September 2017


Touring & Adventure


There was a time when an adventure holiday meant backpacking across Africa on the back of a lorry or getting the adrenaline pumping with some extreme sports in New Zealand. But adventure holidays no longer require bungee jumping or white-water rafting. There is a big movement in the travel industry towards tours that experience local culture and get involved in the places being visited rather than just view them through a coach window. This portion of the market has grown so much that the Association of Touring and Adventure Suppliers (ATAS) has been established to help represent the companies that provide these amazing experiences.

                Traditionally the touring and adventure market was geared towards young people and students on their gap years. There are still plenty of suppliers covering these holidays, but there are increasingly adventurous tours for families, solo travellers and mature travellers.

                For those within the 18-35 bracket, suppliers such as Contiki, G Adventures and Intrepid offer a great range of classic adventure touring. They cover everywhere you might want to visit, from Thai island hopping to New Year in Sydney, trek the Inca trail to Machu Picchu through to sailing the Croatian coast. There are a variety of tour standards available, catering to those who want their travel to be frantic and intense, to those who want their pace to be more leisurely, and everything in between.

                G Adventures and Intrepid both now have a range family orientated tours as part of their schedule. These itineraries have their timetables based around ensuring the children have plenty to entertain them as well as flexible free time, ensuring the pace works for all the families on the tour. They are exclusively for families, ensuring that there are other like-minded travellers for both you and the kids. Just because your life has settled down, it doesn’t mean your holidays have to. These family tours travel to inspirational destinations like Morocco, Thailand, the Galápagos, Vietnam, and more.

                With around 3.5 million UK adults taking a solo trip last year, there are more and more operators offering tours for solo travellers, such as Just You and Solos. Other operators such as Leger, Saga and Shearings also offer solo specific tours. However, solo travellers often prefer travelling in mixed groups and suppliers such as Saga, Trafalgar, and Cosmos offer a number of no-single-supplement spaces on their classic tours.

                Group touring has long been a popular form of holiday for mature travellers, but the itineraries are now visiting more interesting and adventurous destinations. A great example of this new breed of tour is from Saga with their ‘Where Steppe and Mountain Meet’ tour of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. An exciting tour that offers the prospect of seeing something truly out of the ordinary.

                So as you can see, touring and adventure holidays are no longer about adrenaline sports, there are tours for anyone who wants a little adventure in their life.

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