What is the biggest challenge / threat your destination faces as it relates to adventure tourism in the coming 18 months?

5 June 2012

Tejbir Singh Anand - President, Adventure Tour Operators of India 

Expensive airfares, higher peak booking fees for mountaineering expeditions, and poor access to the remote regions which are playgrounds for adventure travel.

Luis Palacios  - Director, Baja California Sur Tourism Board

To be able to penetrate or position our different destination brands in the market - many people have always heard about Baja but some have never actually realized the number of experiences that they can enjoy in our state.

Todd Davidson - CEO, Travel Oregon


  • Consumer confidence, economy, gas prices
  • Potential loss of national support for national scenic byways program
  • To maintain Oregon's commanding lead in outdoor travel showing 24 percent of marketable trips to be involved in the outdoors compared to 16 percent for U.S. norm. (Longwoods 2010)
  • Long term viability of non-stop service to Europe and Asia - adventure travelers want the non-stop service for convenience and ability to transport their own equipment, golf clubs, skies and bicycles
  • Mother nature - a milder climate has potentially shortened seasonal activities, potentially impacting winter sports
  • Economic downturn may impact adventure outfitters, which could limit product available to package and promote

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.

Unfortunately, Russia is still considered an extreme travel destination to many outside the country, who imagine it to be a place of danger and disruptions, poor service, and lacking in world class service at reasonable prices. It is a challenge to overcome these stereotypes, despite tourism being recognized in Russia as a high-priority industry; much is now being done to develop the travel industry and create a modern and efficient tourist market.

Further, Kamchatka is one of the least known travel destinations in the world. The only way to get here is to travel by air or on board a cruise ship, which makes travel the region rather costly. The travel infrastructure of Kamchatka is just beginning to approach established world standards. These disadvantages, however, are outweighed by the unparalleled beauty of the landscape, diversity of its flora and fauna, the countless opportunities for outdoor activities.

But we understand that this alone is insufficient to generate significant tourism to the area. We are striving to increase the quality and range of travel services and are actively developing tourism infrastructure. Among other things, we are supporting the establishment of international flights to the region for the convenience of foreign travelers. In 2012 the direct flight between Kamchatka and Anchorage, thanks to which travelers from the US and Canada will be able to visit our wonderful, friendly region without unnecessary complications.

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

That the destination may be negatively and incorrectly perceived as "overrun" by mass tourism and as a result, is losing its charm, character and funkiness. In addition, for the adventure purist, the Florida Keys & Key West may not be perceived as challenging enough for those pursuing the ultimate in adventure sports.

Ms. Maria Claudia Lacouture - President, Proexport Colombia

According to the UNWTO, segments such as adventure, culture, and eco tourism have gained popularity in detriment of the traditional sun and beach packages. The main challenge we face is the positioning of Colombia as a destination for adventure and sustainable nature tourism, as Colombia is a mega-diverse country with great potential for this type of tourism but still unknown to international visitors. In addition, we must work in conjunction with the entities and institutions related to nature and adventure tourism, so that together, we can develop a strategy that will enable identification of each region, with its natural resources and businessmen, allowing tourism to positively impact the economy without neglecting the preservation and conservation of our ecosystems.

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

Our biggest challenge and one we are rapidly rising to embrace is the need to put adventure travel tourism firmly on the agenda of all our operators. Part of this challenge is understanding that there is more to adventure travel than just providing an adrenalin rush. And while there are plenty of opportunities to spike your adrenalin in Namibia, there is so much more adventure for those seeking “lighter”adventures and personal challenges.

Sthu Zungu - President,  North America of  South African Tourism

The slow economic recovery continues to pose a real threat to the tourism industry as a whole. As is commonly known, travelers are taking shorter trips and spending less. In response to this, South African Tourism has created a ‘Deals’ page on www.southafrica.net featuring on a continuous basis the most attractive packages and offers from our tour operators. This is proving to be successful with some listed deals starting as low as $1999 including airfare. South Africa has the most diverse adventure offering in the world making it a destination for every kind of adventure seeker.

Anders la Cour Vahl - Deputy Director,  Visit Greenland Ltd

Greenland as a destination has for many years been marketed somewhat vaguely by understating the obvious adventurous aspects of travelling in our country. This was logical in a context where increase in sales was seen directly related to how safe the destination was perceived. Today we're see things differently - we want to show our country as it is, and ready travellers on what to expect. We still have quite a challenge in changing these perceptions on how to reach the markets, but firmly believe that being honest to who we are is the right and only succesful way forward.

Alex Herrmann - Director Americas, Switzerland Tourism

The economic situation in many parts of the world is challenging. Uncertainty due to high unemployment and low consumer confidence lets some people rethink their plans for a long-haul trip. For North America, it's the weak USD which adds another challenge. Also, airfares are generally higher this year, even though are always good fares to Switzerland to be found thanks to the great number of direct connections from the U.S. and Canada to either Zurich or Geneva - over 130 weekly flights on Swiss International Air Lines and the major U.S. and Canadian carriers are available, a surprisingly high number compared to other mid-sized European destinations.

Maria del Carmen de Reparaz - Director of Tourism, PromPeru

Peru has much to offer in terms of adventure tourism. Our biodiversity and geography provide many unique adventure sports and tours. Our biggest challenge is to continue developing the sector, tours and products in a sustainable manner, focusing on environmentally friendly practices, and in expanding a sector that will attract an important influx of international tourists, as well, as promoting internal tourism.

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

The greatest challenge for us is the financial situation in Europe. Futhermore the Norwegian kroner is extremely strong at the moment because Norway is doing very well. When you combine that with a high standard of living and higher travel prices in average than our competitors, then that puts a lot of pressure on our industry to deliver value for money. Another challenge for us is the growing unemployment in our main markets. Most of the people being careful about their spending are young people, and our adventure travel offers cater mostly to younger market segments.

Carla Portalanza, Markets Director, Ecuador Ministry of Tourism

Ecuador is already positioned as a destination that offers outstanding adventure tourism due to its rich and highly diverse natural resources. The country is committed to continue to improve tourism infrastructure and quality of services and preserve its rich biodiversity and cultural heritage as a way to attract more adventure travelers and further enhance its image worldwide. Our one challenge is to increase flights between key cities throughout the world and Ecuador in order to offer more direct access into our destination.