What Virtuoso Travel Agents and Suppliers Think About Adventure Travel

A new Virtuoso survey details the latest trends in adventure travel (spoiler: everyone's doing it) By: Michelle Juergen
Patagonia ranks as the third hottest adventure-travel destination. // © 2016 iStock
Patagonia ranks as the third hottest adventure-travel destination. // © 2016 iStock

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Interested in learning more about Virtuoso’s surveys? Here’s data on top destinations for 2016.

The Details

Adventure travel is more popular than ever, according to a recent Virtuoso survey. A whopping 95 percent of Virtuoso travel specialists report that active, adventure and specialty travel sales have risen within the past 12 months among their clients. As if that weren’t enough, 95 percent believe demand for this style of travel will increase in the next two to three years. According to respondents, factors drawing clients to adventure travel include the opportunity to commune with nature; check experiences off a bucket list; spend quality time together on family and multigenerational trips; and for today’s older travelers, to be more active due to improved longevity and health. Here are some of the most popular destinations, activities and trends in the adventure travel segment, according to Virtuoso advisors and preferred partners.

The hottest adventure destinations are:
1. Iceland

2. The Galapagos/Ecuador 

3. Costa Rica and Chile/Patagonia

4. New Zealand

5. Peru

The top activities that active and specialty travelers prefer include:
1. Hiking/trekking

2. Biking

3. Kayaking 

4. Small-ship expedition cruising

5. Food and wine tours

Proving that a love for adventure spans generations, the survey showed that all ages enjoy experiential travel:
- 41% of adventure travelers are 50 to 65 years old 

- 24% are between 35 and 50 years old

- 21% are 65 years old and over

- 14% are under 35 years old