Introduction – Definition
According to headrush technologies , adventure tourism is a form of travel where it requires physical activity, being out in the open , learning different cultures, etc. It does not require you to partake in any extreme sports , or risky activities, in fact they would rather you know and stay to your own comfort zone while travelling in an unknown country. It does not require you to take any risk , in fact, it just wants you to be able to busk in nature and enjoy the environment around you. TO ABHA. (2015, March 31)
Adventure tourism does not just mean extreme sports, like bungee jumping, etc. It consists of both extreme sports and soft sports. Extreme sports are basically sports that comes with a risk like for example, bungee jumping , mountaineering etc. Whereas, soft sports is where travelers do not need much experience and the sports come with very little risk. Thus, making it suitable for tourists of all ages. Kusenko, S. (2018, November 13)
Consumer Trends that have led to the growth of adventure tourism
According to a new report published by Allied Market Research, titled, “Adventure Tourism Market by Type, Activity, Type of Traveler, Age Group, and Sales Channel: Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2017-2023,” the global adventure tourism market was valued at $444,850 million in 2016, and is estimated to reach $1,335,738 million in 2023. Irimia R, Gottschling M (2016) According to the adventure tourism market report prnewswire (2016) , increased preference for adventure over other tourism activities will be a key driver for market growth. Adventure Tourism is gaining lots of attention worldwide due to the fact that many of these places are held in exotic , undiscovered places. Due to social media , many tourists are able to share their experience online, thus intriguing more and more tourists to visit those places to give it a shot. Places like France, Germany and Spain are popular among many tourists for adventure sports thus it results in higher tourists arrival , increasing market growth. Tour operators say that adventure holidaying is a rising trend in India, and now accounts for nearly 10-15% of their total holiday bookings.
Higher trend of countries wanting to incorporate adventure into their brand identity
According to a journal by UNWTO, it is found out that many tourists are seeking for a more authentic kind of adventure travel . UNWTO, 2016 According to a study by Visit Britain in 2013 , it stated that The UK can respond to strong demands for more authentic travel by working with other organisations to promote UK. Due to this, there is a increase in the number of countries that wants to package adventure into their tourism. This can be proved as according to an article called ‘Adventure Tourism Market Analysis by Tourism Statistics, Profiling Travellers, Splintering Industry Plans ; Foresight 2018 to 2022’ , it stated that in 2018- 2022, it is estimated that the adventure tourism market will increase at a CAGR of 45.73%. This shows that there are an increased amount of tourists that would like to travel overseas for adventure tourism. Thus, many companies are starting to offer more adventure products , to satisfy and meet the growing demand. Affiliate Members Global Report, Volume 9 – Global Report on Adventure Tourism. (2014) For example , Carlson Wagonlit Travel17 launched their adventure tourism product Journeys of Discovery18 that includes lots of off-beaten tracks. Carlson Wagonlit, 2018 . Chan Brothers has even started to introduce, promote unique travel such as camping etc, in order to attract those interested in adventure travel. Loh, G. S. (2018, September 14 Thus, hoping to attract more tourists to visit who are attracted to these type of tourism.
Increasing commercialization of natural environment
Adventure Tourism causes some damage to our natural environment. Many tourists visit a certain destination , natural area , which are usually located at off beaten tracks , environment degradation occurs , thus the environment will find it hard to resolve this issue. If this is not handled properly, many environmental problems will arise like for example, overcapacity, litter etc. Many adventure tourism attractions are famous among tourists, thus a large number of tourists come and flock to these areas thus causing lots of damage to our environment. Williams, P., & Soutar, G. (2005) Many locals feel that the tourists are causing their attractions to lose their natural identity and damaging it. Irimia R, Gottschling M (2016) One big example, is Mount Everest. Locals are starting to get worried that it might become the World’s largest rubbish dump.
Many of these waste were found to be at the ‘death zone’ , some examples of these waste include tents, climbing equipment and even faeces. Faeces are to be found contagious, this may affect many locals that live near Mt Everest and tourists that visit this iconic site. Even worse, it has been found to have some dead bodies laying around Mt Everest. Since no one is clearing their waste, the waste is slowly accumulating. This is a problem not just for tourists but also for the locals that lives near the mountain as pollution occurs and affects the people around the area. Mt Everest is now no longer known as the World’s most beautiful and tallest mountain instead it is now known as the World’s tallest rubbish dump. This is very detrimental to the environment as there is just too much waste being accumulated that it is becoming an eyesore for many. Thus , lesser and lesser people want to visit the mountain. Mount Everest turned into a rubbish dump. (2018, June 19). As these problems arise, the destination becomes less attractive to adventure tourists and they move on to degrade another environment elsewhere. Thus, environmental sustainability is very important for adventure tourism operators. They depend a lot on the natural environment thus to benefit everyone, we should all act responsibly.
One issue about tour operators is that they have to understand legal liability. They need to be able to understand many implications like for example, professional indemnity, public liability insurance, negligence, incident management reports, first aid provision, and general good business practice. UNWTO, 2016. Adventure tourism comes at a risk. It is not always one hundred percent safe. Therefore the adventure tourism sector plays a very big part in keeping all of us safe. Sometimes businesses may not always run on good management , it may just be plain luck. Tarlow, P. (2005). Not all companies are inspected or examined. For example, in New Zealand, a girl named Catherine , was getting ready to participate in the rope swing , but her rope was never secured and she plunged to her death. This was due to poor management of the owner. This caused many to call for stricter regulations for adventure tourism and are still thoroughly disappointed that there is not much laws and regulations that are set to prevent these activities from occurring . Tarlow, P. (2005). Thus, this proves that in order for travelers to have a safe and pleasant experience , it is very important for the government and adventure tourism organisations to have stricter control on laws and regulation and constantly ensure that the safety standard is met.
Analysis of two countries
New Zealand is known as a popular destination for adventure tourism. There are many types of activities tourists can do if they visit New Zealand, like for example, camping, rafting, bungee jumping etc. According to tourismnewzealand, there was a survey being conducted and it was found that 1 out of 2 tourists that visit New Zealand partakes in adventure tourism. It was gathered that those who participated in adventure tourism actually spent around $1.6 billion which makes up of 60 per cent of all types of tourism in New Zealand. Irimia R, Gottschling M (2016) This shows that New Zealand is able to earn a lot of money via adventure tourism as many travel here to partake in adventure sports. However, adventure tourism may not always be necessarily very safe. In the last 5 years, there have been 29 deaths in adventure tourism in New Zealand. NZ Herald. (2017, September 16). This was due to poor management. In New Zealand, there is not much strict regulation to run an adventure business, thus causing the safety standard to be not consistent. Thus, causing accidents to occur. Not many businesses, organisations are being inspected thus it will not always be safe.
Mount Everest in Nepal
Many travel to Nepal to visit this iconic landmark, the Mount Everest. It is the tallest mountain in the world and many want to hike it. Due to the increase in the number of tourists travelling to Mount Everest, it is suffering from environmental damage. Many travelers visit the mountain and leave their dump there, causing the locals to be very unhappy. This leads to pollution and the spread of diseases. West, J. B. (2009) .Many tourists do not just leave their litter there but they leave their faeces as well. Thus, causing it to be a health hazard for many locals. Thus, the desirability of the mountain is slowly decreasing as less people want to visit a mountain of litter.
5.1 Prevent our environment from damage
Governments and adventure tourism sectors should start to form a ban where littering should be strictly prohibited. They should start to emphasise more strictly on environmental conservation, thus more people will be aware to not litter , as it damages our environment. Adventure tourism sectors should implement strict laws on littering and impose a huge fine on those that do thus making them afraid to litter.
5.2 Safety Precaution
Governments and adventure tourism sectors should work together to come up with multiple ways to prevent risk, accidents from occurring. They should always closely monitor their safety standards to prevent such accidents from occurring. They should come up with programs that gets rid of all negative impacts of adventure tourism from occurring. For example, Cape Town is a popular place for tourists to visit for adventure tourism as well. They came up with this ‘ Responsible Tourism Policy and Action Plan’ where they pledge to be responsible for all tourism actions. It is constructed to also meet the needs of the city as well, to keep their country as sustainable as possible. By coming up with 6 different ‘levers’ to achieve sustainability, one of which are requiring organisations funded by the City to adhere to Responsible Tourism principles through contracts , and Integrating Responsible Tourism principles within the City’s Performance Management framework. This helps to ensure that the country is truly aware of all the risk that occurs from adventure tourism and is assuring that they will ensure a safe and pleasant experience for us. UNWTO ,2016. They will be more stricter as to safety precautions and ensure we are all safe. They would also take responsibility and acknowledge their mistake if anything unfortunate occurs.
In conclusion, there are both advantages and disadvantages to adventure tourism. Adventure tourism attracts many tourists as they seek a need to be out in nature, to learn more about culture and to partake in adventure sports. Due to an increase in the number of tourists wanting to travel overseas for adventure tourism, many travel companies has started to incorporate adventure tourism into their travel products. However , this also causes many problems as due to an increase in the number of people travelling to a certain area, it causes environmental degradation as many do not clean up after themselves and just leave their litter all around. Adventure tourism is not always necessarily safe. It had caused many accidents thus adventure tourism organisations and governments need to have much stricter control over these adventure sports businesses. In order to prevent these issues from occurring, adventure tourism organisations and governments can come up with stricter laws on littering and have stricter control over safety standards.