There is expected to be 70% increase in participation in adventure travel over the next 3 years, while demand for ethical and environmentally sensitive travel will quadruple in the same period, according to a study – Passport to Adventure, Industry Trend Report 2010* – commissioned by seven of TUI’s adventure-oriented travel companies.
Here are just a few selected highlights from the consumer trends report:
How did the credit crunch affect the market?
Adventure Travel was affected by the global economic slowdown with a reduction in consumer spending over the last 18 months. This is a function of the relatively high cost of this type of holiday and the aspirational nature of many of the journeys.
In 2009, passenger numbers and revenues were down on the previous year across the market.
The nature of adventure travel, however, attracts committed enthusiasts who are now coming back for more, as evidenced by much stronger early bookings for 2010 departures. The recessionary environment has created demand for:
Value driven destinations
• Non Eurozone destinations, Turkey (+40% year on year), Poland and Slovakia
• Mid haul growth in Egypt, Jordan, and Morocco (+80% year on year)
• Longhaul growth in Cambodia, Nepal, India (+40% year on year) and Kenya
More content and memorable experiences from holidays
• From our research 80% of activity holiday consumers cite their holiday as memorable (vs only 54% average for all holiday types) Returning back to the list of ‘must dos’
• Clients who delayed their ‘once in a lifetime’ list of iconic destinations are now back in earnest; in demand destinations include Kilimanjaro, The Inca Trail, Everest Base Camp, India’s Golden Triangle, and Cambodia’s Angkor Wat.
A Growth Sector
The YouGov survey shows a predicted 70% increase in participation in adventure travel over the next 3 years. Based on our survey responses, compared to the previous three years,
• Participation in either Activity Holidays or ‘Off the Beaten Track’ Holidays or Special Interest Holidays to nearly DOUBLE over the next three years • Similarly, participation in either an Adventure holiday or Eco friendly/Ethical holiday or ‘Discovery’ holiday is predicted to TREBLE over the next three years
• Small Group travel is forecast to increase to nearly eight million adults over the next three years. Although this includes all small group travel types, it is strongly indicative of the popularity and acceptance of holidaying with like minded travellers.
• The Adventure Companies’ own brand data shows an increased interest and confidence from
consumers’ booking patterns: in December 2009 forward bookings for 2010 are trending solidly ahead
year on year for the same period. Customers have ‘bucket lists’ of ‘do-before-you-die’ iconic trips, and
although stalled for a year, they are now back with gusto.”
Decline in Self-Packaging
5% more consumers will choose tour operators for adventure travel in the next three years because:
-Customers don’t have the time or inclination to organise trips themselves with ease of booking cited as being the most important factor
From our research we know that those bookings through a tour operator in the next three years there will be:
-30% increase in the importance of Comfort; growing demand for active days and comfortable nights
-40% increase in the importance of the Security offered by a bonded tour operator
-40% increase in the importance of Destination Knowledge
*The report has been commissioned by The Adventure Company, Exodus, Imaginative Traveller, Peregrine Adventures, Geckos, Quark Expeditions and Headwater, referred to in the recently released report as “The Adventure Companies”. Sources include YouGov market research, tour operator booking figures, tourist office figures and Google search trend reports.