How adventurous are we?

2015-08-27 06:00

I RECENTLY read a research document compiled by Dirty Boots, an adventure tourism publication in which we usually advertise.

The results of its survey has proved to be interesting reading in that the adventure tourism industry, with a market size of about some 11 million adventurers, is projected to generate some R5 billion into South Africa’s tourism economy this year.

About 45% of our international visitors will indulge in one or other adventure activity which supports our approach to glean international visitors at expositions like Das Boot in Germany which hosts about 230 000 attendees each January.

Adventure tourism locks in almost equal participation of men and women who are on average within the 35-40 age bands. One assumes that in most cases there are young families associated with this cohort and this is ideal for our district which can offer adventure and family experiences.

The highest income-generating activities were suggested as shark cage diving, zipline tours, boat excursions, tandem skydiving and boat based whale watching most of which is offered here within our destination.

This niche form of tourism in South Africa employs about 14 000 full-time and 11 000 part-time personnel so it is clear that adventure activities are significant contributors towards sustaining livelihoods in often non urban areas.

Of the 38 activity types in which companies operate, I tallied that 28 are on offer here on the ocean and within our coastal and rural areas - this suggests we are in fact an adventure tourism hub in that about 74% of adventurer options could be selected right here on our doorstep.

It is for this reason we attend consumer shows like Getaway (Cape and Johannesburg), Das Boot and the Beeld Holiday Show. We blend the sell for seas and adventure so that those with yearning for adrenalin rush can also chose pure relaxation and other attractions for that special family component.

It amazes me how many people are prepared to push themselves to the physical and psychological edge so we should, I guess, be thrilled that our landscapes offer so much to those intrepid visitors who take the roads and challenges less travelled.

I once did a bungy jumpy on the coast of Queensland and can attest to the heart-thumping thrill of it all. Since then I have had preference for terra firma and am happy to leave the “get the sweat” activities to those more brazen than I.

In conclusion, the new Southern Explorer is available from our visitor information offices so one can source the sort of adventure that tickles one’s fancy

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