© ATTA / Hassen Salum - ATWS 2023

ATTA Releases 2024 Annual State of the Adventure Travel Industry Snapshot Report

29 May 2024

Each year, the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) invites adventure industry tour operators to share information about the state of their company and projected outlook. This information includes their client profile, consumer motivations, and trending experiences and destinations. The ATTA has done this research for more than 17 years to better understand the current state of the adventure travel industry and identify changes over time.

Download the Report Here

To gather data for this 2024 Annual State of the Adventure Travel Industry Snapshot Report, a survey was conducted from late March through early May 2024, asking tour operator respondents about their 2023 business operations and sales, 2024 booking expectations, travel trends, and consumer motivations. The survey was available in English as in all prior years, and this year it was also offered in Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, and German. 

While the Mediterranean, Western Europe, and Scandinavia are consistently top destinations for adventure travelers, recent research has shown that cooler weather destinations (such as Scandinavia) are specifically becoming more popular due to the increase in global temperatures. On the other hand, parts of the world embroiled in regional conflicts, such as the Middle East, Russia, and Eastern Europe (near Russia) are seeing a decrease in popularity. 

Top activities and motivations for adventure travel also remain relatively steady, with a few exceptions. Electric bikes (e-bikes) for cycling are surging in popularity, especially in Europe. Culinary/gastronomy activities have also been consistently increasing over the past few years. On a more somber note, “Last Chance Travel” appears in the top motivations for adventure travel this year, again showing an awareness of the effects of climate change.

Approximately consistent with last year, respondents’ most popular itinerary is priced at a median of $2,813 (for eight nights), 75% of which (an average of $2,110) is spent with local suppliers. We are working on an updated market sizing report, to be released later this year, and expect to see continued growth in the adventure travel market and therefore even more positive impact on local communities.

Download the Report Here

Some key findings in this year's report include:

Business Health

  • On average, trip departures were 65% full, and only 1% of respondents had zero guests in 2023 (both numbers are the same as last year)
  • The average number of travelers served by respondents was 6,553, a 54% increase from 4,243 in 2022 and up 65% from 3,974 in 2019
  • All departments have remained steady or seen a 1-25% increase in staffing since 2022
  • 17% of respondents had some reduction in revenue compared to 2022. 12% had a 2023 gross annual revenue of less than $50,000, down from 14% last year, 30% in 2021 and 45% in 2020.
© ATTA / 2024 Annual State of the Adventure Travel Industry Snapshot Report

Popular Trip Pricing, Destinations, Activities

  • Respondents’ most popular itinerary is priced at $2,813 (for eight nights), 75% of which ($2,110 on average) is spent with local suppliers
  • The most popular consumer motivations for traveling were new experiences, to go off the beaten track, and to travel like a local
  • The hottest trending destinations were the Mediterranean, Western Europe, Scandinavia, and North-East Asia
  • Top trending activities are hiking/trekking/walking, culinary/gastronomy, cultural, safaris/wildlife viewing, electric-bike cycling, and wildlife/nature photography

© ATTA / 2024 Annual State of the Adventure Travel Industry Snapshot Report

Sustainability, Climate Action, Safety and Risk Management Practices 

  • 48% already have or are working toward a sustainability certification
  • The most popular reason for getting certified is to help protect/improve the natural environment
  • The most popular challenge against getting certified is the cost of certification
  • Regarding climate-related actions, 53% are reducing emissions by purchasing from more sustainable suppliers, 45% disseminate climate conscious travel education, 41% are reducing emissions by conserving water and 40% are reducing emissions by sustainably sourcing food
  • 72% have a documented safety and risk management plan

© ATTA / 2024 Annual State of the Adventure Travel Industry Snapshot Report

Marketing Trends 

  • Globally, approximately two-thirds (62%) of bookings are made directly with the service provider, the same as the previous two years
  • Respondents are diversifying their market base primarily by increasing their focus on families, women, travelers aged 50 and over, regional and local travelers, and LGBTQIA+ travelers
  • 68% of respondents have an online reservation system that takes credit cards, roughly the same as last year

© ATTA / 2024 Annual State of the Adventure Travel Industry Snapshot Report

Future Outlook

  • Globally, 85% of respondents expect their 2024 net profit to be equal to or better than 2023, and 80% expect it to be the same as or higher than 2019

© ATTA / 2024 Annual State of the Adventure Travel Industry Snapshot Report

Download the Report Here

We would like to thank every respondent who took the time to share their information, opinions, and outlook. This year we would also like to acknowledge the organizations that distributed the survey to their members and encouraged them to respond:

And thank you to our readers for your interest in the adventure travel community and its impacts on the world around us. The 2024 Adventure Travel Industry Snapshot: State of the Adventure Travel Industry Report offers those working in adventure travel critical industry benchmarks, and gives those outside the industry a perspective on the health, outlook, and characteristics of this dynamic sector.