How e-Commerce Multiplies the Growth of Adventure Tourism

Viswanath Raju, Co-Founder, MojhiThe global market for adventure tourism is expeditiously growing. As per the report of Allied Market Research, the market worth was $444,850 million in the year 2016. The mushrooming of adventure travel startups and the government's initiatives to promote tourism, adventure tourism is predicted to enter into $1,335,738 million club from 2017 until 2023 with an estimated CAGR of 17.4 percent.

Heavy media coverage through various channels about remote and exotic lands led to a great impact on adventurers as it fanned their sparks of wanderlust. The thrilling challenges that one faces at secluded adventure destinations are the most sought-after experiences. Further, the introduction of e-commerce is spearheading the industry of adventure tourism. Today, it is no more cumbersome to find the best destination for trekking, rafting, or any other adventure activity - just purchase the package, and pack your bags. The adventure tour operators have gone online delivering quick and simple one-on-one services to the adventure maniacs. The power of social media has created a wide network of wanderers, travelers, and adventurers to share their unique experiences, which further motivates the fellow adventure enthusiasts to embark on a impromptu journey.

E-commerce as a growth facilitator for Adventure Tourism

With majority of the tour operators going online with their services of providing adventure activities, the emergence of an e-marketplace is on the rise. Almost all tour operators have a website to display their services to customers and a strong social media presence to attract them. Online adventure tourism is blooming at its fullest as a novice form of travel marketplace. The travel agents or tour operators offer services through the internet to the tourists independent of their geographical location.

From different corners of the world, tourists can find, plan, and book their adventure trip in just a click, thanks to the online tour operators and their websites. A customized adventure website usually aims at providing value-added services such as airlines booking, travel insurance and more, rather than just focusing on promoting its services. It is a well facilitated one stop solution for the entire adventure package. Through a well-designed website and focused digital marketing strategy, the adventure companies boost their customer loyalty, reduce customer turnover, and fosters long-term relationships with the customers.

Increasing employment and turnover

With the commencement of e-commerce in the sector, adventure tourism opens up a plethora of job opportunities for jobseekers along with a spike in turnover for the tour operators. E-commerce has completely changed how customers look out for the required information about various products and services on the internet which stores unlimited information and data from websites across the globe. Today, the internet can be accessed in almost every corner of the world— from Europe to Asia viz. As this internet access is made available worldwide at very low costs, internet marketing is gaining up the pace. Professionals who possess skills in the field of internet or digital marketing and web designing are being offered high-compensation packages.
The average salary of a digital marketing expert is around four Lakhs a year and the website designer and developer is around four to five Lakhs a year. The job of a web designer is to design and develop an easy-to-access and simple to use the website for the customers. And, that of digital marketing expert is to create user awareness about the adventure tourism all over the internet.

Promotion and Marketing:

No doubt, the adventure tourism has been a great trend on the internet. In the traditional landscape of adventure tourism, the tourists used to heavily rely on the limited information of the adventure tours and destinations given to them through leaflets, brochures and magazines offered by various tour operators. But, the new e-marketplace is grounded on the IT platform to revolutionize the same functions in adventure tourism with doubled efficiency and reduced transaction costs. Online adventure travel searches have notably been increased over the years. The adventure tourism companies are now looking out for the digital marketing and promotional tools to rank on number one in these searches and attract the customers.
The costs involved in converting a lead into customers are reduced with Social media marketing and Search engine marketing. Better and effective online communication through SEM and SMM is quite effective in building the customer loyalty and enhances the customers’ relations, which was otherwise tough in the traditional market. The e-commerce capabilities in adventure tourism include the web-interface, content delivery, enhanced user experience, and regular customer support through multi-channel communication strategy.

The big change

The role of an adventure travel agent is continually changing. To what extent, the travel agent will hold the stakes significantly depends on the flexibility and innovation they become adapted to. At what level will e-commerce continue to impact adventure tourism is another factor on which the travel agent relies? In the recent past, mere adventure travel ticket sellers have turned into adventure tourism product managers.

The use of internet in booking hotels and accommodation is growing at faster pace in contrast to manually calling the hotel or travel agents. Travel agents can now look for specific information and details pertaining to the current market trends, competitive service providers, tourist destinations, facilities, prices, and tour packages and partner with the other big tour operators.