I googled the term Adventure Travel just to get a little clarification on what this term means and boy did I get a a lot of different answers. Some people defined Adventure Travel as anything you do on vacation that is outside of your comfort zone and others define it having to have some element of real risk (like scaling up the side of a mountain!).
There is actually a Wikipedia page for the term and it says that, “Adventure travel is a type of niche tourism, involving exploration or travel with perceived (and possibly actual) risk, and potentially requiring specialized skills and physical exertion.” It also says that Adventure Travel includes three components, a physical activity, a cultural exchange and connection with nature. I don’t know that I agree with this one. It seems pretty narrow. So, when I take my RV across the United States for the summer, i am not on an adventure? I guess the term is what you want it to be.
But, no matter how you define it, it has become a popular term and now has it’s own association. The Adventure Travel Trade Association was created to serve the many adventure operators and travel agencies that cater to individuals looking for more than a lazy day at the beach on their vacation. The association helps its members build their businesses, provides them with endorsements and advertising opportunities and provides resources in business management. They also host several conferences including Adventure Travel Wold Summit and AdventureELEVATE.
Aside from all of the resources the ATTA provides, it is pioneering another non-profit that will get the adventure world’s attention. Along with other partners (REI Adventures, UnCruise, Eagle Creek and ExOfficio), ATTA has launched the Adventure Travel Conservation Fund whose mission is to “Directly fund local projects engaged in the conservation of unique natural and cultural resources of adventure travel destination”. Some of the projects that are in the running for running right now including Turtle habitat preservation, trail management, recreation infrastructure in iconic adventure location and community based tourism projects. The goal of the projects is to use tourism to add to local economies instead of draining their natural resources as it often does. To get in on the action, visit the ATTA and the ATCF for more information.