Adventure travel could be considered a niche form of tourism, that includes some form of real or perceived risk. It has grown in recent decades as tourists seek the road less traveled. Adventure travel frequently includes physical activity and connection with nature. Adventure tourists like to step outside of their comfort zone for an experience that is better than a traditional vacation. This can include things like bungee jumping, canoeing, scuba diving, zip-lining, hiking, and exploring. The ability to use GPS, social networking and photography have increased a desire for a different type of travel. Niche traveling websites have also contributed to a growth in adventure tourism.
Growth of Adventure Tourism
Adventure tourism has a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 45.99% by 2020, thanks in part to low-cost airlines. According to the Global Adventure Tourism Market 2016-2020 report, low-cost airlines will be a key trend for market growth, with 56.51% tourists traveling by flights, which is up from 54% in 2014. There is also an increased desire for adventure over tradition tourism. Adventure tourism generated $7.88 trillion in 2015, and is looking like it will continue to grow.
With a CAGR of 46% by 2020, most of this can be attributed to global tourists. Iceland, Spain, Germany, and France are the preferred destinations for international tourists. Adventure sports are growing in these countries which is causing the growth to continue. Albania and Serbia are emerging destinations. Armenia, Latvia, Romania, and Hungary will see growth in the European adventure tourism market.
Companies to Watch
These companies are key players in the global tourism market: Wilderness Travels, Mantis Extreme, Kensington Tours, Intrepid Travels, Butterfield & Robinson, Classic Journeys, Geographic Expeditions, Mountain Travel Sobek, G Adventures, The Baker Travel Company, Explore Worldwide, and Austin Adventures.
Real or perceived risk is what adventure travelers are looking for. There is an increase in the desire to seek adventure rather than drinks on the beach. Adventure tourism has grown in the past few decades and is expected to continue to rise. Physical activity and stepping out of your comfort zone could be huge factors in your next vacation. Why not do some research and see what is out there for a once in a lifetime adventure?