- Introduction, What is Adventure Tourism?
- Destination Marketing Organizations of New Zealand
- Adventure Tourism Activities 1
- Adventure Tourism Activities 2
- Application of New Zealand Practices to Adventure Tourism in the Adirondacks
Thank you Peter for sharing your report.
For the outdoor enthusiast and adventure traveler New Zealand is an “icon site” with global attraction, a reflection of optimum natural conditions rather than proximity to population (Buckley, 2009.) The country offers a wide variety of year round activities within a relatively small geographical area and has successfully grown the tourism industry over the last 30 years.
New Zealand is widely recognized in the travel and tourism industry as a world leader in adventure tourism. The purpose of this sabbatical was to study the marketing and management of adventure tourism in New Zealand. The research applies directly to the Recreation and Resort Marketing and Management and Destination Dynamics and the Tourism System courses taught at Paul Smith’s College (PSC). The Hotel, Resort and Tourism Management (HRTM) and Recreation, Adventure Education and Leisure Management (RAELM) curriculums at Paul
Smith’s College will benefit from the results of the research.
The beginning of the Adirondacks as a destination is rooted in adventure travel. Beginning with the publication of William H.H. Murray’s Adventures in the Wilderness; or Camp Life in the Adirondacks in 1869 the Adirondacks became a destination for fishing, hunting, camping and boating. Development of hotels and resorts followed along with a wide variety of activities that can be enjoyed year round.
New Zealand is widely recognized in the travel and tourism industry as a world leader in adventure tourism. The purpose of this sabbatical was to study the marketing and management of adventure tourism in New Zealand. Objectives and strategies for the project were developed in conjunction with the PSC Recreation, Adventure Education and Leisure Management (RAELM) faculty and organizations listed above.
The research will examine the size of the adventure tourism market worldwide, what constitutes adventure tourism, and who the adventure tourist is. In the course of six weeks of travel a number of activities were experienced primarily in the areas of hiking, cruising by boat, kayaking, and mountain biking. Meetings were conducted with the Chief Executive Officers of Tourism New Zealand and Destination Queenstown. In addition executives of two tour operators with global marketing operations were interviewed.
We can always learn from studying the best practices of other destinations and organizations. An analysis of New Zealand as an adventure tourism destination will be presented, with comparisons to the Adirondacks. The marketing and management of adventure tourism in New Zealand will be examined and compared to how similar tourism activities are marketed and managed in the Adirondacks.
What is Adventure Tourism?
Adventure tourism can be defined in various ways and there is no officially accepted or generally agreed upon definition. Martha Honey in Ecotourism and Sustainable Development; Who Owns Paradise? states “Adventure tourism is nature tourism with a kick; it requires physical skill and endurance and involves a degree of risk taking, often in little charted terrain.” (Honey, 2008, p. 8)
In Adventure Tourism Management Ralf Buckley states “Adventure tourism is a broad term which encompasses all types of commercial outdoor tourism and recreation with a significant amount of excitement. It is closely related to nature-based tourism, with some overlap. While nature-based tourism products focus on seeing, however, adventure tourism products focus on doing.” (Buckley, 2009, p. 4)
I like to use the term "perceived risk." Generally speaking for clients I like to keep the real risk low and the perceived risk high. That generally makes for happy and safe clients. While recognizing that adventure tourism does require physical skill and endurance I think it doesn't necessarily mean extreme physical fitness and endurance.
The scope of adventure tourism can also be considered by listings of specific outdoor activities involved. Buckley (2006a) listed the following activities:
abseiling, acrobatic aircraft flights, ballooning, black water rafting, bungy jumping, caving, cross-country skiing, diving, downhill skiing and snowboarding, expedition cruises, gliding hang gliding, heli-skiing, hiking, horse riding, ice climbing, jet boating, kiteboarding, mountain biking, mountaineering, off-road, 4WD driving, ATV driving, rock climbing, sailboarding, sailing, sea kayaking, skydiving, showshoeing, surfing, whale watching, whitewater canoeing, kayaking and rafting, wildlife watching, zorbing. (Buckley, 2009, p.5)
I'm not sure I would include all these activities in adventure tourism. I prefer to include only self-powered outdoor recreation as Adventure Tourism. I'm not sure how I would classify motorized outdoor recreation.
Buckley (2009) also includes accommodation, transport and activities as components of adventure tourism. He makes a distinction between four different types or components: Independent travel, fully packaged guided commercial tours, fixed site adventure activities such as ski resorts, and all other businesses and economic sectors linked to adventure tourism such as equipment and clothing.
Worldwide, adventure tourism is estimated to have a total annual turnover of around $1 trillion (Buckley, 2009a). In the United States the scale of the outdoor tourism sector has been estimated by the Outdoor Industry Association to have been $730 billion per year (Outdoor Industry Association, 2007). Globally it appears that the outdoor and adventure subsectors comprise one-fifth of the global tourism and travel sector (Buckley, 2009a), which in turn comprises 11% of the global economy (WTTC, 2007).
Peter F. Roland
Hotel & Restaurant Management
Stay tuned for the next installment: Destination Marketing Organizations of New Zealand