MEDUSA : Une étude sur les principaux marchés internationaux du tourisme d'aventure


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This article forms part of a series of publications under MEDUSA project to introduce the studies that form part of the Global Market Research and Analysis Report on Adventure Tourism in the Mediterranean.

The MEDUSA project aims to develop cross-border routes and itineraries in the form of new and/or improved Adventure Tourism products, revealing lesser-known destinations and attracting tourists throughout the year. A long-term strategy is envisaged for the promotion and management of these destinations in a sustainable way with the participation of a wide array of stakeholders. The main beneficiaries are SMEs, public authorities and local communities. To this end, a market study is about to be completed and will be published on MEDUSA website in the next few weeks.

Market study

The objective of the market study is to gather reliable and valid information and provide an analysis of the features, trends and particularities of key Adventure Tourism outbound markets, uncovering information on sustainable tourism consumer-demand trends and travel motivations. Also, to provide an analysis of existing tourism products offered to Adventure tourists by tour operators and travel agencies in identified key outbound markets. In fact, Adventure tourism is closely related to nature-based tourism, ecotourism and sustainable tourism.

What do we mean by Adventure Tourism?

The term adventure is difficult to describe, as each person feels the “adventure” in a different way. The Adventure Travel Trade Association (one of the MEDUSA’s associated partners) defines Adventure tourism as: “any tourist activity including two of the following three components: physical activity, cultural exchange or interaction and engagement with nature”. The definition of adventure tourism only includes two of the three components, but a product/package containing the three of them will offer the fullest and more complete experience to the client.

Which markets have been selected?

Taking into consideration the relevance of outbound markets, the following 5 countries had been selected by MEDUSA partners

  • France
  • Germany
  • Norway
  • United Kingdom
  • Unites States of America 

For each market, generic factsheets have been described with the following information:

  1. General information of the country
  2. Travel trade of the market 
  3. Flight connections with MEDUSA countries 
  4. Bank Holidays 
  5. Market Volume 
  6. General Traveller profile 
  7. Adventure Tourism in the market 
  8. Characteristics of Adventure traveler in the market
  9. Related Institutions
  10. Adventure Media 
  11. Adventure events and exhibitions 
  12. Highlights of the market

To complement the general information of each market, the MEDUSA project is providing deep knowledge of the products offered by the specialists (in this case, tour operators) in the selected markets.

For this reason, the study focuses on the analysis of 64 tour operators specialized in Adventure Tourism, while 31 specific and segmented products have been presented as guidelines for the design of adventure products by SMEs in pilot areas.

A relevant part of the study is the chapter devoted to conclusions and recommendations structured as following:

  • Features of Adventure Tourism packages
  • How to introduce the destination?
  • How to design the products for each audience? Such as families, older adult travelers, women, solo travellers, young adults.
  • Characteristics of tourist packages according to the type of activity. Such as walking/hiking, bicycle, diving & snorkeling, multi-activity, birdwatching, kayaking, equestrian or snow products.
  • Culture and gastronomy have been defined as transversal component which are almost always present.

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