According to the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), the adventure travel market grew at the incredible rate of 65 percent yearly from 2009-2013. The global adventure tourism market was valued at $444,850 million in 2016 and projected to reach $1,335,738 million in 2023. What experiences are high in demand in adventure travel? Hiking, ecotourism, environmentally sustainable, culinary and cycling.
Adventure Offerings: As the Middle East’s most progressive city, Dubai is the epicenter of adventure filled with adrenaline-packed activities. The activity concierge at Atlantis, The Palm, the five-star resort located on the revolutionary Palm Island, can arrange helicopter tours over the city’s most famous landmarks and heritage desert safaris that will give you a glimpse into Dubai as it was 50 years ago.
Where To Stay: For adventure without leaving resort grounds, Atlantis, The Palm boasts an adventure theme park featuring everything from sea lion cuddling to water rapids and an aquarium with 65,000 marine animals. Leap of Faith, a near-vertical drop slide, propels riders nine stories in three seconds through an acrylic tunnel in a shark-filled lagoon.
Adventure Offerings: Located right off the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix racetrack, Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo offers guests the chance to get behind the wheel of an F1 racecar where they zoom from 0 to 186 mph in less than three seconds. To ensure a smooth ride around the Circuit du Luc track in Provence, guests take a workshop led by a certified Formula 1 driver and don traditional racecar gear before hitting the track.
Where To Stay: Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo
Adventure Offerings: Adrenaline junkies seeking the ultimate adventure this year should consider climbing Africa’s most famous mountain: Kilimanjaro, a dormant volcano in Tanzania. Original Travel, a tailor-made luxury travel company, offers “The Kilimanjaro Climb Adventure” where audacious travelers have the opportunity to ascend 19,341 feet to the glacier-clad summit of Uhuru Peak for an unforgettable experience. Following the rewarding exertion, travelers may combine the Kilimanjaro adventure with one of Original Travel’s luxury glamping experiences for the ultimate R&R.
Where To Stay: The Highlands
KEY WEST, FLORIDA
Adventure Offerings: For a no-passport-required Caribbean vacation, the island of Key West is an ideal destination for aquatic adventures. Casa Marina Resort, offers adventures including snorkeling amongst America’s only living coral reef; kayak eco-tours to mangrove islands teeming with stingrays and a jellyfish garden; boat charters for a deep-sea fishing excursion; a day trip to Fort Jefferson, a coastal fortress located within Dry Tortugas National Park, to explore the largest masonry structure in the Americas, and more.
Where To Stay: Casa Marina, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, is located on the largest private beach in Key West where guests can take off right from the resort beach on hydro-bikes, jet skis, paddleboards, and more.
Adventure Offerings: An idyllic mountain city for daredevil travelers looking to escape into the Great Outdoors, Asheville, NC offers a multitude of adventure activities including hiking and camping in picturesque Great Smoky Mountain National Park, known to be the most visited national park in the nation. Travelers looking to take in Asheville’s picturesque scenery can cycle along America’s Favorite Drive, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and enjoy unmatched views of the Appalachian Mountains.
Where to Stay: To complete an outdoor vacation, guests can stay at the city’s newly opened The Foundry Hotel and refresh with the Indulgent Preparation package. Complete with a hearty pre-hike breakfast at soul food on-site restaurant, Benne on Eagle, and hiking gear from premier outdoor outfitter Hunter Banks, the package will include a guided hike along a nearby trail, motivating travelers to fully go off the grid and immerse in nature.
LOS CABOS, MEXICO
Adventure Offerings: An adventure seekers paradise, surfers gather from around the world to travel to Los Cabos for the freshest waves in the Baja Peninsula and most consistent long rides of the summer. In addition travelers will have the chance to partake in nature walks through the pristine desert landscapes and enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime camel safari along a private beach.
Where to Stay: Overlooking the Sea of Cortez, Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort offers the only swimmer-friendly beach on the tourist corridor.
Adventure offerings: Adventure gurus can travel to Belize and experience hiking Belize's tallest mountain, Victoria Peak; participate in snorkeling activations to preserve the world’s second largest barrier reef (removed from the UNESCO endangered list); dining at the newest restaurant Pier 366 Seafood House; biking through the lushest jungles; and diving into the world class destination – The Great Blue Hole.
Where to stay: Stay at the premier beachfront resort, Banyan Bay Suites, who works with Belize Pro Dive Center (ranked as one the top shops in the world) to curate the top experiences for its guests.
Photo courtesy of Atlantis, The Palm