What do you need to work in adventure tourism? Steel nerves, good communication and organisation skills and keeping a cool head in a crisis are just a few of the attributes required.

Adventure tourism can be full of thrills and spills and rugged adventure - however it doesn’t always involve action or exercise, it can also be a relatively passive pursuit for example going on a journey for spiritual development or to assist in community development projects are also adventurous activities.


Even for those tourists seeking challenging experiences, the degree of challenge desired may be quite different. Some will balk at undertaking potentially dangerous activities like walking on a rope bridge across a deep ravine, and find a trek through the jungle at ground level sufficiently challenging. Some will find another’s ‘adventure’ decidedly unpleasant, disagreeable, foolishly reckless, traumatic or boring.


It is clear that adventure tourism has no distinct boundaries. Individuals may take part in adventure activities for vastly different reasons – some want danger and risk (climbing high mountains or heli-skiing) and may not even perceive that what they are doing is risky. To another person a weekend camping in the open may be as adventurous as they want to get and they may still see this as challenging and exciting. Accordingly there are diverse views towards adventure tourism and what it represents for a range of people.


Traditionally, adventure tourism has been perceived to be a younger person’s activity. In recent years, however, older people are keen to enjoy new experiences once their children have left home. Therefore, the first principle of adventure tourism is catering for difference:


·         different expectations

·         different physical abilities

·         different likes and dislikes

·         different psychological make-ups


It is not a matter of making an adventure less adventurous, or more exciting. Nor is it a matter of participants’ ‘inferior’ or ‘superior’ physical or psychological resilience. It is simply a matter of personal difference.


Mostly though, adventure tourism (as opposed to tour travel) requires a certain level of fitness and a certain level of pre-training for the participants – it generally would involve high risk, unknown results and a level of uncertainty (for example high-mountain climbing). All of this requires a lot of preparation and training. 

 Adventure tourists are involved in a risk taking adventure and are therefore very reliant on the operator to understand the nature of the business and the special attention required to detail to ensure the safety of all. This requires sound knowledge and training on the part of the guides. To learn more about Adventure Tourism use this link to view the ACS Adventure Tourism course: