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Adventure Tourism

Course CodeBTR302
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment


Expand your knowledge and ability to manage and plan adventure tourism services.

This exciting course covers the scope and nature of adventure tourism in today's market and looks at the sources and types of opportunities available within this fast growing industry. Other topics include: outdoor adventure and management training, the customer, artificial environments, supply, geography, sustainability, and environmental impacts. This course develops a capacity to plan and manage the provision of adventure tourism services.

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Scope and nature of Adventure tourism
    • Introduction
    • Historical Themes
    • Adventure Tourism Experiences
    • Motivating Factors for Adventure Tourism
    • Adventure Activities
    • Limitations and Risks
    • Artificial Environments
    • Non-Physical Adventure Tourism
  2. The Product - Sources & Types
    • Types of Adventure Tourism
    • Types of Adventure Locations
    • New Zealand
    • Iceland
    • India
    • Africa
    • Namibia
    • Brazil
    • Information Sources
  3. Management
    • Issues
    • Adventure Tour Operators
    • Retail Travel Agents
    • Accommodation Establishments
    • Transport-to destination and within destination
    • Adventure Ground Handlers
    • Media-guide books, travel writers, magazines
    • Marketing
    • Seasonal Fluctuations
    • Marketing Tools
  4. The Customer
    • Adventure Tour Customers
    • Market Sector
    • Tourist Motivation
    • Conservation Tourism
    • Adventure Tourism Behaviour
    • Risk Taking
    • Ecotourism
    • Customer Expectations
  5. Locations & Facilities - Artificial environments
    • Artificial Environment Tourism
    • Artificial Adventure Environments
    • Advancements in Adventure Developments
    • Examples
    • Classification
  6. Locations & Facilities - Natural
    • Natural Environments
    • Adventure Tourism in Natural Environments
    • Wildlife Tourism
    • Nature-based Tourism in Antarctica
    • Ecotourism
    • Benefits of Nature-based Tourism
    • Nature Based Ecotourism
    • Locations and Destinations
    • Drawbacks and Advantages of Developing Facilities in Wilderness Areas
  7. Ethics, Sustainability and Environmental impacts
    • Introduction
    • Social and Cultural Impacts
    • Environmental Impacts
    • Economic Impacts
  8. Risk management & Insurance
    • Some Categories of Risk
    • Risk Management Strategies & Plans
    • Assessing the Risk
    • Crisis Management
    • Insurance

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Define the nature and scope of adventure tourism.
  • Identify types of adventure tours, and sources of information on them.
  • Consider the requirements of managing an adventure tourism destination or service.
  • Identify potential customers, customer needs and requirements in planning and conducting adventure tours.
  • Identify various kinds of artificial environments for adventure tours, and the facilities typically provided at them.
  • Discuss the requirements and problems associated with using natural locations for adventure tours.
  • Identify ethical and environmental issues related to adventure tourism.
  • Identify kinds of risk and strategies for reducing their negative impacts on customers and operators.

What You Will Do

  • Define Adventure Tourism in your own words.
  • List target groups for marketing adventure tourism.
  • Determine what type of adventure tourism do you consider to have the greatest potential for financial success in your region.
  • Summarize brochures on different adventure tourism attractions, services or tours.
  • Compile a list of Adventure Tourism attractions
  • Analyse the potential of adventure tourism in the region in which you live.
  • Compare the attractions and disadvantages of three different locations or destinations in adventure tourism.
  • Compare Adventure Tourism with other types of Tourism?
  • Investigate media influence Adventure Tourism in your Country?
  • Explain licensing requirements for three different types of adventure tourism activities in your country.
  • Describe ways in which the adventure tourism market might be segmented.
  • Research consumer trends changing in adventure tourism?
  • Explain the difference between soft and hard adventurers.
  • Research then discuss the relationship between adventure and risk.
  • Discover what kinds of people are most likely to go on adventure tours?
  • Differentiate between artificial and natural adventure tourism destinations.
  • List as many types of different artificial tourism attractions as you can conceive of (they do not have to exist), and indicate beside each what you believe is its likely target market.
  • Arrange a list above into soft & hard destinations.
  • Report on the environment, facilities and services at the two different adventure
    • tourism destinations. in two columns: one column hard & one soft
  • List different types of natural adventure tourism activities
  • Consider areas of natural adventure tourism have experienced growth in recent years?
  • Investigate issues should management consider when planning to use natural adventure tourism destinations?

What is Adventure Tourism?

The term ‘Adventure tourism’ can represent many kinds of experience, and an almost infinite range of tourism situations. What they all share is participant’s sense of excitement and adventure, and of entering an experience or series of experiences that will take them out of urban areas into more natural and less obviously regulated environments.

The stimulation and intensity associated with adventure contributes to removing the experience from the routine of everyday life. Exotic surrounding, new activities, experiences beyond anything one has ever experienced contributes to a sense of escapism. Adventure is a chance to escape the everyday concerns of life. Imagine being on top of Mt Everest. Would you be thinking of anything else but just being there? Enjoying the rapture of having achieved such a feat, the wondrous view and the elation of breaking your boundaries? No wonder adventure is so popular.

Motivating factors for adventure tourism

People are motivated to undertake adventure tourism activities for different reasons. Some may enjoy the anticipation of an unknown or uncertain outcome. This could be undertaking something new and unfamiliar or the presence of a perceived danger in the activity. This element of risk involved in an activity might be relished by some and feared by others.

There needs to be a degree of challenge in an activity for it to be considered adventurous. A challenging event might have an element of danger, unknown outcomes and degree of difficulty. This will attract different participants to the activity based on their expectations and willingness to cope with challengers.

There also needs to be a perceived reward on completion of the activity. This is usually the sense of meeting a challenge and pushing themselves beyond their usual comfort zone. This is referred to as an intrinsic reward, as it comes from within. There may also be extrinsic awards such as a trophy. An example, would be gaining a place in a white-water kayaking race.

A sense of escapism is also important for an activity to be considered adventurous. This is why most adventure tourism operations occur in natural areas. In this way people can feel that they are really escaping from their normal lives. A person might experience heightened senses, an adrenaline rush or a sense of calm following the experience. Again, it is important to remember that adventure can mean different things to different people. Sailing a boat around the Greek Islands may seem adventurous to some but not to others.

Adventure Activities

Activities associated with adventure can be categorized into the following:

  •  Physical – e.g. hiking, mountain-biking and hang gliding
  •  Nature-based – e.g. bush walking, bird watching
  •  Cultural – e.g. pilgrimages
  •  Travel/Exploration – e.g. long-distance sailing, Silk Road treks.

These activities form niche markets within the tourism industry based on the activity undertaken and their setting. They can vary in their “adventure” rating. Guided garden tours would be considered not to be very adventurous, whereas camping in the Andes would be considered extremely adventurous.

Nature-based tourism can fall into both categories of “ecotourism” and “adventure tourism”.

Where is YOUR Sense of Adventure?

  • Do you want to start your own Adventure Tourism business?
  • Maybe you already have an adventure business and you want to improve it?
  • Want to travel? - this course could be your ticket!

Whatever your reason, this course will provide you with the background knowledge to work in the Adventure Tourism industry.

Meet some of our academics

Dr Robert BrowneZoologist, Environmental Scientist and Sustainability, science based consultancy with biotechnology corporations. Work focused on conservation and sustainability. Robert has published work in the fields of nutrition, pathology, larval growth and development, husbandry, thermo-biology, reproduction technologies, and facility design.Robert has B.Sc., Ph, D.
Lyn QuirkM.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy Over 30 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head for TAFE, she brings a wealth of skills and experience to her role as a tutor for ACS.

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