Defining Adventure Tourism

Adv Travel Dev Index-Adv Travel DefinitionI came across a well-explained definition of Adventure Tourism, according to Adventure Tourism Development Index (ATDI). Which was developed jointly Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), The George Washington University International Institute of Tourism Studies, and Xola Consulting. Here’s their take on what Adventure Tourism means.


The Adventure Tourism Development Index uses a broad definition of adventure travel to assess a country’s resources for use in the provision of any trip which includes two out the following three aspects: physical activity, interaction with nature, and cultural learning or exchange. Within this framework, it is possible to further segment adventure travel experiences along the familiar vectors of “hard” and “soft” adventure.

This definition, although it has its foundation in the traditional academic literature on adventure, was reached through primary research and analysis conducted in a series of consumer survey results administered by ATTA and Xola.

Advantages and Challenges to Pursuing an Adventure Market Development Strategy
As it grows, adventure tourism has the potential to positively transform people, environments and economies. Adventure tourism can be a catalyst, sparking economic growth across multiple industries in destinations where it is given strategic focus.

The charts below illustrate the specific issues holding poor regions back economically and socially, and how adventure tourism market development can contribute to solving these issues.
Adventure Travel-Circle of Disadvantages

Building competitive adventure markets requires a different approach than that used to develop mainstream tourism markets, however. For example, adventure markets have different requirements when it comes to infrastructure and place a different premium on the leadership brought by entrepreneurs to industry growth.
Adventure Travel-Advantages of

Source: Adventure Index Travel

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