Adventure Travel Landscape for 2017


According to Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), adventure travel features physical activity, natural environment, and cultural immersion. A trip including at least two of the three elements can be defined as adventure travel. Such travel can be domestic or international, and it must include an overnight stay, but not last longer than one year. Let’s have a look at the overall landscape of adventure travel in 2017.


A majority of adventure tour operators are bullish about revenue and profit prospects for adventure travel. Firms believe profits will increase as increasing new products are launched into new markets. While regional crises or increased overheads are major reasons for some firms to hold the opinion that profits will decline.


Adventure tour operators say destinations that appeal most to adventure travelers are Scandinavia, South America, Southern Africa, and the Mediterranean. In 2017, Cuba overtook Italy to make the top five, though Italy has been a top five destination since 2014.


The most in demand adventure activities were ecotourism, cultural tourism, environmentally sustainable trip, hiking, and culinary trip. Some activities are also popular for specific regions, such as cycling and safari activities. Tourists now are more in favor of “shorter duration” and “long haul/overseas” trips, along with “custom itineraries” and “family/multi-generational” trips.

Source Market

For adventure travelers, North America and Europe continue to be their top-of-mind tourism area. Among countries in North Americans, the United States, Peru, Ecuador, and Canada have been in the top five for consecutively two years.

Tourist Profile

In terms of adventure traveler demographics, the largest group of adventure travelers (40 percent) are between the ages of 50-70, with an average age of 47 years old.

Adventure tourists are even willing to pay a premium to enjoy exciting and authentic experiences. In 2016, a study by adventure tour operators has found an average of USD 3,000 spent per adventure traveler, with an average trip length of eight days. Trip costs may vary based on length, luxury and activity levels, destinations, and distance from a traveler’s starting city to the trip destination.

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