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ATTA in Travel Weekly: Whether Soft or Hard Adventure, Experience is the Key

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Many can say they have seen the Grand Canyon, but how many can say they have experienced whitewater rafting down the Grand Canyon? ATTA’s President Shannon Stowell explains that tourism is shifting more towards adventures instead of the ‘cookie-cutter’ vacations in this Travel Weekly Article:

The adventure travel market is growing about 16% every year, according to research conducted by the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA). In May, the organization surveyed its members, and of the 140 that responded, 79% said they offered soft-adventure experiences and 35% said they offered hard-adventure experiences.

ATTA President Shannon Stowell said, “The reason I think this is all growing is that there is a global, cultural shift toward [people wanting] more experiences. They’re thinking, ‘I want to do something beyond Disney and Vegas and New York. I want to have a transformative experience.'”

Hard-adventures may be what most think of when they think of adventure travel, but soft-adventures offer a majority of people a chance to experience adventure travel without doing anything to extreme:

Stowell and operators with extensive experience in the adventure travel realm emphasize the importance of simply choosing a seasoned operator.

According to the ATTA and veteran adventure travel operators, depending on the type of trip or the likely age and ability of travelers, things to look out for are: whether tour operators have a doctor who comes along on the trip, the amount of training and experience the guides have and whether that includes first-aid training, the type of equipment being used and the reputation of any and all suppliers involved in the activities.

“This is where adventure travel can get sketchy: if somebody gets off a plane and says yes to the first person who says I’ll take you to the Ngorongoro Crater [in Tanzania],” Stowell said.

“You should go with an operator that’s trustworthy. … You want to pick a good operator and be aware of whether you’re a fit for the type of activity.”

You can find this full article here: Adventure Without Extremes

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