Tourism

“Undertourism is the new overtourism”, Intrepid claims

Intrepid Travel has released its second annual Adventure Travel Index sharing new research, expert opinions and industry insight with all Australians.

On the company’s 30th anniversary, the index captures what adventure means to Australians in 2019 and predicts the future of one of the world’s fastest-growing industries.

Intrepid Travel CEO James Thornton said: “Travel is a litmus test of the times, and in 2019, we are writing history with the way we explore the world with more openness and curiosity than ever before.

“We are placing more value on experiences and travelling in pursuit of better health and wellness.

“We also must be cautious of the effect that travel has on the health and wellness of locals and of the destination. At Intrepid, we hold the traveller and the destination in equal respect and believe one need not be sacrificed for the other.

“Undertourism is the new overtourism”

This year builds on 2018’s inaugural Adventure Travel Index by revealing more recent tourism density ratios, with claims that ‘undertourism’ will be the new buzzword as lesser-visited countries are predicted to be the focus for sustainable travel.

Papua New Guinea has the lowest tourism density in the index, followed by the remote Tajikistan and Kenya at third place. Other notable undertourism destinations include Iran, Uzbekistan and even Indonesia.

With comment from Joseph Cheer, Professor at The Center for Tourism Research at Wakayama University in Japan (formerly based at Monash University), the index says that many countries stand to benefit from sustainable tourism done right.

Peregrine Adventures-papua-new-guinea_river-rowing-canoe
Papua New Guinea recorded the lowest tourism density in the index

There are best-practice examples throughout the index, including interviews with female tour leaders and a truck driver, who have overcome traditional gender roles in their respective countries of Morocco, India and Kenya.

The index also addresses overtourism in Japan, one of Australia’s hottest destinations in 2019, with Intrepid witnessing a 66 per cent increase in travellers visiting Japan in 2018 compared to the previous year.

Travel trends

The index travel trends throughout including families becoming more adventurous exploring India, Morocco and Egypt.

Solo travel is becoming a rite of passage according to Intrepid, with continued increase in people travelling alone with the company and support of a small group.

On the social media front, a national survey of 1000 adults reveals a third of all 18-to-24-year-olds always consider what social media content they will post from a holiday when booking a trip. They are visualising their social media feeds before they even book.

Australia’s first Travel Wellness Index

With more education on the health benefits of getting active outdoors, Intrepid is experiencing an increase in travellers joining their active adventures. Active trips have grown by 20 per cent in the first quarter of this year compared to the same time last year.

In the index, one traveller was put to the test recording their physical and mental health before and after an active adventure. The results have been compiled to create Australia’s first-ever Travel Wellness Index.

Helping travellers’ dollars go further

The index also shares new research to identify the value we place on travel as a nation and where travellers will get the best bang for their buck according to local tour leaders around the globe.

Following the popularity of 2018’s $20 Global Beer Index, Intrepid has compiled the 2019 Coffee Index for our caffeine-addicted nation.

The full Index can be viewed here.

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