Chris Roche, The Adventure People

Sheena Adesilu talks to Chris Roche, CEO of The Adventure People, at the ABTA Adventure Travel Conference. He discusses the evolving adventure travel landscape and how the industry can help manage risks.

Chris Roche, The Adventure People

Sheena Adesilu talks to Chris Roche, CEO of The Adventure People, at the ABTA Adventure Travel Conference. He discusses the evolving adventure travel landscape and how the industry can help manage risks.

Tell us how agents could best support adventure travellers.

Having knowledge of the trips and the destinations you’re selling is fundamental. Confidence in and understanding of the product is important as well. Most travellers aren’t too concerned about the trip’s content. What they want is reassurance that they’re going to have a good time. With small groups especially, they want to know that they’re travelling with fun people.

Can the travel industry manage and mitigate risks?

It depends on the risks. If we’re talking about risks on the trips themselves, then one should work with trusted local providers. However, it’s quite difficult to find out who you can trust. To solve this, there’s often a process of due diligence. Are companies reputable? Do they have public liability insurance? Who else do they work with?

Despite this, there’s an acceptance that things will go wrong. And so, you will need to find out the processes implemented when things do go wrong. That’s why it’s important to have partners you can trust. 

What are the biggest trends in the adventure travel sector? 

We’re seeing lots of solo travellers, mainly female led. We’re expecting 60% female-led travellers, about 35. We’re looking at the youth under-40 market with some money. 40% of people will travel to Asia or Southeast Asia in particular. There’s also quite an even split between other regions such as Europe, Africa, Central America and America.

How can the travel industry aid responsible travel? 

I don’t think people should be prescribed to. Travellers must make their own choices. The sector is there to serve them. In that sense, a travel agent should lay out the choices and not be too prescriptive over what customers shouldn’t do. That’s down to the traveller. It’s not the travel agent’s place to tell them what to do.

theadventurepeople.com

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