The rise of outdoor adventure travel - Insights
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The rise of outdoor adventure travel


Outdoor adventure travel trendsAggressor Adventures announced the results of its latest Consumer Travel Index, which tracks consumer sentiments on a bi-monthly basis. Ahead of the Travel & Adventure Show taking place in Atlanta Oct. 16-17 and in San Francisco Oct. 23-24, Aggressor’s Index puts a spotlight on adventure travel.

Industry Bounce Back

As travelers continue to avoid crowded destinations, adventure travel is particularly suited to appeal to those looking for destinations and activities that allow for social distancing. With a focus on small group outings, less-frequented destinations and vast, open spaces, adventure tourism has proven to be a favorite go-to for travelers in the COVID era.

As such, optimism has returned to the adventure travel sector. The first Aggressor Index question asks respondents what types of experiences they seek when making travel plans. Results show more than 20 percent of travelers are looking for underwater adventure and more than 27 percent are looking for wildlife-based excursions.

“One of the many reasons adventure travel will return quicker and stronger than other travel sectors is the passion of adventure travelers and thrill seekers,” says Wayne Brown, CEO of Aggressor Adventures. “When speaking with our customers, you can sense their love for exploring and adventure. A casual traveler who looks to make a decision between going to relax on a beach or a lake does not exude the same type of passion adventure travelers do for their trips. From my experience, passion-driven verticals recover more quickly.”

Furthermore, according to the 2021 Global Adventure Tourism Market Report, the global adventure travel market is expecting an elevation of $2.02 billion by 2030 and is witnessing a compound annual growth rate of 10.7 percent from 2020-2030.

More Time for Adventure Outdoors

As the Outdoor Industry Association shares, Americans flocked to the outdoors at the start of the pandemic. According to the organization’s recent study, outdoor activities have experienced the lowest impact due to the pandemic, as just 34 percent of people said they could or would not participate in outdoor activities due to pandemic restrictions. Additionally, research from Destination Analysts shows that nearly a third of travelers prefer to visit outdoor-oriented destinations where social distancing is built into the experience.

Having “space to breathe is the new luxury,” according to trend data from Traveller Made, a consortium of travel advisors, outlining that travelers now or in the coming months are seeking open spaces and remote destinations. As such, the second Aggressor Index question asks respondents about the planned activities on their next vacation. It’s no surprise that most respondents plan to scuba dive, snorkel, swim or boat on their next destination vacation.

“Upon returning from traveling with us, our customers routinely tell us how comfortable they were from a safety standpoint with our small group offerings in an outdoor setting,” shares Lisa Stierwalt, Travel Agent with Aggressor Adventures. “The pandemic has reinvigorated our love for the outdoors and made us appreciate it so much more. Our bookings at Aggressor Adventures are back to pre-pandemic averages, and we could not be more excited for the future.”

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