ACTLS has partnered with Paul Smith’s College Professor Kelly Cerialo and her Field Studies in Hospitality class to explore what a potential affiliate system of lodging operations associated with the hut-to-hut network could look like. We kindly ask for 10 minutes of your time and insight to fill out the survey that will help inform us of the merits and design of such a lodging affiliate system.
This survey will be open until 12:00 PM on Tuesday, November 1st.
We will share with you the results of this study when the analysis of the collected data is complete.
By “trails” we mean trails mostly for self-powered travelers (hiking, paddling, x-country skiing) as equestrian and snowmobile riders can cover greater distances more quickly and travel more easily from one community to the next. But, given that we are looking to create trails that connect communities, we are exploring all trail and user group possibilities.
By “hut” we mean a range of lodging options, of which we hope the majority will be existing lodging facilities, such as your own, found in, nearby, and between the many hamlets spread throughout the Adirondacks. This range of lodging options includes cabin tents, yurts, cabins, state-of-the-art eco-lodges, bed and breakfasts, motels, hotels and inns.
The Adirondack Community-based Trails and Lodging System (ACTLS) project, an initiative that will develop a conceptual plan for potential trail networks with key locations for lodging facilities within the Adirondack Park, has scheduled nine Community Workshops across the Park.
These workshops are designed to inform the public of the project’s objectives and to share work completed to date regarding existing and planned trails, lodging facilities, and tourism destinations. The workshops are also designed to solicit knowledge of existing trails as well as additional input on prospective new trails and connections that would contribute to a hut-to-hut system. Community leaders, planners, economic developers, outdoor enthusiasts, lodging owners and those interested in the development of Adirondack hut-to-hut routes are encouraged to attend.
For those unable to attend meetings, a website will be available to provide input at: www.adirondacktrailsandlodging.org/wiki-map
These workshops will be held in the following locations:
Star Lake 10/11/16 Tuesday 7:00 PM Clifton-Fine School - 11 Hall Avenue,
Old Forge 10/13/16 Thursday 7:00 PM Town Building - 183 Park Avenue, Old Forge
Saranac 10/19/16 Wednesday 7:00 PM Saranac Town Hall - 3662 Route 3, Saranac
Ticonderoga 10/20/16 Thursday 7:00 PM Community Building - 132 Montcalm Street, Ticonderoga
Elizabethtown 10/24/16 Monday 7:00 PM United Church of Christ, Church Hall - 7580 Court Street, Elizabethtown
Lake George 10/26/16 Wednesday 7:00 PM Lake George Town Hall, upstairs - 20 Old Post Road, Lake George
Tupper Lake 11/1/16 Tuesday 6:00 PM Goff-Nelson Library, Community Room (rear entrance) - 41 Lake Street, Tupper Lake
Lake Placid 11/10/16 Thursday 7:00 PM The Conference Center at Lake Placid - 2608 Main Street, Lake Placid
Paul Smiths 11/15/16 Tuesday 7:00 PM Paul Smith's College: Joan Weill Student Center, Stirling Tomkins Pine Room - Intersection of Routes 30 and 86 in Paul Smiths
For more information, contact Jack Drury at 518-891-5915, 518-354-8169 or email@example.com or visit www.adirondacktrailsandlodging.org.
There is an interesting article titled “HOW TO SURVIVE A WILDERNESS EMERGENCY” at 303 Magazine.com. It has some good points and resonated with me because it paralleled my philosophy that survival in a wilderness emergency situation is determined BEFORE you leave home. As my mentor, Paul Petzoldt, used to say, “If you are stupid enough to get into a survival situation how are you going to be smart enough to get out of it.” He sarcastically suggested that people carry smart pills that would help them make smart decisions after they had made the stupid decisions that got them into trouble.
I love the article’s introduction, which states, “Having the proper knowledge and equipment prior to finding yourself in a wilderness emergency is the key to overcoming it. It’s easy to talk yourself out of buying gear that (if you’re lucky) you may never use, and as tempting as it is to continue to tell yourself ‘that will never happen to me,’ it’s safer and smarter to always assume that it will happen to you. It could happen on a trail that you hike once a week and it could happen at the campsite you visit every year. Understanding that there is a chance you could end up in a life-threatening position is the first step to preparing yourself to survive it.”
I take issue with the implication that wilderness is inherently dangerous. While many bad things can happen in the wilderness, it is when people make bad decisions before they arrive, and then compound them by continuing to make them while trekking through the wild outdoors, that things become dangerous. The article has wonderful advice, such as, “Tell someone” (where you are going), although, depending on your trailhead, I’m not sure it is a good idea to leave a note on the dashboard of your car, perhaps letting thieves know you won’t be around.
I think the article’s emphasis on pre-planning is great. While I love spontaneity, being spontaneous in the wilderness, as the author points out, can be the first decision that gets you into trouble. The advice about researching your journey, building an emergency kit, and being familiar with your gear is excellent.
The article also has great advice on clothing. It rightfully recommends NO COTTON and provides lots of alternatives.
Everyone has their own list of top essentials, as do I, but I question putting “Means of protection” number 1. While I do have a knife on my list of essentials, using it for protection is pretty low on my list. It’s primary emergency uses might include cutting nylon cord and creating some sort of shelter by cutting branches, and of course the most important non-emergency use, cutting your stick of pepperoni. Thinking of my knife as a means of protection is not even a consideration for me; if you need protection, pepper spray (which the author suggests) is a better option.
There is an interesting recommendation to bring a cell phone. A decade ago I would have said you were crazy to carry your cell phone; however, today, as cell coverage is much more extensive, it makes sense to bring a cell phone. The challenge is to have them work for you and not to fail functionally when you need them most. Here are my suggestions for cell phones:
The author suggests building an emergency kit weighing no more than ten pounds. My day pack has two ditty bags with just such gear. I rarely leave home without it. It contains a basic first aid kit (I have a more sophisticated one for longer trips), a flashlight, water bottle, snack food, a whistle, fire starter, extra clothing, and rain gear. I have my map and compass readily available as well.
I do not carry an emergency shelter on day trips. Paul Petzoldt, founder of the National Outdoor Leadership School and the Wilderness Education Association, once wrote, “The important rule governing what should be in your pack is that a party be able to survive one night in the outdoors in case of injury, becoming lost, or other emergency!” You don’t have to necessarily be comfortable, but you need to survive.
One last nitpick is the recommendation to stay put. It generally is good advice, but it should not be a hard and fast rule. There is an unfortunate story about a gentleman named David Boomhower who, in 1991, got lost in the Adirondacks, followed the rule of staying put, despite being less than two hours from the nearest road and being able to hear vehicles from the tentsite he created. He left a diary telling his harrowing tale of starving to death so close to civilization. Staying put was not in his best interest.
The article is well worth a read, but don’t forget that ultimately your brain is going to be the best tool to have and use in an emergency situation.
This is the last of six installments on Peter Roland, Associate Professor of Hotel and Restaurant Management at Paul Smith's College's recent report on his sabbatical trip to study the marketing and management of adventure tourism in New Zealand. With his permission we will be providing a series of the following installments of his report.
The objectives of this study were twofold: To better prepare Paul Smith’s College students for participation in the tourism system and provide information that will allow Adirondack destinations to better compete for the adventure traveler. As a world leader in adventure tourism New Zealand offers good examples of best practices with respect to marketing and management for this segment of the tourism industry.
The experience of developing a six week itinerary including a number of adventure tourism activities involved a considerable amount of research followed by executing the itinerary upon arrival at the destination. Put simply, New Zealand makes it easy. The information available online was extensive and user friendly. Planning for transportation, accommodations, activities and attractions could be done seamlessly. The availability of sample itineraries, packages and links to tour operators and other businesses and organizations made planning an efficient process. Upon arrival expectations were met with nearly every aspect of what was planned.
Tourism is a complex system that includes government agencies, destination marketing organizations, not for profits and businesses that provide information, amenities and activities for visitors. Tourism is now the largest industry in New Zealand and has achieved this over the last 30 years due to the successful integration of all the elements of the tourism system. They do this well and much can be learned from a study of their system.
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. The information acquired with respect to the New Zealand tourism system will help students with an understanding of not only adventure tourism but many other aspects of marketing and managing recreation, resorts and tourism destinations.
The activities that first brought visitors to the Adirondacks in the 19th century are still important to the tourism economy of the region today. However the nature of these activities has evolved along with how they can be marketed and managed. Better information and better infrastructure supporting these activities will enhance the visitor experience and when combined with marketing could result in an increase in visitors and businesses supporting these activities. Increasingly tourism destinations are competing globally as well as within their traditional regions. In order to remain competitive in the 21st century and take advantage of the economic stimulus that tourism can provide all the participants in the tourism system need to work together to create an exceptional experience for the visitor.
This is the fifth of six installments on Peter Roland, Associate Professor of Hotel and Restaurant Management at Paul Smith's College's recent report on his sabbatical trip to study the marketing and management of adventure tourism in New Zealand. With his permission we will be providing a series of the following installments of his report.
Application of New Zealand Practices to Adventure Tourism
in the Adirondacks
New Zealand offers a wide range of adventure tourism activities, many of which are also offered in the Adirondacks. Hiking, paddling and mountain biking are the activities with the greatest degree of overlap and which can be studied for best practices that could be applied in the Adirondack Region. While New Zealand is an icon destination with global attraction, the Adirondacks are a regional destination within a day’s drive of 85 million people.
With respect to hiking the condition of the tracks in New Zealand was exceptional. This makes them user friendly and the rating of tracks from Easiest to Expert allows the user to select a walk that is best suited to the time available and their abilities. The accessibility of information about the tracks both online and at the iSites throughout the country was excellent. Any agency charged with recreational land management must deal with issues relating to preserving the resource while at the same time providing access to the public. The Department of Conservation appears to be managing this balance well and no conflicts were observed with the exception of the Tongariro Alpine Traverse.
The infrastructure that supports the hiking is very well developed. Private operators provide shuttles to and from the trail heads from population centers. Guided hike options exist in many areas that range from half day to multi-day hikes. Links to the private operators are easy to find on both the TNZ and DoC websites. At whatever level the visitor wants to experience hiking, from totally independent to totally supported, the options are there and are easily accessible. The ability to offer value added features such as transfers, rentals, guides and huts provides the opportunity to create greater revenue for the private operators that support the activity while offering a more customizable experience for the visitor.
The hut to hut options deserve special mention due to the work currently being done by the Adirondack Community-based Trails & Lodging System (ACTLS) to develop this in the Adirondacks. New Zealand has a tradition of offering backcountry huts for hikers and the DoC operates and maintains over 950 huts in the National Parks and other conservation lands throughout the country. This would be extremely unlikely to happen in the Adirondacks due to the nature of laws creating the Adirondack Park and Adirondack Forest Preserve. ACTLS would utilize private operators with inholdings in the Park or in the Hamlets. Based on discussions with Ultimate Hikes and Active Adventures there is a demand for this product that could be satisfied by a system in the Adirondacks. This is a higher priced experience that would also support a number of other businesses providing lodging, food, transfers, and other support activities.
The paddling activities in New Zealand were notable for the number of options available, from simple equipment rentals to guided day long to multi-day trips. This is currently being done in the Adirondacks by a number of operators. One very useful feature offered in Abel Tasman National Park was the use of water taxis to provide access to a number of points in the park for both hikers and paddlers. This allowed the visitor to hike, paddle, or both and allowed use of parts of the park for hikers or paddlers that didn’t want to do a multi-day activity. This also allowed paddlers or hikers to only go in one direction for as far as they wanted and not have to return to the start on the same route. Similar water taxi shuttle options existed for hikers on walking tracks that could be accessed from lakes in the more popular destinations. All these activities were provided by private operators and increased the amount visitors spent in these areas.
Mountain biking is extensive and well promoted in New Zealand. A trail grading system similar to that for hiking is helpful for the visitor and information is readily available online through the TNZ and DoC websites as well as the iSites throughout the country. As with the hiking and paddling there are many businesses supporting this activity through providing rentals, guided tours, and shuttles. Although mountain biking is promoted through the Lake Placid and Adirondack Region websites there is no listing of that as an activity on the I Love NY website and on the Department of Environmental Conservation website a limited amount of information can be found under the “Recreation – Other Activities – Bicycling” tabs on the website. Given the growth in mountain biking this could represent an opportunity for the Adirondacks.
This is the fourth of six installments on Peter Roland, Associate Professor of Hotel and Restaurant Management at Paul Smith's College's recent report on his sabbatical trip to study the marketing and management of adventure tourism in New Zealand. With his permission we will be providing a series of the following installments of his report.
A number of different hikes were taken, ranging from one hour to three days. New Zealand offers both “walks” and “tramps”, with walks generally being of shorter duration on very well maintained tracks (trails) and tramps being on more difficult less maintained tracks. All tracks managed by the DoC are given one of six walking track categories ranging from Easiest to Expert. Most walking tracks are on National Park land or conserved land, but many also include access across private property.
The tracks are maintained exceptionally well with hardened surfaces, stairs in steep sections, and bridges or elevated walkways over rivers or wet sections. Many of the tracks have toilet facilities at trail heads and the most popular tracks have vault toilet facilities along the tracks which need to be maintained. It was apparent that a tremendous amount of resources are devoted to track maintenance, including extensive use of helicopters for transport of building materials and maintenance of sanitary facilities.
Information available online at the DoC site and at local iSites makes it extremely easy to find hikes suitable for any level. Under “Find places to go walking and tramping” a visitor can sort by Region, Duration (under 1 hour to Multi-night), Place (areas within a region) and Difficulty (Easiest to Expert). DoC signage for walking tracks was excellent, with uniform signage throughout the country. One interesting feature is that they do not give distances but rather give estimated duration times, either one way or round trip. This is based on average walking abilities but is clearly helpful to less experienced walkers since the times would be determined by quality of track and elevation gain in addition to distance.
DoC also manages over 950 huts of all sizes and levels of service. Reservations are required for many during the high season and overnight campers are required to have either a campsite or hut permit. Fees range from $21 to $36 USD per person per night, depending on location and amenities. The huts range from quite rustic to fairly modern and offer bunks and toilet facilities as well as propane for cooking. New Zealand has a tradition of providing shelter in the backcountry that goes back over 100 years that continues today.
Nine “Great Walks” are promoted on both the DoC and TNZ websites. As stated on the DoC website “New Zealand's Great Walks are premier tracks that pass through diverse and spectacular scenery. From native forests, lakes and rivers to rugged mountain peaks, deep gorges and vast valleys...there's a Great Walk for everyone! Great Walks tracks are well formed and easy to follow. While most people prefer to explore on their own terms, guided trips offer a bit more comfort. Great Walks are accessible from major towns that are well serviced by local operators and accommodation and transport providers.” (http://www.doc.govt.nz/great-walks).
The DoC is primarily responsible for maintenance on the tracks throughout the country, with some assistance from volunteers and advocacy groups. Tracks on the Great Walks are maintained to specific standards and guided trips are offered by private operators on several of them. Transport options are available through a number of private operators to drop off and pick up walkers from trail heads or intermediate points on the tracks.
Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise
Cruises are offered in Doubtful and Milford Sounds in Fiordland National Park either as day trips or overnight experiences. While these better fit the definition of nature tourism as opposed to adventure tourism they are considered a “must see” for visitors to the South Island and are undertaken by many visitors also experiencing adventure tourism activities.
An overnight cruise was taken with Real Journeys on Doubtful Sound, the second largest fiord located in Fiordland National Park. The trip includes a boat across Lake Manipouri and a coach over Wilmott Pass before reaching the Fiordland Navigator in Deep Cove. The boat accommodated 70 passengers and included all the amenities expected of a nature cruise ship.
Real Journeys is a very large tour operator, one of many offering cruises and activities in both Doubtful and Milford Sounds. These operators are all concessions through the DoC and their activities are regulated.
This is the third of six installments on Peter Roland, Associate Professor of Hotel and Restaurant Management at Paul Smith's College's recent report on his sabbatical trip to study the marketing and management of adventure tourism in New Zealand. With his permission we will be providing a series of the following installments of his report.
Active Adventures - I
Active Adventures is a tour operator based in Queenstown that offers guided multi-day tours offering a range of activities including hiking, mountain biking, kayaking and general sightseeing. Their packages include meals, accommodations, transport, activities and guides. Pricing ranges from 8 days for $3,600 to 14 days for $5,700 per person.
The company was started in 1996 and offered itineraries only in New Zealand. They have since expanded to offering trips in the Himalayas, South America and Europe. They are now hosting approximately 1,200 travelers per year on their New Zealand itineraries. Since some of their activities take place on public land they need a concession with DoC and are DoC approved. Active was not used for any part of this visit to New Zealand but some of the activities and lodging included in their tours was used.
A meeting was held in Queenstown with Managing Director Rob Wiseley, Matthew Yates, and Phil Boorman. Given the high price point of their tours they were asked what they considered to be their greatest value added as opposed to a traveler developing their own itinerary. From the first point of contact through to the conclusion of a tour their exchanges are human and customized. This builds trust between the prospective customer and the company and leads to very high levels of satisfaction. The researcher’s experience with the company reflected this. Of all the inquiries made in the course of planning Active was the only company that offered to send a brochure, and it arrived within a week. A follow-up e-mail that was clearly customized was sent by a member of their staff, and the same person continued to follow up to see if there were any questions that could be answered. Group sizes do not exceed 14 people and they typically have two guides with each group. The guides are local wherever they are operating and they pride themselves on sharing local knowledge with the participants.
The target market is a 55 year old couple, many times with dual incomes. Their marketing strategy relies heavily on digital, utilizing search advertising, social media and search engine optimization. Unlike Ultimate Hikes the majority of their customers come from the United States. Active does use some traditional media, buying advertising in magazines like Outside in the U.S. They attend some outdoor shows in major markets in the U.S. and also host events for past and prospective customers in a number of cities.
Adventure Tourism Activities
This is the second of six installments on Peter Roland, Associate Professor of Hotel and Restaurant Management at Paul Smith's College's recent report on his sabbatical trip to study the marketing and management of adventure tourism in New Zealand. With his permission we will be providing a series of the following installments of his report.
Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) and Tour Operators
Meetings were held with DMOs responsible for marketing and managing tourism and tour operators that market and manage adventure tourism products.
Tourism New Zealand
A meeting was held with Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) Chief Executive Kevin Bowler and Kellie Douglas, Marketing Manager – Youth Sector at the TNZ offices in Auckland. They stated that they did not consider adventure travel to be a market segment; “adventure is something everyone does”. Accessibility to nature is the message that has been conveyed through the successful 100% Pure New Zealand branding campaign. Their target market for the leisure traveler is independent professionals. New Zealand is on many people’s “bucket list” and their promotion is geared towards moving prospective customers “down the funnel” from interest to action. This is accomplished through compelling video and stunning photography on their digital platforms that also emphasize the ease and accessibility of travel to and within New Zealand.
For New Zealand Australia continues to be their biggest inbound market followed by China, the U.S. and U.K. Tourism is the number one industry in New Zealand as of 2015. For the year ending March 2015 international tourist expenditure accounted for $11.8 billion NZD or 17.4% of New Zealand total export earnings. Tourism directly contributes $10.6 billion NZD or 4.9% to New Zealand total GDP. (http://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/sectors-industries/tourism/documents-image-library/key-tourism-statistics.pdf)
For marketing the only traditional media used is a limited amount of print in Australia. The “long haul market” is 100% digital with extensive use of social media and search advertising. They also focus on the travel trade, including travel agents and tour operators, and work closely with the regional tourism organizations in public relations activities geared towards the trade.
The TNZ website is extremely attractive and well organized, sorting prospective visitors by tabs leading to 29 Regional Destinations, Things to Do, Recommended Trips which includes itineraries, Travel to New Zealand with links to airlines, Transport within New Zealand, and Accommodation which can be sorted by region, type and price. The site is easy to navigate and TNZ will send a detailed map by mail upon request.
TNZ is responsible for accrediting the 80 tourist information centers called “iSites” throughout the country. These sites share uniform signage, are easy to find, and provide a wealth of local and regional information both online and with hard copy. TNZ also administers the Qualmark program, an accreditation system similar to AAA in the United States that rates over 2,000 businesses throughout the country.
Queenstown is the self-proclaimed “World Capital of Adventure” and generally acknowledged to be the most important hub of adventure tourism activities on the South Island.
A meeting was held with Graham Budd, Chief Executive, at their offices in Queenstown.
Destination Queenstown is a Regional Tourism Organization (RTO) that was founded in 1985; prior to that there was no organization dedicated to tourism promotion for Queenstown and the region surrounding it. Their funding is through a levy based on commercial property value and their annual budget is $3.4 million New Zealand Dollars, the equivalent of $2.3 million US dollars at current exchange rates. Destination Queenstown is an independent corporation but they do report to the Queenstown District Council which is an elected governing body.
Queenstown currently has 2 million overnight visitors per year with an additional million visitors in the form of day trippers from other parts of the South Island. Their visitors are 33% domestic and 67% international. They target the adventure traveler with a number of signature activities such as jet boating, bungy jumping, hiking, white water rafting and mountain biking in the warmer months. There are three ski resorts within an hour that provide winter activities. Queenstown also sees a number of tour groups whose participants are mainly sightseeing on the South Island. They do not operate a conference center but are currently looking at the feasibility of building a conference facility to fill rooms in the shoulder seasons.
Mr. Budd was asked about the development of adventure tourism product, which is a relatively new phenomenon. He answered that they already had “the stage”, a spectacular setting on a lake surrounded by mountains and rivers. The growth in activities was driven by a group of entrepreneurs in the private sector that were operating attractions and decided to get together to package and promote them jointly. This was already happening by the time Destination Queenstown was founded in 1985 and his organization has marketed the destination to a national and international audience.
Queenstown’s marketing strategies are similar to those of Tourism New Zealand. They buy traditional print media only for the domestic and Australian markets. Video is produced and put on YouTube and they make extensive use of search advertising and social media. They target the travel trade through attending trade shows and do a considerable amount of tour group business as a result. They offer only downloads through their website and do not offer to send printed materials All the commercial properties that are subject to a tax levy supporting the RTO are entitled to exposure on the website. They work with Tourism New Zealand closely, especially on public relations activities for travel writers and other media events.
Ultimate Hikes is a tour operator based in Queenstown that offers guided one day hikes and multi-day hut to hut hikes in Fiordland and Mt. Aspiring National Parks. They have been operating on the Routeburn Track since 1989 and the Milford Track since 1992. An interview was conducted with Noel Saxon, General Manager, at their offices in Queenstown prior to doing the Routeburn Track with them.
Ultimate Hikes is a concession that has the exclusive right to offer hut to hut hikes on the Routeburn and Milford Tracks, two of New Zealand’s “Great Walks”. They operate through a 20 year agreement with the Department of Conservation (DoC) and pay the DoC a percentage of their revenue and other fees. Ultimate operates their own full service huts on the tracks while the DoC also operates huts for a fee that offer bunks and cooking facilities for campers. The DoC requires a minimum 1:12 guide to client ratio for groups hiking with Ultimate.
The DoC has strict standards for the tracks (trails) identified and promoted as “Great Walks”. These standards include maximum grades, trail materials used to harden the trails, surface water management and other specifications. The result is an improved hiking surface for all of the Great Walks and many other hiking trails that surpasses anything found in the
Adirondacks. The DoC performs the trail work but Ultimate also contributes to work on the tracks; costs are apportioned based on the number of visitors each are responsible for according to the number of beds they provide in their huts (70 in DoC huts, 40 in Ultimate huts).
The target market for Ultimate is a 55-65 year old active traveler. Their customers are 20% Domestic, 20% United States, 35% Australian, 12% Japanese with the remaining 13% split between other points of origin. Their marketing is primarily done using digital media with an emphasis on search advertising, search engine optimization and social media. Like Tourism New Zealand and Destination Queenstown they do utilize some traditional print media in Australia but that is the only market. Their website features stunning scenic photography alongside descriptions of the trips they offer and other useful information. Everything you need to know is on their website, they offer downloads but do not send printed materials to prospective participants.
The price point for Ultimate Hikes trips is high, $1150 per person for three days and two nights. This includes accommodation in their lodges with private room and private bath, all meals, all DoC fees, transfers to and from the start and finish, and knowledgeable guides with a minimum of 1 guide for each 12 participants. Noel Saxon was asked what features of their hikes created the value that supports this pricing, as opposed to an independent traveler making the arrangements themselves through the DoC system. He believes that it is their ability to provide the comforts of home on the tracks combined with guides knowledgeable about every aspect of the National Parks that creates the greatest value added. An assessment of the experience on the Routeburn Track follows in the Activities section of this report.
Peter Roland, Associate Professor of Hotel and Restaurant Management at Paul Smith's College recently penned a report on his sabbatical trip to study the marketing and management of adventure tourism in New Zealand. With his permission we will be providing a series of the following installments of his report.
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?