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"There is good reason much of adventure sport is limited to the caucasians, and the middle classes. By no means is this a rule, as generations of dirtbag climbers have shown. But being able to go on adventures requires a certain financial freedom. Wealth I think is how many are both able, and inspired to chase adventure." (McTavish, 2015)

I definitely agree with this, and I have noticed it increasingly when I was skiing. I did not see anyone that was not caucasian. Seriously, I didn't see any other ethnicity than white, blond with blue eyes. It was crazy. However, I know a lot about the reasons behind the certain demographics in the united states in the ghettos and things like that, and it comes from years and years of mistreatment, bias and racism. So it is of no surprise.

 

"When you think of adventure travel, you might conjure up an image of a group of athletic 20-somethings kayaking or rock climbing. Guess what? According to the Adventure Travel Trade Association, the average age of an adventure traveler is 48. More than half – 53% – are female; 47% are male." (Goldberg, 

I saw the same fact while looking into psychology, and I am not surprised by it. It looks to me like that age group have their kids grown up, in college, with a steady job, and the stresses of life might be lifted a little bit more than before. It makes sense for them to start exploring and going on adventures more.

 

"According to a 2014 study published by Skift and StudentUniverse, the student traveler represents fully one-fifth of all international arrivals in the travel industry, commanding a market value of some $320 billion." (Reynolds, n.d)

Apart from that ridiculously high number, I understand how students would have the time and excitement and energy to go on adventures. The only thing that I wonder about is where did all that money come from? When I went to France, my grandparents paid for our food and let us stay at their house so that was cheap, but we did spend a lot on skiing.

 

Millenials: "The number of travellers older than age 30 showed the biggest percentage increase from 2007, rising from 10% of the market to 17%, while younger travellers, aged 23 to 30, have seen a decrease of a similar percentage. Young people continued to spend when they travel. The average is €3,000 per trip, €50 a day, with self-identified "flashpackers" the highest spenders, followed by backpackers and travelers. The biggest difference since 2007 was the length of visit. The average stay of 58 days was almost a week more than in the previous study. The ability to book using mobile devices is now the second biggest consideration after price. Online booking is ranked behind "close proximity to a physical travel agency" as far as importance. Websites are, however, still how most young travelers seek information about future destinations. The city most young travelers wanted to visit was Rio de Janeiro, followed by Tokyo, Sydney, Buenos Aires, and San Francisco." (Reynolds, n.d)

These facts did not shock me too much because I understand how they can spend that much on trips and everything. However, I am amazed at how long they go on an adventure. 58 seems awfully high, so I wonder if this is during the summer, or a cumulative average of their time spent on vacation.

 

Generation X: "HomeAway.com reports that Gen X travelers, those born between 1965 and 1980, will take the most leisure trips. They account for one out of every three leisure travelers and will average between three and four trips this year. According to Statista.com, their top travel descriptors are: exploration hungry, price sensitivity, and cultural interest." (Reynolds, n.d)

This is definitely not a shock to me because that's when my parents were born and it seems about right. We are always moving around and going on trips, and when on those trips, we are very careful with our spending and we are always dragged out to museums and exhibitions. However, I do respect the fact that my parents don't go on those organised tours because that's just a drag.

 

Baby Boomers: "AARP reports that Baby Boomers (aged 50+) are active travelers, anticipating four or five trips in the next year. More than half of Baby Boomers report that they plan to travel exclusively in the U.S., and 42% plan on both domestic and international travel. Bucket List, summer vacation, and multi-generational trips are their most popular types of international trips, while multi-generational, summer vacations, and weekend getaways were their most popular types of domestic trips." (Reynolds, n.d)

This is so accurate! My grandparents did exactly that, and they went to so many countries last year. I think this also has to do with what I talked about in my psychology research about their age. Their kids and kids of kids are grown up, and their responsibilities are limited so they have more intellectual freedom to explore. Also I think the fact that they are old makes them a little scared of dying, so that makes it a catalyst for exploration. 

 

"1. The tour and activity industry: a multi-billion dollar market

  • In Europe, tours and activities account for around US$40 billion (WIT, 2016)
  • The tour and activity sector generated 37,000 million euro in Europe in 2015, tripling the total market size of car rental (10,000, million euro) and reaching almost half the total market for hotel reservations (80,000 million euro) (Phocuswright, 2016)
  • In the USA alone, there are approximately 67,000 businesses valued at US$20 billion in the tour and activity space. This makes it the third largest segment of the travel industry after air and accommodation (WIT, 2016)
  • Travellers are likely to spend more on sightseeing than on shopping, souvenirs and nightlife combined (TripBarometer, 2015)" (Fuggle, 2016)

These statistics are great to give me an idea of the size of the market I am about to go into. The sheer humungous numbers kind of scare me but I wasn't expecting anything lower. Above, it states that these are statistics for only tour and activity industry, which is insane. The fact that people spend more on sight-seeing makes me kind of happy.

 

 "3. It's a year for adventure and new experiences

  • 69% of global travellers - of all age groups - are planning to try something new in 2016 (TripBarometer, 2015)
  • 17% will try solo travel for the first time in 2016, and 15% will try adventure travel for the first time (TripBarometer, 2015)
  • Tourists in 2016 are looking for opportunities to explore lesser-known destinations, especially those that are untouched or unique (Virtuoso, 2016)
  • 1 in 5 global travellers have visited a destination because they saw it on a TV show (TripBarometer, 2015)
  • Just 31% of travellers book a trip based on their own past experiences (Skift Megatrends Defining Travel in 2016)"(Fuggle, 2016)

These statistics are really cool because it really reflects what I have been seeing around me and on social media. People don't want to look like tourists, so they try to blend in and do activities that a person in that country would do. 

 

"4. Treating ourselves is a priority when we travel

  • 1 in 3 travellers (33%) are planning to spend more on travel in 2016 than they did the previous year, and not just because of rising costs (TripBarometer, 2015)
  • The 5 most common things travellers are willing to spend more on as a treat: Sightseeing (53%), special dining experiences (41%), accommodation (41%), activities (35%) and shopping (24%) (TripBarometer, 2015)
  • Among those who plan to increase their travel budget in 2016, 49% said they will do so because “because I or my family deserve it”, while 31% said they would spend more on travel because “it’s important for my health and well-being” (TripBarometer, 2015). 
  • Like last year, "Sand & Sea" is the most appealing vacation type; "Mountains & Nature" is #2 this year (tied #2 with "Big city/Museums" last year) (Adobe, 2016)"(Fuggle, 2016)

 These are really funny statistics because I can definitely image them in real life. I think it's important to take time off, and that was my original idea; help people relax. But obviously that changed to adventure.

 

"8. Social media doesn't just mean Facebook

  • Social messaging will account for 2.5 billion global users by 2018, more than the 2 billion general social media users (Skift Megatrends Defining Travel in 2016)
  • Consumers are 44% more likely to learn about a new travel brand on Twitter than on the average social network (Twitter, 2014)
  • 39% of Twitter users access the platform mid-journey (Twitter, 2014)
  • 97% of millennials say they share pictures while travelling, especially on Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, and Snapchat (Frederic Gonzalo, 2016)
  • 27% of Twitter users share positive travel experiences, creating positive buzz for the brands they mention (Twitter, 2014)
  • 5 out of 6 millennials will choose to connect with companies on social media, but want something in return (predominantly perks & discounts) (SDL, 2014
  • The number of Gen Zs using Facebook is on a steady decline while Instagram adoption continues climbing (Sparks & Honey, 2014)"(Fuggle, 2016) 

If I were to market my product, I would definitely hit social media first. I think it's a powerhouse for the industry and the stats above don't suprise me the least. It'll be even worst in the future. 

 

"9. Millennials are money poor, time rich

  • Millennials will represent the #1 consumer segment in the U.S. hotel industry by 2018, if not 2017 (Frederic Gonzalo, 2016)
  • Travellers ages 15 to 29 accounted for an estimated 23% of international travellers in 2015 (WYSE, 2016)
  • Young people are often money poor but time rich, which means that they can spend longer in a destination than a typical tourist. As a result, however, they end up spending up to two thirds more on average (WYSE, 2016)
  • 78% of millennials would rather spend money on a desirable experience or event than buying something desirable (Harris/Eventbrite, 2014)
  • Young travellers are relatively intrepid and unlikely to be phased by economic problems, political unrest or epidemics. If there are fewer job openings, it can even encourage young people to travel or gain work experience abroad during a gap year (WYSE, 2016).
  • 6 out of 10 millennials would rather spend their money on experiences than material things (MMGY Global)" (Fuggle, 2016)

 That's exactly what I said at the top of this page. We have so much time as young adults, but the money we spend comes from our parents and grandparents. Also, that last fact makes me really happy.

 

"10. There's a growing health and wellness trend to cater for

  • An estimated 17 million travellers identify themselves as being 'health and wellbeing' focused, with 40% of them travelling regularly (HVS, 2014)
  • Wellness tourists spend 130% more than the average tourist (Body & Soul)" (Fuggle, 2016)

That last statistic is very, very impressive. I guess happiness bring money, and money brings happiness after all.

 

"Youth travelers ages 16 to 24 are another large but underserved market. They now represent more than 20% of all international visitors, according to a study by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the World Youth & Student Educational Travel Confederation(WYSETC). The study, cited in March 2007 by TravelMole, stated that "compared with average tourists, adventurous young backpackers stay longer, spend more, seek out alternative destinations and enjoy a wider mix of travel experiences." (Emarketer, 2007)

This is my age category, so I guess it's true. I use a backpack when I travel for practicality, and I think that other young people are strong enough to do the same. I think that however, it does not look at the demographic that cannot afford adventure. So I am thinking of creating a product that has more of a niche market. It would be best to focus on one category of people, for example young people in the city that want a little more adventure, but that can still afford (time and money) to go around and explore. I think that's the road I am going to take. 

 

"Over $700 billion was spent on travel in the US in 2006, according to the Travel Industry Association of America (TIA). Travel spending is expected to rise through 2009, but at decreasing annual rates. The TIA said the slowdown will come from the stabilization of travel prices, softer demand and a general slowdown in consumer spending." (Emarketer, 2007)

This chart is actually linked at the top of the page, and is very impressive. Since it dates back to 2009, we can't see how it progressed, but I know that the industry now is worth about $646 billion, so it came down a little bit. However, I don't know if that's adjusted to inflation, but it gives me an idea of the sheer size of the market. It also makes me a little nervous that I am going to be crushed by the huge powers if anything goes on sale.

© Eva Jane Gates, all rights reserved

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