The Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS) was held in Killarney last week, with over 700 delegates from over 60 countries around the world attending. The summit is the adventure tourism industry’s foremost annual gathering, and it’s the first time the event has been held in Ireland.
Adventure Travel is becoming an increasingly larger part of the leisure tourism market and estimated to worth over €90 billion annually. The summit is viewed as a hugely important opportunity for countries and businesses to showcase what they have to offer. Delegates at the event stressed the need to focus on culture and authenticity to attract visitors to an Adventure Travel destination. Patagonia and Ireland were also viewed as the most desirable Adventure Travel destinations.
Acteavo Co-Founder, Danielle Mallen, who spoke to delegates at the event, said “Culture and authenticity ranked as the most important factors when picking an Adventure Travel destination. While most countries have something to offer the Adventure Travel market, Patagonia and Ireland were among delegates’ top picks for Adventure Travel destinations”. Lindsay White, from National Geographic Adventures said that they look for destinations that are ‘authentic and ‘relatively undiscovered’.
Other findings from the event were:
- Costa Rica, Norway, New Zealand and the National Parks in the US also ranked highly in terms of desirable Adventure Travel destinations
- Uniqueness and the undiscovered nature of a destination; safety and natural beauty also ranked highly for factors that influence the selection of an Adventure Travel destination
As the ATWS was held in Killarney this year, delegates gave their views on what Ireland could do to increase its Adventure Travel appeal. The need to continue to focus on quality offerings; keep doing what it’s doing ….and if it could stop the rain! were among some of the responses. There’s nothing that can be done to stop the rain unfortunately, but luckily climate did not feature as an important factor when picking an Adventure Travel destination.