What is adventure travel? In many minds it conjures up images of speed and adrenaline, like racing down a mountain on a bike, white water rafting through class 5 rapids or taking the plunge bungee jumping in New Zealand. To others a big adventure might be a moderate hike to a waterfall or climbing the Sydney Harbor Bridge.
So what is adventure travel? The Answer: the definition is different depending on who you are talking to. An adventurous activity to one person may be difficult and thrilling, yet that same activity may moderate to someone else.
How the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) defines adventure travel is spot on:
"A mix of culture, nature and activity from serene to extreme."
In other words, "Adventure at your own pace."
Adventure travel is a growing industry, and today the market is valued at over $263 billion. A big number! In fact, 4 out of 10 travelers engage in some form of adventure on their vacation, from wildlife viewing, walking/hiking, biking, rafting, kayaking, fishing to much more.
Activities, however, are not necessarily dangerous or risky. In fact, most are not and are appropriately defined as "soft adventures". Soft adventures are active but less strenuous and lower risk than what one normally might think.
Culinary and wine tours, snorkeling, bike tours where you explore the countryside and stay in local hotels along the route or even on a river cruise, kayaking or day hikes from a small ship cruise - all great examples.
More and more people want experiences that take them away from typical tourist spots, that connect them with locals, get them closer to nature and wildlife, allowing them to unplug. At the same time standard comforts are expected.
Companies are responding. They are offering lots of options. River cruises are becoming more active by offering biking, hiking and family options. Culinary and wine tours are being integrated into cruises and land packages. Small ship cruises take you close to wildlife and nature. Needless to say - lots of creative trips are out there for you!
Check out this short video to get an idea on what is available out there for you.
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Laurie Marschall - Owner and Founder