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How do you explain “adventure travel” to your clients? Or better yet, how do you know when your clients are actually looking for an “adventurous” trip?
Guided by 2005 research from the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), the industry was largely defining the niche as travel involving physical activity, culture and nature. But a new study by ATTA and researchers from East Carolina University, in conjunction with Outside magazine, reveals an evolving adventure traveler who is most interested in achieving transformation via personal growth and challenge, accomplishment, gratitude and mindfulness. Other top motivations for adventure travel include, in order, expanding one’s worldview, learning new skills and gaining knowledge, discovering nature and caring for mental health.
Travelers want transformation, but they don’t want agents to sell them that, says Casey Hanisko, ATTA’s vice president of marketing and communications.
“Until the transformation happens during the trip, they don’t know that they appreciate what has made them grow and change,” she said. “When selling adventure travel, I would advise agents to consider experiences that give their clients a new perspective on the world and that challenge them mentally or physically.”
Another major finding involves risk: In past research, adventure travelers were seeking “risk and competence.” Risk was not a significant motivator for those surveyed, which is somewhat reflected by the top adventure activities identified by the study: hiking, backpacking, trekking, kayaking and rafting.
The survey also finds that adventurers are most interested in visiting (in order): New Zealand, Australia, South America, the South Pacific, Western Europe, Central America and Central Europe.
To learn more, agents can attend ATTA’s next AdventureElevate in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, from April 12-13. The event will include a session called “Bottom Line Collaboration: The Future of Sales With Travel Advisors” and a new Destination Marketplace featuring meetings between buyers and locations such as Australia, the Alps and Norway.