11 January 2010

Adventure working holidays to Australia set to treble

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The adventure travel sector is outperforming the rest of the tourism industry, with interest in holidays of this nature to Australia and New Zealand forecast to treble, a report has found.

The Passport to Adventure report, commissioned by seven companies in the adventure-travel sector, has forecast a threefold rise in interest in adventure and ethical holidays over the next three years and a fourfold rise in environmentally friendly holidays.

The report found that interest in holidays in Australia and New Zealand, including working holidays, is forecast to treble and a fourfold rise in trips to the polar regions is expected, but Ireland and the rest of western Europe risk missing out on the boom and falling by 8 per cent.

Fáilte Ireland is predicting that activity holidays in Ireland will continue to grow and outperform the overall holiday market, but Irish operators believe the board could be doing more to promote Ireland as an adventure holiday destination.

The Republic has more than 200 adventure and activity operators, although most are small operations with few marketing and promotion resources, although Fáilte Ireland has invested money in the promotion of activity holidays and infrastructure such as walking and cycling trails over the previous years.

Keith McDonnell of Extreme Ireland, which offers walking tours and adventure activities, told the Irish Times that Ireland could become the New Zealand of the northern hemisphere.

“We have all the elements for adventure,  just at a lower elevation than in other countries,” he said.

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