Adventure travel in 2022 will be about e-bikes, heli-skiing, culinary tours: Stowell

Adventure lovers will look for customized trips, smaller groups, remote locations.

Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) is the global nerve network for all things adventure, active and eco.  In an interaction with TravelDine, Shannon Stowell, CEO, ATTA, sheds light on the trends that will rule Year 2022.  

Shannon stowell, ceo, adventure travel trade association
Shannon Stowell, CEO, Adventure Travel Trade Association

“Recovery is the big one. While still spotty depending on destination and type of company, people and companies are getting back on their feet, so to speak. Customized trips, smaller groups, remote locations are all trends. Hiking, trekking, walking, culinary and cultural focused tours are hot too. Wellness and cycling on the up— especially e-bikes!” says Stowell.

Travellers following a herd of llamas and alpacas during their morning hike.
Travellers following a herd of Llamas and Alpacas during their morning hike.

According to a recent report by World Bank and WTTC, adventure travel has been declared as the most important sector for travel recovery, followed closely by beach tourism and significantly sooner for recovery than cruise, MICE, business travel and other sectors.

Adventure travel is a mindset, so there are plenty of 20- and 80-year-olds out there adventuring also, from birding to rafting to cultural tours,” he says.

On the pricey adventure activities that will pick pace this year, Stowell says, “No one is gathering data, but Antarctic and Arctic cruises (Quark), luxury safaris (Angama Mara), expedition cruising (Uncruise), heli-skiing (Canadian Mountain Holidays) would all come to mind as examples of sectors that still seem to have lots of interest and are quite pricey.”

Suggested Read: Adventure designer Richard Bangs dishes out 2022’s most desired destinations

Adventurous spots

On the most sought-after destinations for adventure tourism, Stowell says, “Because of the pandemic Colombia, Japan, Bhutan and the US were trending.  And for different reasons.  Japan was historically focused on outbound travel and became much more inbound a few years back. Colombia is a stunning, and in many ways under-visited destination. Bhutan holds a power over travel dreamers’ minds.”

ATTA’s roadmap is to revive the systems around the world that have been on hold for so long. 

“We did highly managed and Covid-careful trips for buyers and media in 2021 in Brazil and Colombia. We will be in Oregon in May for AdventureELEVATE and Switzerland in October for the annual Adventure Travel World Summit.  This will be the first one since 2019 due to Covid,” says Stowell.

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