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UN report shows growing value of global adventure tourism

UN report shows growing value of global adventure tourism
November 30, 2014

Identifying adventure tourism as one of the fastest growing sectors in global adventure tourism, a new United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) report highlights that countries in all stages of economic development are prioritising adventure tourism for market growth, based on a recognition of its ecological, cultural and economic value.

The UNWTO Global Report on Adventure Tourism, published jointly with the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), provides insight of the relationship between adventure tourism and responsible tourism.

ATTA, a UNWTO Affiliate Member, provided input for the report to increase awareness among the global tourism sector about the core values of responsible tourism.

The report allows tourism stakeholders to work from a common base of understanding in one of the most progressive forms of tourism, which both organizations believe will develop into the industry standard.

While there is no definition of adventure tourism in UNWTO literature, ATTA defines adventure tourism as a trip that includes at least two of the following three elements: physical activity, natural environment, and cultural immersion.

While the definition of adventure tourism only requires two of these components, trips incorporating all three tend to afford tourists the fullest adventure travel experience – for example, a trip to Peru that involved trekking (physical activity) through the Machu Picchu trail (natural environment) and genuine interaction with local residents and/or indigenous peoples (cultural immersion).

Adventure tourism can be domestic or international, and like all travel, it must include an overnight stay, but not last longer than one year.

The report identifies that adventure tourism:

Is resilient: Adventure tourists are passionate and risk-taking. Profiles indicates interest in destinations that have previously suffered significant commercial tourism setbacks due to natural and political events, such as Haiti, Rwanda, and Japan.

Attracts high value customers: Adventure tourists are willing to pay a premium for exciting and authentic experiences. Adventure operators have reported an average of US$ 3,000 spent person, with an average trip length of eight days.

Commenting on the report, UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai explained "this report provides critical insight into one of the most dynamic segments driving tourism´s growth.

“Furthermore, with careful and responsible management, adventure tourism offers effective development opportunities to countries looking for new and sustainable sources of growth.”

An eight chapter overview of the current adventure tourism industry, provides a history of adventure tourism as well as a discussion of current trends and timely issues.

Chapters include:

• Industry introduction
• Global Trends in Adventure Tourism
• Adventure Tourism Industry Structure
• Local Economies, Communities and the Environment
• Adventure Tourism Operational Standards and Certifications
• Risk Management in Adventure Tourism
• Sector Challenges, Opportunities and Initiatives

Click here to view the report.

24th September 2013 - WORLD TOURISM DAY TO FOCUS ON THE IMPORTANCE OF WATER

4th June 2013 - GROWTH IN EXTREME ACTIVITIES AS YOUNGER PEOPLE MOVE AWAY FROM ‘STRUCTURED’ SPORT

3rd April 2013 - ADVENTURE TRAVEL TRADE ASSOCIATION RELEASES VALUES STATEMENT AS MEMBERSHIP PREREQUISITE

4th November 2012 - ATTA AND UNWTO TO ADVANCE RESPONSIBLE ADVENTURE TRAVEL


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