Hard vs. soft adventure

rp_SoftHardAdventureTravelSpending.pngStowell, S., Doyle, C., Lamoureux, K, Duverger, P., Martin, N., Heyniger, C., Schneider, Paige. August 2010. Adventure Tourism Market Report. The George Washington University School of Business, The Adventure Travel Trade Association and Xola Consulting.

The survey was organized to understand characteristics of an adventure traveler and measure size of the adventure travel market. The multi-language survey was conducted in Latin (Argentina and Brazil) and North (the U.S.A.) America and Europe (Germany, Spain and the U.K.). Some of the findings of the study follow:




  • The adventure travelers spend considerable amount of the budget on the gear.
  • The top ten product companies preferred by adventure travelers include Timberland, Quicksilver and Gore-Tex.
  • Slightly more than one fourth respondents from six nations participated in adventure travel.
  • The adventure segment is expanding to cover more activities.
  • 35% travelers do pre-trip research online.
  • In all three regions, soft adventure was more popular than hard adventure.
  • Soft adventure travelers spend more than the hard adventure travelers. Combined average spending of the three regions amounted to $822 per trip excluding airfare for a soft adventure and $462 per trip excluding airfare for hard adventure.
  • In soft adventure category, the North American travelers are the highest spenders at $914 per trip excluding airfare.

Download the full adventure tourism market report.

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