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Download our Outdoor Adventure Travel Market Report

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Despite lingering uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, many consumers still feel the need for recreational travel. In July, our Consumer Sentiment Tracking Study found that 23% say that travel is more important than ever, matching the highest level since January. Still, health and safety remain top priorities.

Similar to recent trends like “travel pods” and private vacation rentals, our researchers have noted rising interest in outdoor adventure travel. Offering a low-risk way to satisfy wanderlust, adventure travel provides the safety and privacy that consumers highly value. In a way, it’s becoming the new luxury travel.

To better understand consumer attitudes and expectations about outdoor adventure travel and help businesses find innovative ways to capitalize on this emerging trend, we recently conducted a survey among avid travelers.

We looked at the types of outdoor destinations that are most popular, the activities and amenities consumers want most, and the types of foods and beverages they are packing for their trips.

Here’s a closer look at the current market situation and what consumers are saying about this new trend in travel and tourism.

A healthier way to get away from the everyday.

Even before COVID, outdoor adventure travel has always been strongly linked to health and wellness. From backpacking to RV camping to “glamping” and other upscale experiences, people have long sought renewal and rejuvenation in the outdoors.

It’s no surprise that outdoor adventure travel boomed during the pandemic. Beyond the ease of social distancing, many find that spending time outdoors helps reduce stress and improve physical and mental wellbeing—and that number is growing.

A survey by KOA Campgrounds found that the number of American households that identify as “campers” grew by 3.9 million in 2020, driven by an influx of first-time campers representing a wide range of demographics. Significantly, not only are more people interested in camping, but they also went camping more frequently in 2020, with first-time campers equally likely as long-time campers to take 3 or more trips last year.

This travel industry trend isn’t limited to the United States. Forbes reports that “nature is the new luxury” in Scandinavia, where the luxury travel market has seen the rise of curated outdoor travel experiences like Edible Country, in which travelers forage for organic ingredients in the countryside, which are then expertly prepared by local chefs and served al fresco at upscale campsites.

Whether it’s simply a desire to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine, or a hunger for more natural dining experiences, the appeal of outdoor adventure travel has never been stronger.

Not exactly roughing it: Popular outdoor activities, amenities and menu items.

Our survey found that an overwhelming majority (80%) enjoys outdoor adventure trips, whether it’s hiking or trekking (64%), canoeing or rafting (56%), or camping (55%).

Of those camping, the majority (84%) are going old school and pitching a tent, though cabins and RVs are growing more popular. Many say that creature comforts are a priority when choosing a campsite, with restrooms, showers and electric hookups cited as desired amenities.

To fuel their adventure activities, our community members have a taste for traditional camping fare, with trail mix and granola bars topping their shopping list. Unsurprisingly for this health-conscious demographic, water is the most popular beverage for outdoor trips, with 93% packing it. Sports drinks and juice are also popular choices.

Overall, 31% of respondents say they usually bring alcoholic beverages when camping, though campers aged 35-54 are significantly more likely to than those under 34, with 38% of the older cohort planning to imbibe compared to just 21% of younger travelers.

Learn how 360 IDEAvate can help you develop new products to stay ahead of trends in the travel market.

Changing consumer attitudes and behaviors present new opportunities for businesses like yours—if you can stay ahead of the trends. Are you ready?

Learn how 360 Market Reach can help you prepare for the next emerging market shift with 360 IDEAvate, our custom innovation research platform designed to identify high-potential ideas and shape the next generation of products.

Drawing on our ongoing travel market research and feedback from social media influencers and consumers, 360 IDEAvate puts your business ahead of the curve, so you can stay current on changes in travel behavior and successfully launch new products designed to meet the demands of travelers today and in the future.

Get a closer look at our research into the latest trends in outdoor travel.

The results of our travel market survey contain valuable insights and data about what consumers say they’re looking for when planning an outdoor trip.

Download our travel market report now to discover innovative travel products and services that can help your business attract new customers in this rapidly growing market.

Download Now

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