Updated: Oct 17, 2021
Adventure tourism and mountaineering
Adventure tourism has grown exponentially worldwide and is one of the fastest expanding tourism sectors (Beckman, Whaley, & Kim, 2017; Cheng, Edwards, Darcy, & Redfern, 2018; UNWTO, 2014). It is estimated (Adventure Travel Trade Association, 2018) that the international adventure tourism market is worth €562 billion, not including domestic travel nor Asian outbound travel.
While precise evaluation of adventure tourism’s global economic value is not feasible due to its unrefined scope (Sung, Morrison, & O’leary, 2000), its monetary and non-monetary benefits have been highlighted (Janowski, Gardiner, & Kwek, 2021). What are the drivers of this increased demand? The UNWTO (2014) suggests that increased urbanisation and digitalisation are pushing travellers to seek active, authentic experiences that highlight natural and cultural values. The adventure tourism industry therefore provides much sought-after escapes as well as ecological, cultural and economic benefits to destinations (Janowski, Gardiner, & Kwek, 2021). Indeed, adventure tourism contributes greatly to local economies: approximately two-thirds of the money spent on adventure travel stays on location. This is approximately €350 per day per visitor on average (CBI, 2021).
These benefits include attracting high-value customers, the encouragement of sustainable practices, and support of local economies due to low economic leakage (Adventure Travel Trade Association, 2016; UNWTO, 2014; Janowski, Gardiner, & Kwek, 2021). A specific niche market is represented by mountaineering. Mountaineers or mountain enthusiasts look for new experiences usually guided by mountain professionals i.e. mountain guides. There are plenty of websites and digital resources but the information is fragmented and it is hard to meet the needs.
So, the mountaineering adventure is hard to design. In this scenario, our business idea arose.
Our business idea at a glance
Me and my co-founder Ludovica Ceschi want to create a digital platform that connects the right mountaineering adventures to the right people. Our motto is: design the right adventure, design the adventures right. We want to crate a single digital place where to find mountain professionals, partners, vibrant communities with whom to share and find info and a digital repository of adventures and itineraries. We then have identified 5 main needs, how they are addressed at the moment in the digital world (the situation), the problems (the complication) and finally we are working on the solution.
Adventure Travel Trade Association. (2018). 20 Adventure Travel Trends to Watch in 2018. Retrieved from https://cdn.adventuretravel.biz/research/2018-Travel-Trends.pdf.
Beckman, E., Whaley, J. E., & Kim, Y.-K. (2017). Motivations and experiences of whitewater rafting tourists on the Ocoee River, USA. International Journal of Tourism CBI. (2021). The European market potential for adventure tourism. Retrieved from. https://www.cbi.eu/market-information/tourism/adventure-tourism/adventure-tourism/market-potential
Cheng, M., Edwards, D., Darcy, S., & Redfern, K. (2018). A tri-method approach to a review of adventure tourism literature: Bibliometric analysis, content analysis, and a quantitative systematic literature review. Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research, 42(6), 997–1020. https://doi.org/10.1177/1096348016640588.
Janowski, I., & Reichenberger, I. (2019). Conceptualising Adventure Tourism from a Consumer Perspective. Paper presented at the travel and tourism research association 2019 international conference.
Janowski, I., Gardiner, S., & Kwek, A. (2021). Dimensions of adventure tourism. Tourism Management Perspectives, 37/2021, 1–11.
Sung, H. Y., Morrison, A. M., & O’leary, J. T. (2000). Segmenting the adventure travel market by activities: From the North American industry providers’ perspective. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 9(4), 1–20.
UNWTO. (2014). Global Report on Adventure Tourism. Retrieved from. https://doi.org/10.18111/9789284416622.