Adventure travelers say they would use travel agents and tour operators for their experience in knowing what destinations offer, but these findings question whether these travelers think travel agents and tour operators know exactly what they're looking for: an experience that is all their own.
Self-identified adventure travelers prefer to book travel independently, according to a new report. And although travel agents aren’t entirely forgotten today, they’re certainly not used to the extent they were in the past.
A new Adventure Travel and Trade Association Global Report on Adventure Tourism report, published jointly with the U.N. World Tourism Organization, found 71% of U.S. adventure travelers plan travel completely on their own, without help from travel agencies or tour operators. This statistic aligns with another from a previous study finding only 30% of millennials will use brick-and-mortar travel agencies in the next two years.
While travel agents and tour operators offer expertise on destinations and activities offered, these findings indicate a majority of adventure travelers feel that knowledge isn’t needed. Adventure travel in developing economies like South America, the Middle East, and Africa will continue to grow in the coming years as these populations gain more disposable income, the report finds. These travelers also value international travel, as 71% of them have a valid passport.
While a majority of these travelers don’t go it alone, choosing to bring friends, spouses or children along, their travel companions aren’t the top reasons why they’re making the trek. Adventure travelers ranked the natural beauty and activities offered at a destination as top reasons for choosing to travel there, whereas non-adventure travelers ranked having family and friends at the destination as the most important factor for their choices.
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Photo credit: Kayaks lined up in Rockport, ME. Daniel Dionne / Flickr