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Travelers want their trips to contain a hint of familiarity and a lot of uncharted territory they’re unaccustomed to. Anticipation of a trip is often more significant in scope than the trip itself and that means tour operators and other travel companies have immense potential to capture travelers when their emotions are highest.
As adventure travel, such as hiking, kayaking, ziplining or skiing, is one of the fastest growing forms of travel worldwide and particularly important with emerging outbound markets, the five startups below recognize that finding a traveler’s wild side and then tailoring that into an experience with deeper meaning besides social media posts equals repeat customers and a sustainable business.
>>Natural Retreats is a luxury travel and real-estate development company specializing in personalized adventure activities. Spanning the United States and Europe, Natural Retreats offers a variety of accommodations including resorts, inns, lodges, castles, and private vacation homes.
SkiftTake: Adventure travel isn’t an adventure if it’s mass produced, making companies like Natural Retreats in line with what travelers expect out of active and thrill-seeking travel: custom made and help on-hand 24 hours a day.
>>Wayugo helps travelers find road races around the world. Races listed on the site are for cyclists, triathletes and runners who want to push their limits in the world’s most beautiful locations.
SkiftTake: Sometimes it’s difficult to decipher information about foreign races and Wayugo presents all the necessary qualifying information and event statistics for travelers to peruse.
>>Embark is a person-to-person adventure-sharing platform that allows travelers to create, share, discover and book adventure tours around the world with local guides.
SkiftTake: With companies like Airbnb testing similar products in which local guides can list their own tours and activities online for travelers to book, startups like Embark will face steep competition as it becomes easier for locals to bypass traditional booking sites and become tour operators themselves.
>>StokeShare enables travelers to earn money renting their outdoor equipment as well as renting equipment from other outdoor enthusiasts all over the world. Camping gear, surfboards, skis, snowboards, climbing gear, diving gear, kayaks and canoes can be rented through the site.
SkiftTake: A great way to rent out outdoor equipment that would otherwise collect dust when owners aren’t using them.
>>CampX leads custom suited expeditions into the wilderness to the desires and skills of the individual or group, with the ultimate goal of providing a life altering experience
SkiftTake: The week in the woods fantasy is still alive and well as many travelers now define adventure as a time when they can ditch their devices and truly go off-road.