Eco tourism fastest growing, adventure travel most resilient

Speaking at the 2012 International Conference on ‘Seizing Tourism Market Opportunities in Times of Rapid Change’, Ecotourism to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature  special advisor Hector Ceballos-Lascurain defines ecotourism as environmentally responsible travel that promotes conservation, low negative tourism impact while providing social economic benefits to the local people.

At 20 to 25 percent growth per year, he said it is the fastest growing tourism segment around the world, with 25 percent of all international tourists qualifying as eco travellers by end of this year.

“Bird watchers are the most popular type of travellers in this segment,” he said.

“In the USA alone, there are 60 million bird watchers making 25 million trips away from home to see birds each year.

“They are spending $25 billion to pursue this activity, and this supports 900,000 jobs.”

He stresses that it is therefore important to facilitate this facet of tourism.

With 77 million baby boomers in the USA, representing the richest generation, this sector is only growing in significance.

And so is adventure travel, according to Europe, Adventure Travel Trade Association executive director Chris Doyle.

Mr Doyle defines adventure travel as a combination of physical activity, cultural immersion and interaction with nature and the environment.

Adventure travellers are a resilient bunch of travellers contributing significantly to travel and tourism.

As an $89 billion a year market which has experienced high growth since 2007, this sector made up of an affluent and educated people will only continue to grow.

On appealing to adventure travellers, Mr Doyle advised operators to not go down the discounting route, but offer value and uniqueness as much as possible.

Source = e-Travel Blackboard: L.T.
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