Updated July 2023 – The pent-up demand for travel combined with a population that has been sedentary for far too long is leading to a boom in the adventure tourism sector. Adventure tourism has been one of the top niche sectors of the travel industry in 2022, and now is the time for your tour and activity company to prepare.

What is adventure tourism?

Adventure tourism is a niche sector of the travel industry that focuses on experiences that allow people to enjoy a thrilling activity. The goal of any adventure tourism experience is to push an individual to try something that they would not otherwise do and to participate in an activity that they might not have access to in their local area. Adventure tourism is an immersive experience, one that allows people to connect to the destination they are visiting in a physical way.

Here’s a list of some of the most popular adventure tourism activities:

  • ziplining
  • river rafting
  • kayaking
  • rock climbing
  • bungee jumping
  • hiking
  • mountain biking
  • skiing
  • snowboarding
  • sky diving

With the extensive list of activities, many adventurous travelers would even choose to travel around the world in search of a thrill. Companies like Glacier Raft Company in British Columbia, Canada, Rio Mountain Sports in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, and  Vista Los Suenos Adventure Park in Costa Rica are great examples of tour companies that have seen thrill-seekers from around the world travel just to try their activities.

Adventure tourism is becoming increasingly popular in 2023

The travel industry has been slowly but surely rebounding since the COVID-19 pandemic stopped life — and adventure — in its tracks. As more countries continue to ease COVID-19 restrictions, tour operators around the globe have been seeing an increase in interest, demand, and bookings. The adventure tourism sector, however, are seeing more significant growth than other niche markets within the tourism industry. This is partly because many governments shut down sports and other organized activities during the pandemic lockdowns. As a result, this left many individuals feeling frustrated, socially isolated, and disconnected from nature. Many travelers are ready to live life to the fullest once again.

Outdoor Adventure Tourism

Arival’s Today’s Tour Taker September 2021 report shows that between 2019 and 2021, there was an increase in the number of travelers embarking on active adventure tours. The report shows a massive jump within the adventure tourism sector from only 8% in 2019 to a high of 18% in 2021. They state that although the number of travelers and trips remain below 2019 levels, those that are traveling are doing a lot more adventure tours on their trips.

According to an article published on Yahoo, an Allied Market Research report showed $112 billion in adventure tourism revenue in 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the research analysis company predicts that this sector could generate as much as $1,169 billion by 2028.

All these projections provide a promising insight for the future of adventure tourism businesses as the sector slowly recovers to pre-pandemic levels.

Travelers are craving outdoor adventure experiences

In particular, experts predict that outdoor adventure travel opportunities will be in high demand among travelers within the next coming years. For starters, many people who are slowly beginning to travel again are setting their sights on outdoor activities. This is due to the lower risk of COVID-19 transmission in outdoor settings. In addition, the realities of the pandemic have forced people to focus on their priorities again. Many have found that being outdoors is not only good for their physical health but their emotional health as well.

How your tour company can make the most out of the adventure tourism growth

Now that you know adventure tourism growth is on the horizon, it’s time to start preparing your tour and activity company so that you can make the most of this trend. Here are a few ways to get started:

  • Create experiences geared toward couples. According to Allied Market Research, couples represented two-fifths of the adventure traveler market in 2020.
  • Design enticing and convenient itineraries. Travel experts note that adventure travelers are searching for cohesive itineraries and inviting packages. Many adventure travelers even suggest that they’re willing to pay more in order to get the full experience.
  • Provide safety training to ensure your customers feel safe and secure while participating in the activity. For example, businesses like Hangfire Training and Wildscape Adventures provide safety and survival training for adventurous travelers. These pieces of training educate people about safety and survival in abnormal situations such as in the snow or in the mountains.
  • Use an activities booking software to save time and get more bookings. For instance, Rezdy is a tour and activity software solution designed specifically for tour businesses.

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Develop a presence where your customers are

According to Arival’s Today’s Tour Taker September 2021 report, research and bookings for tours have shifted dramatically to online channels since 2019. The report states that they’ve seen a jump on research and bookings made through online platforms such as:

    • social media – 25% in 2021 compared to 9% in 2019
    • operator websites – 31% in 2021 compared to 23% in 2019
    • OTAs (Online Travel Agents) – 35% in 2021 compared to 22% in 2019

It’s important to keep in mind that your adventurous customers are mostly online while they are on the go. Being able to accept last-minute mobile bookings via your website or social media is critical. It’s important to partner with an online booking system that can help you automate your booking processes and allow you to connect with the most powerful OTAs.

Best adventure tourism destinations

Nearly any destination can find a way to be adventurous, but many travelers are heading to the far corners of the world to try something new. These are a few of the best adventure tourism destinations, according to thebrokebackpacker.com:

  • Costa Rica
  • New Zealand
  • USA
  • Argentina
  • Canada

Regardless of your location, adventure tourism is becoming increasingly popular in demand. Whether you’ve always specialized in adventurous experiences or are hoping to expand within the industry, the right time to be in the adventure tourism business is now.

With an activities booking software, you can increase your bookings and streamline your administrative tasks. This will allow you to focus on creating wild, thrilling, and memorable experiences for your guests. You can sign up for a FREE 21-day trial, or request a demo with our friendly team today.

If you enjoyed this article then follow the Rezdy blog. There are a lot of marketing tools and resources designed with businesses like yours in mind.

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