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Adventure Tourism 7th March 2011
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Adventure Tourism 7th March 2011


Lecture on Adventure tourism to final year students at University of Hertfordshire

Lecture on Adventure tourism to final year students at University of Hertfordshire

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  • So who are these Adventure tourists? I’m fortune to know a few so here’s their experiences, thoughts and motivations for becoming an Adventure tourists


  • 1. Adventure Tourism
    Presented by:
    Graham Archer MIDM, DipDM, FDT!
  • 2. Who am I and what are all those initials about?
    Diploma in Direct Marketing
    Member of Institute of Direct Marketing
    Fully Dragon Tested…?
  • 3. Three Dragons in Four years
    There are three reasons to be in business. To make money, to have fun - and to make money
    Never give up. Learning from failure is an essential part of the entrepreneur's experience
    Believe in yourself, never give up and go about your business with passion drive and enthusiasm.
  • 4. Adventure tourism at Red Letter Days
    North pole Fly in
    Arctic adventure
    Plenty of Adventure – just without the Tourism bit!
  • 5. Graham – Driving and Gourmet or “The Fast Food team”
  • 6. Agenda
    What is Adventure tourism?
    Examine the target market and why they choose to engage in this particular special interest sector.
    Identify and justify future challenges this sector is likely to face in the next decade.
    Recommend and evaluate possible strategies this sector must adopt to address the problems facing it.
    Q & A
  • 7. What is Adventure tourism?
    “A leisure activity that takes place in an unusual, exotic, remote or wilderness destination. It tends to be associated with high levels of activity by the participants, most of it outdoors. Adventure travellers expect to experience varying degrees of risk, excitement and tranquillity and to be personally tested. In particular they are explorers of unspoilt exotic parts of the planet and also seek personal challenges.” (Mintel Report, 2001:5) in Novelli, 2005: 204.
  • 8. What is Adventure tourism?
    “The spectrum of adventure activities ranging from non hazardous to high risk has led to the concept where adventure tourism can be categorised as either ‘soft adventure’ or ‘Hard Adventure’. Soft adventure would involve very low risk and may be undertaken by anybody physically fit and able, yet they would not necessarily need to have any previous experience in their chosen holiday. Accommodation would be provided and there would be little or no need for participation in anything other than the chosen holiday. Motivation for this would be more to the experience rather than the expectation of encounter with any risk. On the other hand, hard adventure would require previous experience, recognised levels of competence, ability to cope with the unexpected and skills associated with type of holiday.” ( Novelli, 2005: 203)
  • 9. Target Market - Socio demographics (Source -Mintel -May 2008)
    Younger, independent adventure travellers may organise own adventure activities
    Average age of those travelling with a tour operator is relatively high
    More than 55% of visitors to the Adventure travel show were aged over 40 years
  • 10. Many operators report older end of market is fastest growing
    E.g.”Empty nesters” have :
    Disposable income
    Time to go on longer trips
    Remain fitter until much later in life
    Desire to see the world
    “Were taking more older people in the 55-75 age group. They may have heard their kids talking about a gap year and want a company that will take them to exciting places but in a safe, comfortable environment” -Jonny Bealby Founder of Wild Frontiers
    Average age of Wild Frontiers customer was 47 years ( 2007)
    Target Market - Socio demographics (Source -Mintel -May 2008)
  • 11. There is a real demand out there for this kind of experiential or adventure travel. These days everyone has everything they need, living daily life is not a challenge; people want excitement, to feel and see things, they want authentic experiences of another world. It has been said that we’re selling dinner party conversations –people want to do something unusual they can talk about.” – Jonny Bealby –Founder of Wild Frontiers
    Motivations and Money
  • 12. Target market –some real people and their experience
  • 13. Target market and motivations - Georg von Bülow (50 something)
    Here’s an Everest trekking group - ages ranged from 27 to 61
  • 14. Target market and motivations
    “The reason most of the people in my group went on this trip was that they wanted to do something unusual and challenging. I guess there was a fair bit of mid-life crisis involved, but for some it was just a question of life style. Why did I go? Difficult to say – I suppose I just wanted to see whether I could do it, apart from my curiosity about seeing the Himalayas”
    Georg von Bülow - Senior Presales Architect Adobe Systems
  • 15. Target market and motivations - Georg von Bülow
  • 16. Target market and motivations – Chris Humphries – 35
    3 months in South America including: Brazil, Peru and Bolivia
  • 17. Target market and motivations – Chris Humphries – 35
    “The target market for my trip were people in their 30's they had decided to take time out and travel the world. People that like me were independent, had savings or significant disposable income to fund the trip and the confidence in being able to get another job on return to the UK. Myself and Becs choose to embark on the trip due to a passion for travel and adventure. Travelling through South America is certainly an adventure whilst many parts of Asia can be considered a holiday. Language, cultural barriers and landscape make for a challenging but very rewarding trip”.
    Chris Humphries – CRM Marketing Manager - Carphone Warehouse (35)
  • 18. Bolivian Mount biking on the Worlds most dangerous road
    A dusty single track dirt road descending 3,000m and 60 odd kilometres, vertical drops on the hair pin bends, no crash barriers and even the company said “Only one rider had died in recent years!”.
  • 19. Engaging with the locals…
    The cute ones in Borneo
  • 20. Engaging with the locals…
    Bolivian Silver miners –life expectancy 40!
  • 21. Target market and motivations – Ruth Chapman – 32
    100 day “Americas” trip
  • 22. Target market and motivations – Ruth Chapman – 32
    Ice trekking in Chile
  • 23. Target market and motivations – Ruth Chapman– 32
    “Having worked at Red Letter Days and Voyage Concepts for over 5 years, I wanted to taste - as a customer myself for a change -some of the Adventure I’d created on behalf of other customers – all before I was financially committed at home in the UK (House buying etc)”
    Ruth Chapman ex Red Letter Days and Voyage Concepts
  • 24. Identify and justify future challenges
  • 25. Future challenges - Overview
    "The level of adventure expected in an adventure tourism product is very much dependent on the person's level of expectation and experience of the particular sport or the type of activity chosen. ...furthermore if it is well organised the participant will perceive the risk less than what appears." Novelli, 2005:208
    The challenge for the operators is dealing with the risks of operating in this niche market as tourists will expect a certain level of risk - and things can go wrong. Customers can be dissatisfied if they feel they have been unnecessarily exposed to risk and situations they are not skilled enough for. On the other hand, if an activity is too closely supervised then the hard adventure tourism will be a little miffed! For the operators, it is about getting the balance right.
  • 26. Future challenges – some traveller feedback!
    Difficulty in creating truly “adventurous” destinations.
    “The route to Everest Base Camp was absolutely crowded, so we never had any feeling of being remote or in the wilderness”.
    The more of a mass market this becomes, the more incidents and accidents there will be - increasing the holiday costs.
    “ in our group we had one chain smoker, one seriously overweight person (apart from me, that is), and the four diabetics I mentioned before. The four who had to be helicoptered down (at a cost of $50,000 each!) were among these”.
    Makes it more difficult to recruit suitable participants, and it drives up the cost of holidays.
    Environmental impact
  • 27. Future strategies to adopt
    Thoughts ?
  • 28. Recommend and evaluate future strategies sector might adopt
    Recruit suitable customers
    Vet potential clients for suitability
    More rigorous Health and Safety
    “No new adventures”?!
    Carbon offsetting and other environmental initiatives
    Recruit suitable customers
    Vet potential clients for suitability
    More rigorous Health and Safety
    Carbon offsetting and other environmental initiatives
    “No new adventures”?!
  • 29. Questions and Answers
    Over to you!
  • 30. ..and Finally