Soft adventure tourism making waves in Asian markets | TTG Asia

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Industry experts expect Asia’s young generation to top the cost of reviving tourism as they search for unique adventurous experiences abroad.

At the PATA-Mart Hybrid Travel Conference, this was forecast across the Chinese, Indian and Malaysian outbound markets, as experts noted that the trend was emerging in domestic travel during the pandemic.

More younger travelers in Asia are taking part in soft adventure activities locally; Suluban Beach in Bali Pictured

Dan Sandoval, co-founder of Perspective China, said the explosive growth in domestic tourism in the country due to Covid-19 travel restrictions has led to the launch of a slew of new products. This includes an explosion of adventure activities that travelers aged 25-44 are especially keen to explore.

He noted: “We are seeing a huge demand for products that have traditionally not existed. China has been more of a conservative travel market but we are seeing this massive shift towards experiences. This suggests that there will be a huge demand for these as an international experience.”

For example, the surf scene in Sanya has exploded; While in Greece, safari-style camps are emerging, and are proving to be popular among the country’s younger generations.

“We will see a massive increase in the number of people looking for these niche products in unique locations, especially this age group,” Sandoval said. “This is a great playing field for the adventure and experiential travel industry.”

In India, there is a similar shift in demand from 25 to 44 demographics driven by the “bragging factor”.

Diya Bajaj, Director of Operations and Business Development at Snow Leopard Adventures, said: “Indian youth are now more willing to spend on experiences. There’s the bragging factor that comes from being able to do something unique rather than buying a luxury item.”

Sandoval has noticed a similar movement in China, where investing in a unique vacation or travel experience is the new designer element.

He said, “There was a time when you bragged about owning a Louis Vuitton bag but that time, for the most part, is gone. Now, we see the experiences are what people want to flaunt.”

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