Thrill-seekers who are short on time but big on seeking new experiences are opting for a ‘microadventure’ in order to fulfil their passion, according to the WTM Global Trends Report 2016, in association with Euromonitor International, released today (Tuesday 8 November) at World Travel Market London.
The term ‘microadventure’ was coined by British explorer Alastair Humphreys two years ago to describe a small and achievable outdoor adventure for normal people with real lives.
Since then, there has been an explosion in demand for microadventures, particularly among busy Europeans. The trend seems to accompany the general consumer shift away from a desire for material possessions towards an interest in actual experiences.
There are a number of new opportunities the travel trade has seized upon to grab a slice of this potentially lucrative market, according to the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA).
ATTA Executive Director – Europe, Chris Doyle, said: “More and more adventure opportunities are being made available, providing people with an ‘a la carte’ menu of different experiences.
“These microadventures can be a stepping stone to a deeper involvement in the activity or the destination itself.”
Airlines and tour operators are embracing the concept, according to the report. For example, easyJet has created a number of microadventure ideas across Europe, based in and around cities, seen as an alternative to classic city break activities.
A growing number of adventure tour companies are offering microadventures in European destinations, for example, three or four days hiking or kayaking with nights spent in a local hotel.
While on-shore excursions have long been a feature for cruises, increasingly active adventures are now on offer such as cycle tours, zip-lining and even waterfall climbing.
In the future, hotels could create microadventures around their locations for guests, potentially targeting ‘bleisure’ guests – those who stay on for an extra night or two to add a leisure element after a business trip – to carry out the adventure.
Microadventures can be solo affairs or undertaken with friends or family, with multi-generational holidays often seeing different microadventures for varying tastes.
A close relation of the microadventure, the ‘mancation’ has been embraced by hotels and online travel agents wishing to build on the popularity of male-only activity holidays.
Largely focused on the US, Expedia offers ‘mancation back-to-nature’ weekends, and the Fairmont hotel group has created mancation packages offering city or activity stays.
Euromonitor International, Head of Travel, Caroline Bremner said: “Many busy Europeans do not have time for traditional adventuring and so are opting instead for a microadventure – an adventurous break to get away from it all – either stand-alone or added on to a holiday.
“Sometimes known as soft adventure, these types of activities tend to be low risk and are usually achievable with minimum previous experience. They tie in with an increasing drive for healthier lifestyles.”
WTM London, Senior Director, Simon Press, said: “Many of us have probably had a microadventure without knowing we were part of this new phenomenon. In such a fast-paced world, the microadventure is a great way to fit new experiences into busy lives.
“It’s fascinating to follow the progress of this phenomenon and to watch where the microadventure trend will head next – and which travel companies succeed in staying ahead of the game and keep up with consumer demands.”
WTM London is the event where the travel and tourism industry conducts its business deals. Buyers from the WTM Buyers’ Club have a combined purchasing responsibility of $22.6 billion (£15.8bn) and sign deals at the event worth $3.6 billion (£2.5bn).
About World Travel Market London
WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend three-day business-to-business exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry.
Almost 50,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press, embark on ExCeL – London every November to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry opinion and trends at WTM London.
WTM London is the event where the travel industry conducts and concludes its deals. WTM London will generate around £2.5 billion of travel industry contracts.
WTM London is part of Reed Travel Exhibition’s World Travel Market events, which also includes Arabian Travel Market, World Travel Market Latin America and World Travel Market Africa. www.wtmworld.com
Reed Travel Exhibitions
Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) is the world’s leading provider of exhibitions in the travel and tourism industry. Its wide-ranging portfolio of events around the globe covers leisure travel, luxury travel, meetings, incentives and business travel, as well as golf, ski and spa travel.
RTE, which organises more than 22 events around the world, includes three divisions; World Travel Market, IBTM Events and International Luxury Travel Market.
RTE is a business unit of Reed Exhibitions.
About Reed Exhibitions
Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events organiser, with more than 500 events in 43 countries. In 2014 Reed brought together more than seven million event participants from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organised by 41 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 43 industry sectors with trade and consumer events. It is part of the RELX Group plc, a world-leading provider of information solutions for professional customers across industries.
About Euromonitor International
Euromonitor International is the world’s leading provider for global business intelligence and strategic market analysis. We have more than 40 years of experience publishing international market reports, business reference books and online databases on consumer markets.
To receive your free 2016 WTM Global Trends Report copy, please register here: http://go.euromonitor.com/WTM-London-2016.html