Adventure travel trends: Sports, destinations, sustainability


What makes adventure travellers tick in 2022?
With my colleague Prof. Dr. Sven Groß from the Harz University of Applied Sciences, I carried out a survey in which we wanted to know: Who is the German adventure traveller anyway? German adventure travellers mainly like to get to know themselves better. They seek adventure less out of an adrenaline addiction than to test their own limits and prove themselves in difficult situations. In addition, another motivator is the exchange with nature and of course the good feeling after outdoor sports.

Adventure travellers are often more extroverted than other people. What is exciting, however, is that according to our findings, German adventure travellers are not as open to trying out new things as one would assume. In contrast, American adventure travellers are more willing to embrace new situations and deviate from the familiar path. This fits the image of the classic German tourist and his travels according to the motto “Da weiß man was man hat” (being comfortable sticking to what’s familiar). That surprised me myself, because I would have expected more of a “Let’s just get on the SUP and see what happens” mentality.

Which regions are currently particularly on the rise with adventure offers?
For one thing, the trend of micro-adventures continues. People are realizing that there are great adventures not far from home. Many people will continue to do so in the future. This is also where the current increase in trekking places comes into play. These are overnight accommodations in the forest, where you can stay for a small fee between hikes. But of course, the desire to fly further away also comes back.

Our survey showed that among Germans, Canada, the United States, New Zealand, South Africa and Iceland are the dominant countries associated with adventure travel. Among German adventure travellers, safaris in Africa also rank relatively high on the list, ahead of South America. The latter, on the other hand, is the top adventure travel destination among US Americans.

And what are your insider tips for the outdoor adventures of the future?
Most still tend to associate adventure travel with Europe or North America, but I believe the Asian and African markets will become increasingly exciting. There are numerous countries there that offer less classic attractions or tourism infrastructure. Instead, they can address a target group looking for adventure offers.

In addition, many major travel providers are increasingly focusing on the unspoiled spots of southeastern Europe, such as Romania or Albania. However, it is possible that the Ukraine war has a negative impact here.


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