What do you view as the greatest opportunity your destination has in regards to adventure tourism?

5 June 2012

Tejbir Singh Anand - President, Adventure Tour Operators of India 

India is perhaps the only country which is so DIVERSE. High Himalayas, unexplored and lesser know regions, Tibetian plateau's, Thar Desert, maximum and varied wildlife national parks, great rivers backed by the amazing culture, festivals, Forts & Palaces and heritage India has to offer.

Todd Davidson - CEO, Travel Oregon

On the Domestic Perspective:

  • For the International markets, our ability to market a wide range of choices for adventure travel, specifically offering different activities to fit all skill levels. Example: White water rafting or Kayaking on a mountain lake, alpine skiing versus enjoying a guided dog sled ride.
  • Eugene hosting the Olympic Trials in June 2012 showcases Oregon on an international stage, bringing in media from around the world who can be pitched on our many adventure travel activities.
  • Korea has demonstrated a growing interest in the ski market and Japan is demonstrating similar growth in cycling
  • Canadians are interested in more unique adventure sports
On the International Perspective:
  • Oregon has the outdoor product that consumers are looking for (natural beauty, authentic undiscovered gems, varied and dramatic landscapes, unspoiled, uncrowded).
  • Reinforcing Oregon’s strong brand as an authentic destination that cares about sustainability: Business Philanthropy; Sustainable Business Challenge; National Geographic Geotourism Map project
  • Cycling Niche: explosive growth (85m Americans ride); first state to adopt a scenic bikeways program

Luis Palacios  - Director, Baja California Sur Tourism Board

Baja California Sur offer many exclusive experiences that only a few places in the world, if any, have to offer. The fact that we have a UNESCO World Heritage site such as the islands of the Mar de Cortes, which are also considered as the "aquarium of the world" (Jacques Yves Cousteau), cave paintings dated from approximately 7,500 years ago, and many natural whale sanctuaries speak of the advantages we can offer to all the people in the world looking for unique adventure experiences.

Anna Dulina of the Kamchatka Region Ministry of Sport and Tourism, as interviewed by Mark Dudley, Sales Manager, North America of  VLADIVOSTOK AIR AMERICA, INC.

Russia has developed a sophisticated inbound travel market: we have professional tour operators that offer a wide range of high-quality travel services and we have laws in place to regulate the travel industry. Now travelers to Russia can feel confident and safe in their travels. In 2011, a new federal program  "Development of Internal and Inbound Tourism in the Russian Federation 2011-2018" was launched in order to promote a favorable image of Russia as a country where travel is pleasant, where staff are properly trained, and, in areas with the greatest tourism potential, where large scale infrastructure projects will be undertaken.

On Kamchatka, we’re working on several major tourism infrastructure projects, such as a downhill skiing resort and a health spa/entertainment complex at the thermal hot springs. In addition, we’re modernizing the transportation infrastructure, including the Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky airport, our “air gates” to the region, through which the majority of foreign and Russian travelers arrive on Kamchatka; the development of international flight network is well under way. A new cruise ship terminal – the “sea gates” of Kamchatka – will also be built.

Interesting ongoing activities include world class sports competitions under the auspices of the Kamchatka winter sports festival (April), Tourism Day activities in August and September, the world-famous “Beringa” dogsled races in March, and the National Kamchatka Indigenous Peoples’ Day among others. In conjunction with active promotion within potential source markets and the further development of high-quality service, these measures will draw more travelers to Kamchatka.

Stacey Mitchell - Director of Sales, Florida Keys & Key West Tourism Council

We have myriad activities and experiences to entice and satisfy even the most hardcore adventure traveler. Partner these activities with our message of, "Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide"  and the Florida Keys & Key West presents not only the opportunity of physically challenging activities, but also spiritual fulfillment. The combination of these two factors provides visitors with life-changing and life-enhancing memories they can carry with them everywhere they go.

Ms. Maria Claudia Lacouture - President, Proexport Colombia

Colombia is a privileged country: the high peaks of the Andes and its steep slopes are ideal for rock climbing, mountaineering, hiking and biking; the winds and height are ideal for paragliding year-round; and in the warm Caribbean waters lurk unexpected beauties, while in the deep Pacific, myriad underwater species are present; in its rivers and lakes unforgettable rafting and/or fishing experiences await; and in the vast plains of Orinoco, the dense jungles of the Amazon and the Pacific you can enjoy the endless expressions of pure nature. The Coffee Triangle and Santander are among the most important tourist destinations to live these experiences, in addition to Cundinamarca, Antioquia, the Cauca Valley, to name a few. Adventure tourism is the perfect way to feel adrenaline in unique places where you can have direct contact with the environment. Colombia is a country of contrasts, its rugged terrain, its geographical position, and cultural richness that characterizes it, gives us the advantage of having magical landscapes and unique experiences worth living.

Mr. Digu //Naobeb - CEO, Namibia Tourism Board

In Namibia, we have the natural assets – with water, air and land-based adventures and ‘Only in Namibia’ experiences - that will allow adventure tourism to thrive. The consumer shift from organized tours to more individual travel, utilizing self-drive and camping opportunities is increasing and Namibia provides a safe atmosphere and a good infrastructure that will allow this market to continue to grow.

Sthu Zungu - President,  North America, South African Tourism

Our diverse terrain and ideal year-round climate is South Africa’s best asset. Being at the southern tip of a large continent, South Africa offers 3,000 kilometers of coastline along with breathtaking mountain ranges - often side by side. The country's diverse terrain, together with a climate suited to outdoor activities; makes it an ideal destination for adrenaline seekers.

South Africa offers world-class climbing, surfing, diving, hiking, horseback safaris, mountain biking, river rafting, zip lining, bungee jumping, sand surfing, shark cage diving - and just about any other extreme activity you can name, all supported by dedicated specialists operators.

Anders la Cour Vahl -  Deputy Director,  Visit Greenland Ltd
In many aspects Greenland is in a very promising situation right now. We are truly an adventure destination, we are definitely not overrun by travellers and with new flights from Iceland we are a lot more accesible and affordable than ever before. Our new brand has been received very well by adventure companies and we are busy building strategic partnerships both in Greenland and with partners in other countries which we believe will push demand for Greenland in the near future. Politically in Greenland we also see an increasing willingness to secure the right legislation for growing adventure experiences. Most notably our parliament recently passed a new law allowing adventure companies possiblities to secure exclusivity on riverfishing - something which in a country with no private owned land was seen as impossible only few years ago. This will hopefully be followed up by the same possibilities for other adventure areas.

Alex Herrmann - Director Americas, Switzerland Tourism

Switzerland is the cradle of adventure travel, with a history starting 150 years ago, when the British started to explore and vacation in the Swiss Alps. We've learned a lot over these many years, and we've managed to constantly improve the experiences for the travelers. Today we have the infrastructure and public transportation system in place which allows adventure and any other travelers to explore Switzerland independently, while at the same time safely, comfortably and with a minimal impact on the environment.

Only in Switzerland is it possible to experience a strenuous hike high up in a remote part of the Alps on day one, with a gourmet dinner at a luxury Grand Hotel from the early nineteen hundreds in the evening. This is followed by a mountain bike tour in a different part of the country on day two, where people speak a different language, and culture, food & wine are completely different from day one. And yes, on day three you enjoy a modern spa in a resort with a long history, again in a new part of the country where people yet again speak another language etc. And all of this can be done without a car - easily!

As an interesting fact, Tripadvisor users chose Interlaken, Switzerland as the top adventure destination in Europe.

Maria del Carmen de Reparaz - Director of Tourism, PromPeru

First of all it is important to mention is that Peru it is one of the few countries in the world that offers experiences where it is possible to enjoy off the beaten track activities, while at the same time having a chance to get immersed in the history, living cultures, extremely rich biodiversity of flora and fauna, and beautiful views.

For example, one of our more famous treks, the Inca Trail, is unique not only because the trail is extremely challenging and the views impressive, but also because it leads to Sanctuary of Macchu Picchu. So, the trail itself is an adventure across Peru’s millenary culture.

Also, we offer a variety of options. In Peru there is great trekking, surfing, hiking, white-water rafting (we have some of the most challenging rapids in the world), rock-climbing, mountain-climbing, mountain-biking, deep-water fishing, the Amazon, and more.

Finally, it is possible to say that one of our biggest opportunities is that not only do we have variety, quality, incredible landscapes, but also, endless possibilities for growth and to develop this sector in a manner that fulfills the highest standards of sustainability and security in the world.

Kristian B. Jorgensen - CEO, Fjord Norway, Tourist Board of the Fjords

We are still very unknown as a great adventure travel destination, and we see an increase in awareness that talks about us as one of the best places to experience skiing, hiking and outdoor adventure in the world. Furthermore Norway is considered a safe place that is easy to travel around and that offers a clean and professional environment to enjoy adventure travels. Last but not least, the fjords of Norway are iconic and offer people one of the most stunning places to experience some of the most amazing nature to be found.

Carla Portalanza, Markets Director, Ecuador Ministry of Tourism

The greatest opportunity Ecuador has in regards to adventure tourism is its incomparable diversity. Ecuador boasts everything necessary for adventure tourism as it offers easy, quick and affordable access to the rainforest, the Pacific Coast, the mountainous Andean regions and the unique ecosystem of the Galapagos Islands.

In 2011, Ecuador’s Ministry of Tourism introduced the concept of Conscious Tourism, encouraging the idea that travel can be a life changing experience based on coexistence, responsibility, mutual respect, and fellowship between visitors and tourism suppliers. We believe that encouraging this type of travel principle is a key to helping Ecuador manage and grow tourism in a sustainable and responsible manner.