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Adventure travel is a type of niche tourism, involving exploration of travel in an “unusual, exotic, remote, or wilderness destination.” (www.tru.ca). Travelers are highly engaged in involvement with activities that include perceived (and possibly actual) risk, and potentially requiring specialized skills and physical exertion. Adventure tourism has grown in recent decades, as tourists seek out-of-the-ordinary types of vacations, but measurement of market size and growth is hampered by the lack of a clear operational definition. According to the U.S. based Adventure Travel Trade Association, adventure travel may be any tourist activity that includes the following three components: a physical activity, a cultural exchange and connection with nature.
Thompson Rivers University describes adventure tourists as, “explorers of both an outer world, especially the unspoiled, exotic parts of our planet and an inner world of personal challenge, self perception and self mastery.” (www.tru.ca). Adventure tourists may be motivated to achieve mental states characterized as rush or flow, resulting from stepping outside of their comfort zone. This may be from experiencing culture shock or through the performance of acts, that require significant effort and involve some degree of risk (real or perceived) and/or physical danger (See extreme sports). This may include activities such as mountaineering, trekking, bungee jumping, mountain biking, canoeing, scuba diving, rafting, kayaking, zip-lining, paragliding, hiking, exploring, sandboarding, caving and rock climbing. Some obscure forms of adventure travel include disaster and ghetto tourism. Other rising forms of adventure travel include jungle tourism.
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