Numerous opportunities in adventure tourism for SME tour operators

Adventure tourism is one of the biggest and fastest-growing niche tourism markets in the world today, and there are many sub-niches such as Nature/Eco-Tourism and SAVE tourism (Scientific, Academic, Volunteering and Educational). The large European markets of Germany, the UK, France and the Netherlands are important source markets for adventure travellers. To compete effectively in this market, local operators must understand what their buyers need. 

Managing risk and establishing standards of crucial considerations

The adventure sector is continuously evolving and ensuring the safety of adventure travellers is of paramount importance. Complying with international or local adventure tourism standardisation is recommended, and clarity about the adventure and level of skill or experience required is essential, as no two adventure experiences are the same.

Major consumer groups keen adventurers

Wealthy Baby Boomers (aged 55+), discerning Generation Y (aged 25-40) and FITs (Fully Independent Traveller) are the top markets to target. They indulge in a vast array of adventures that are a predominantly soft adventure, such as hiking, canoeing cycling, cultural tourism, culinary activities and wildlife safaris. Adventurers travelling in small groups or tailor-made packages arranged by specialist operators represent a significant segment within the sector, and they are looking for authentic, immersive experiences with local communities. 

Boosting online presence to reach the market

Having a strong presence online is key to achieving the European markets, as those seeking adventure trips will use a variety of platforms to research, plan and book their flights. Not only is a professional website an essential requirement, but many European traveller groups also rely heavily on social media to inform decisions and share experiences. OTA (Online Travel Agencies) is the fastest-growing sales channels for adventure tourism experiences, and they present an excellent opportunity for local operators. Easy to sign up to, they provide a quick route to market, so that tour operators can meet the required standards set by the OTA.

Top adventure destinations are in remote places

There is strong competition amongst developing countries to attract European adventurers who seek places to visit that have an excellent adventure reputation, are accessible and affordable. Top destinations are India, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Peru and Zambia. However, many other destinations have been serving the adventure traveller for many years, and notable examples include Nepal, Uzbekistan, Ecuador, Zimbabwe and Egypt.   

The Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI) is launching its new study, Entering the European market for adventure tourism at ITB Berlin, in a presentation at the Central Stage of hall 4.1B at 13:00-13:45 the 6th of March 2020.

This news article has been written for CBI by Acorn Tourism Consulting Limited.

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