Market Intelligence
Travel and Tourism United Kingdom

United Kingdom Adventure Tourism Market Overview

Adventure tourism involves domestic and international traveling that entails various adventurous activities such as rafting, cycling, exploring the natural environment, and cultural immersion, among others. Additionally, it provides practical and cost-effective incentives to promote bio-cultural variety while bringing in revenue for regional and private sectors. Due to its adaptability, ability to support economies, and promotion of sustainable practices, adventure tourism is now becoming more popular than traditional mass tourism across the globe. In 2021 the global market size was $282.1 billion, with couples, solo travelers, and groups representing 80% of the market for this sector. A recent survey of global travelers showed the 51-60 age group dominated the adventure tourism market, with the 29-40 following close behind. According to the World Tourism Organization, over 85% of visitors aged 30-40 get their inspiration for their travel plans from social media, e.g., Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.

The United Kingdom is the largest adventure tourism market in Europe, according to the World Tourism Organization, with 19% of the world’s adventure travel tourists. A recent Visit Britain survey concluded that 40% of British tourists prefer sports and active holidays. Interest in active and nature tourism is significantly growing among millennials as well as senior travelers. When planning their trips, they are more often seeking to incorporate activities such as mountain biking and canoeing. In addition, the desire to try more adventurous activities, e.g., bungee jumping, rafting, or paragliding, is on the rise. 

This increased focus on adventure tourism presents opportunities for destination marketing organizations (DMO’s) across the United States to attract greater numbers of UK adventure-seeking travelers. 

For information or updates on the tourism sector, please contact Stephen Brown, Commercial Specialist.