Neil Rodgers Neil Rodgers

What drives 50+ market?

Once thought to be only for unwashed backpackers willing to endure hardship and discomfort to get an authentic experience, now adventure travel attracts a much more mainstream group. Well-heeled professionals, romantic couples and sporty families all want more adventure, nature and culture from their holidays. But the core demographic that is leading the double-digit growth for Adventure World is the ‘Bucket-List Baby Boomer’.
They already hold the purse strings when it comes to a huge chunk of traveller spending power and with a growing trend towards more lucrative long-haul adventures among cash-rich and time-rich older travellers, the size of the potential market is vast.

They act and feel younger than before, they are more active, they want to see more, and they have an abundance of the adventurous spirit. My parents both in their late sixties have joined me on my last three Adventure World trips. The sight of my 67 year old mother walking at a vigorous pace in Torres Del Paine National Park is a memory I won’t ever forget.
The historical definition of adventure travel did lean more towards the hard-core activity but the lions-share of the market today is soft adventure. That can be a physical activity like kayaking, trekking or it can simply be a more leisurely engagement with nature and the environment.
Active travel need not be about climbing mountains and hiking up glaciers, though don’t rule either of those out; sometimes they can be as simple as putting one foot in front of the other. Our walking and trekking collections are enormously popular with the baby boomer market and will give travellers a feel for the landscape that no other mode of transport can match.
Older travellers are not immune from wider trends in the adventure travel market, with increasing demand for more immersive styles of travel, and a dramatic increase in the number of passengers travelling on their own.
Because adventure travel can encompass everything from physical activity to cultural discovery, experiences such as local homestays and eco-friendly escapes count for just as much as hiking in the Andes. Therefore the product mix for the more mature adventure traveller is crucial as you need to provide the kinds of product travellers are likely to desire above and beyond the adventure element.
At Adventure World we define our soft adventure product portfolio as to having no prior experience or high level of fitness necessary to complete, just a willingness to explore and enjoy the sights and sounds.
The joy of being a tailor-made adventure specialist is that our teams of destination experts can craft an itinerary to directly match their requirements. So I look forward to ticking off my ever increasing bucket list of adventures as each decade ends and the next begins.
– Neil Rodgers, managing director, Adventure World

ProMag Publishing