A New Face of Tourism
Danube Competence Center (DCC) Annual Assembly
ATTA Regional Meeting
5 December 2012
Sofia, Bulgaria
Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA)
Chris Doyle, Executive Director – Europe
Editor, AdventureTravelNews.com
Rila Mountains, Bulgaria ~ 2 Dec 2012 © Chris Doyle
“Adventure tourism is what tourism
should be today, and definitely what
tourism will be tomorrow.”
Mr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General, World Tourism Organization
(UNWTO) - 9 October 2012
•Trends, Economic Impact & Recommendations
– Discussion - Q & A
•About the ATTA
– Discussion – Q & A
•Adventure Tourism Development Index
– Discussion – Q & A
•Work groups & Networking
Adventure Travel :: Context
Adventure Travel :: Context
•“Soft” versus “Hard” Adventure
•Mainstream tourism migration toward
•Sub-sets of “Adventure Travel”
•Adventure travelers stay longer, spend more
•80%+ of tour operators within the 850-member
network :: average less than US$5 million/year
Adventure Travel Matters Because It Is…
•Resilient and rebounds faster
•Transformative and turns travelers into
passionate evangelists and advocates
•A driver of economic development
•Bigger than most realize = real impact US$89B
•Focused on people, planet and profit
Trade :: Insights & Trends
•Volatile environment, yet market resiliency
•Adventure tourism growth – 16-17% per year
•Rise of “adventure” tourism in tourism boards
•Destinations and private enterprise realigning
brands, building networks and partnerships,
revising policies, engaging consumers
•Private enterprise pricing pressure :: holding
firm on premium value equation
Trade :: Insights & Trends
•Increasing destination competitiveness
•Travel-direct-to-supplier transactions rise
•Inbound operators adding outbound
•Nearly 2X itineraries offered since 2009
•Increasing emphasis on Safety & Risk
•Increased niche marketing (Asia, families…)
Trade :: Insights & Trends
•Increase in Mergers & Acquisitions
•Cruise, luxury & non-tourism industry sector
opportunities emerge…and competition
•Creative partnership, collaboration emerges
•Product invention, innovation & done-in-a-day
•Sector growth leading to sub-sector
emergence, sub-group development
•Draconian marketing shifts :: print to digital
•Resource scarcity
Trade :: Insights & Trends
• Europe (Source: ETC):
– Generally speaking, traditional European
destinations stagnant or declining
– Modest growth in Europe, though emerging
markets stand to gain more
– Structural decline in the average # of nights spent
by tourists from major markets
– Emerging destinations in Central/Eastern Europe
lead growth though moving from a low base
– Domestic travel growing faster in emerging
– US $$ strength expected improvement
Trade :: Insights & Trends
•Beyond marketing…foundation building
– Advocacy
– Education
– Training
– Quality
•Emerging threats…
– Capacity
– Erosion of “true” adventure :: commoditization
Traveler :: Insights & Trends
•Source markets shifting
•Internet, Mobility, Storytelling :: acceleration*
• Traveler reviews and referrals :: influence
•Shifting consumer demands :: fickle
•Customization & Personalization
•Immediacy :: Collapsing booking windows
•Affinity groups :: micro-segmentation
•“Boomer” market :: ageing population
Traveler :: Insights & Trends
• “Enlightenment” :: More mature and informed
views emerging on culture and sustainability,
climate change and environmentalism…
• Travelers :: Are increasingly..
• Complex, sophisticated
• Seeking authentic, transformative and
“clean” experiences – custom delivered
2013 :: Outlook
Tour Operators :: double-digital growth
Tourism Boards :: national tourism boards will
continue to shift to adventure/nature tourism
development & marketing :: compet
Social media :: reviews, video, commerce
New blends of adventure, cultural and naturebased activities emerge :: innovation period
Intense scrutiny on Safety & Risk Management
Economic Impact…
•Adventure Tourism Development Index (ATDI)
•ATTA-UNWTO Economic Impact Study (EIS) –
…An Awakening
•Values-driven shift (gov’t, business, traveler)
•Development shift
•Realignment :: adjustment era
For Adventure Tourism to Lead, We Need to…
•Commit to best practices and ethical standards
across operations, continents
•Be creative, collaborative and diverse
•Engage with and create value throughout the
entire supply chain
•Co-create long term vision for travel
Worldwide, Your Peers Tell the ATTA…
•Tough to find the right partners
•Need to access research, validate approaches
and consider next strategies
•Need more and better connections
•Tight marketing budgets :: media is upended
•Need more brand awareness at consumer level
:: need more consumers
Danube Region :: Recommendations
• Advance tourism as a vehicle for job creation
and economic growth and development
• Champion value creation
• Emphasize ECONOMIC IMPACT to secure
adequate funding
• Take EVERY measure to engage the
community :: offer & convey direct benefits
Danube Region :: Recommendations
•Invest in international education and training
programs and standards
•Invest in international risk/safety management
issues, prevention and practice
•Invest in international Best Practices schemes –
customer service, accommodations,
sustainability, guiding, etc.
•Engage in global adventure travel trade for
exchange programs – avoiding need to re-create
the wheel on specific programs
Danube Region :: Recommendations
• Accurately assess the adventure travel assets
of the region – (e.g., commission an
Adventure Tourism Development Index
• Invest in understanding the needs and
interests of the international adventure
•Create definitive BRAND for the region
•Swiftly introduce new generations of travelers
to the “hidden” Europe
Danube Region :: Recommendations
•Operate businesses professionally and ethically
to maintain competitive position :: create peerto-peer force to expose those working outside
the system
•Whether your company/organization is large or
small…collaborate with tourism boards, private
enterprise, associations, academia, trade shows,
community, etc., to continue to build the
network, evolve concepts, etc.
Danube Region :: Recommendations
• Rethink the range of audiences you are trying
to reach…and where to find them
• During these difficult economic times,
continue to build the foundation and image
for progressive travel along the Danube ::
emphasize VALUE
• Communicate, communicate, communicate ::
keep trade and travelers well informed
• Sustain presence and visibility in influencer
Danube Region :: Recommendations
• Invest in visual storytelling
• Limit manufactured experiences (e.g., zip-lines
as adventure)
• Leverage what no other destination in the
world besides Danube communities can
• Accentuate the people, culture, cuisine and
history of the region – it is its greatest
Danube Region :: Recommendations
• Act proactively and creatively to the
challenges of developing, maintaining and
refreshing adventure travel products and
services within the broader context of overall
economic development strategy for the region
• Invest in younger generations, education,
training, etc., to create your future leaders of
responsible tourism
“Adventure tourism is what tourism
should be today, and definitely what
tourism will be tomorrow.”
Mr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General, World Tourism Organization
(UNWTO) - 9 October 2012
Chris Doyle
Executive Director – Europe & Editor, AdventureTravelNews.com
[email protected]

Potentials of adventure tourism development in Danube Region