Travel Research From ATTA and Outside Magazine

Travel Research From ATTA and Outside Magazine

What North Americans travelers want from their adventure trips

By: Kenneth Shapiro
<p>Here are the key elements of a great adventure trip, as defined by a new report. // © 2017 ATTA</p><p>Feature image (above): Australia is a top...

Here are the key elements of a great adventure trip, as defined by a new report. // © 2017 ATTA

Feature image (above): Australia is a top destination for adventure travelers. // © 2017 Getty Images

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Adventure Travel Trade Association

This fall, the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), in association with East Carolina University and Outside magazine, released a report titled “North American Adventure Travelers: Seeking Personal Growth, New Destinations and Immersive Culture.”

The survey of 8,000 Outside subscribers provided fresh perspectives on North American travelers, many of which are helpful for travel advisors planning the ideal adventure trip for clients. 

Here are a few key findings from the report. 

Meaning Beats Risk
According to the report, the most important components of an adventure experience are being in a natural environment; learning; making meaningful human experiences; and experiencing a new culture. Risk and physical danger, although still components of adventure, seem to take a back seat to culture and learning.

Down Under Is Way Up
The top three destinations that respondents plan to visit in the future are New Zealand, Australia and South America. This is in contrast to a 2007 study that showed North America and Western Europe as the top picks. These days, travelers seem to be more open to far-flung places. 

Personal Benefits
Participants were asked, “What are the most important personal benefits you gain from adventure travel?” The top 10 answers, in order, were: transformation; an expanded worldview; nature and discovery; learning; mental health and escape; fun and thrill; connection; physical health; meaningful stories; and unique experiences. Vacations that incorporate these goals are likely to be a hit with clients.

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