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If adventure and experiential travel are not already part of your sales repertoire, now is as good a time as ever to start selling this niche. According to a recent survey, 95 percent of Virtuoso advisors reported the growth of active, adventure and specialty travel sales within the past year.
So, where are these intrepid nomads heading?
With a targeted demographic of mostly millennials (ages 18 to 29), Geckos Adventures has found success in Asia — Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, in particular — largely due to affordability; a strong sense of culture and history; and inexpensive eats. Additionally, with lures such as desert camping and traversing the High Atlas Mountains, Morocco has shown a 59 percent year-over-year growth for the operator.
Adventurous travelers certainly aren’t afraid of low temperatures, either. According to Barbara Banks, director of marketing and new trip development for Wilderness Travel, a big trend is “Arctic tourism,” which includes hiking in the chilly terrains of Norway and Greenland.
Austin Adventures’ Alaska trips have performed well in 2016 and are on pace to do even better in the coming year, says Dan Austin, president of the company. But Austin Adventures’ top seller is its national park offerings, including customized luxury trips.
The year’s biggest successes for G Adventures were found abroad: Peru ranks No. 1 for G Adventures’ most-booked destinations, followed by Thailand, Ecuador, Costa Rica, India and Vietnam. As for 2017, South Africa, New Zealand, China, Israel and Nepal are seeing the greatest overall number of American bookings so far.
“Over the years, we’ve consistently seen that the adventure traveler is among the heartiest and most resilient and proactive of travelers — booking or shifting plans as needed but committing to travel to new and diverse destinations,” said Rachel Wasser, global product manager for G Adventures. “They barely skip a beat.”