Guest Writer,Akinpelu Babatola
Adventure tourism is not a well-defined concept. Many people have tried to define it but no general definition has been agreed on. The ATTA (Adventure Travel Trade Association) defines it as any tourist activity that covers physical activity in nature or forms of cultural exchange.
In my opinion, performing activities in the great outdoors makes you an adventure tourist. So long as you are in an area foreign to you, you are on an adventure.
While the term is new, the concept of adventure tourism is not new. Consider adventurers who climbed mountains or descended waterfalls back in the 1800s. This should show you what I mean.
Even events like the conquering of Mt. Everest is an adventure tourism feat. Thanks to technological innovations adventurers continue to push the limits of adventure tourism.
So what makes an activity an adventure tourism activity?
The defining factors are a sense of uncertainty and risk while out exploring nature. They are usually quite physical and involve a sort of journey. Before performing them, you usually have rewards that you are anticipating.
These rewards are usually mental. There are a few cases of physical rewards too.
Completing such activities fill you with excitement, and a sense of fulfillment. You might even experience a clash of emotions. You might also end up learning about new cultures that you never knew before.
Types of Adventure tourism Activities
Adventure tourism is of two types namely,
- Hard Adventure Activities
- Soft Adventure Activities
Hard Adventure Activities
Activities under hard adventures are quite risky. They need not only skill but an utter commitment to the task at hand. Tourists can die from taking part in these activities.
Some activities that fall under these type are:
- Base Jumping
- Jungle Exploration
- Bungee Jumping
- Mountain climbing
- Rock Climbing
The common factor between all these activities is the level of risk associated with them. So long as the risk of the adventure is high, then it’s considered a hard adventure.
Soft Adventure Activities
While not as risky as a hard adventure, soft adventure activities still carry some. This is what makes it an adventure after all. There are usually guides and professionals to assist tourists with activities. This makes these activities safer as well as more educational.
A few activities fall under this type including
- Scuba Diving
- Bird watching
While still much safer, these activities still take place in a natural environment.