourism dollars.