Asians getting into adventure travel
AT LEAST 130 MILLION Chinese take part in soft adventure travel annually – hiking and other low-intensity activities – while 60 million try sports perceived as riskier such as rock climbing and gliding, according to the first Adventure Travel World Leaders Forum that took place in Beijing in early June. The Chinese have become more accepting of risk-taking or travel to extreme environments in recent years, according to the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators. They say China has now overtaken Australia as the second largest source of travellers to Antarctica, for instance, accounting for 12% of the 46,000 total visitors last year. They are also the largest group of visitors to Russia’s Arctic region, where the sightings of the Northern Lights and polar bears are much sought-after. President of the China Tourism Association, Duan Qiang (shown right), said the industry’s development relies on the tourism marketeers’ effort to offer ever more creative products and services, according to China Daily. India is another market showing increasing interest in adventure. A report by experiential travel-booking platform Thrillophilia in April said that 28% of respondents there go on at least five adventure trips in a year. The study, which surveyed 10,000 travellers and 1,800 travel partners, further showed that adventure tourism is gaining popularity not just among young travellers, but also among respondents aged 35 and above as well. On a global scale, Allied Market Research valued the adventure tourism market at $446bn in 2016 and projects it to reach $1.3tn by 2023.