Qualification - Certificate in Adventure Tourism

Course CodeVTR015
Fee CodeCT
Duration (approx)600 hours

Improve your career or business prospects in the adventure tourism industry

 Certificate in Adventure Tourism.

The course comprises 2 core modules -

Bushcraft and Wilderness Activities, and Adventure Tourism - plus 4 elective modules.

Studying for this certificate will enable you to develop your understanding of the adventure tourism industry and formulate your own views and ideas.  You will learn to appreciate the wide range of considerations in relation not only to the environment, but also to customers and operators.


Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Qualification - Certificate in Adventure Tourism.
 Bushcraft and Wilderness Activities BTR201
 Adventure Tourism BTR302
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 4 of the following 6 modules.
 Birdwatching (Ornithology or Birding) study at home BEN012
 Ecotour Management BTR101
 Marine Studies I BEN103
 Marine Studies II BEN203
 Wildlife Management BEN205
 Ecotourism Tour Guide Course BTR301

Note that each module in the Qualification - Certificate in Adventure Tourism is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.


  • To appreciate the scope and implications of ecotourism opportunities in wilderness areas.
  • Identify types of adventure tours and sources of information relating to them.
  • Identify your potential customers and their needs and requirements.
  • To be aware of the requirements and potential issues relating to natural environments used for adventure tours.
  • To be able to prepare for an excursion into a wilderness area.
  • To determine how naturally available resources can be used in wilderness areas.
  • Learn to navigate using a variety of different techniques.
  • How to develop contingencies and how to deal with a range of emergencies.
  • Identify potential risks and developing strategies for minimising their impact on customers and operators.
  • Appreciate the ethical and environmental issues relating to adventure tourism.
  • Explain how to establish and manage a campsite.

What You Will Do

  • Define adventure tourism.
  • Identify and list target groups.
  • Research and identify the type of adventure tourism which you consider would have the greatest potential for financial success in your own region.
  • Analyse and produce a summary from promotional material (brochures/website) on 5 different adventure tourism offering, attractions or tours.
  • Compare and identify positive and negative aspects of 3 different locations or destinations in adventure tourism.
  • Examine the influence of the media on adventure tourism in your own region.
  • Examine the licensing requirements for adventure tourism in your region.
  • Differentiate between artificial and natural adventure tourism destinations.
  • Select 2 different adventure tourism destinations and report on the environment, facilities and services at these.
  • Consider ethical as well as environmental issues surrounding adventure tourism.


Here are some examples:

Adventure Tour Operators

The growth of adventure tourism has been stimulated by the activities of specialist tour operators (i.e. those that focus on only adventure tourism). For example, a tour operator selling adventure tours through India. These tour operators are generally small enterprises specializing in a certain adventure activity or environment.  

  • Imaginative Traveler – offering tours throughout SE Asia, Europe, and Egypt using various modes of transport, including traditional methods, and other activities.
  • Indochina – offer tours for 4 – 21 days throughout SE Asia involving a range of activities including local sightseeing, hiking adventures, cycle tours, and cultural activities

Retail Travel Agents

Most adventure tourism operators sell their products directly without the use for external agents. There are, however, several travel agencies that specialize in selling adventure packages or making arrangements for adventures travelers and backpackers.

Trailfinders (UK) was founded in 1970 and makes travel arrangements for 800 000 people each year.
There are also student flight centers in Australia which cater for young adventurous travelers looking for different travel experiences or group tours throughout the world.

Accommodation Establishments

The accommodation used by adventure tourists is generally quite different to that used by mainstream tourists. For example, camping, hostels, mountain huts, and sleeping out in the open.

Much of this is free or offered at a low cost. Some adventure tourists stay with local people where the price is paid to the locals and not to commercial operations. Some other examples include ice-hotels or igloos in the Arctic North or tree hotels in some jungle locations around the world. 

Transport – to destination and within destination

Because of the remoteness of many adventure tourism destinations transport is very important. It often involves several modes including flights (sometimes several), buses, and trains or taxis. The journey of getting to the location is an adventure in itself involving many risks including; bad weather, rough terrain, unreliable transport. etc.

Sometimes the act of traveling itself is adventurous. Trips on ice-breaking ships or long train journeys are adventures in themselves. The process of getting there is almost as exciting as being there.

Once at the destination a number of forms of transport are available including; walking, cycling, horse riding, canoes, hire cars, aircraft, trains and buses. It all depends on the type of adventure tourism the individual is participating in once the destination is reached.

Adventure Ground Handlers

Ground handlers are companies that organise activities within the destinations, either on behalf of the tour operators or for independent travelers. These are people working for organisations offering high quality activities. Some examples include:

  • Gecko Canoe Tours, which offers multi day canal trips from Katherine in Nitmiluh National Park.
  • Sightseeing flights over glaciers on Alaska, offered by several ground handlers.
  • 4WD tours through the natural sights of Iceland, whale-watching tour boats and helicopter flights offered by many ground handlers.
  • Imaginative Traveler, offering 4-14 day tours through countries in South East Asia, Europe and Egypt. This company focuses on employing local people during the tours which adds to the local economy and gives the travelers a more ‘genuine’ experience.

The adventure ground handler organising adventure activities are primarily responsible for the safety of travellers.

Media – guide books, travel writers, magazines

There are four main elements to adventure tourism media:

  • Guide books – those most popular include guides for whole countries such as The Lonely Planet, and Rough Guide. These books generally focus on adventure travelers and backpackers.
  • Travel writing – Adventure travel writing covers a wide variety of tourism experiences. Books abound in bookshelves or secondhand bookshops around the world. Topics include the explorations of solo female travelers, visits to war zones, spiritual travel experiences, sexual and romantic adventures, or simply being immersed in the culture of a country.
  • Specialist magazines – these have grown considerable in recent years. Some focus on particular activities such as mountain biking or scuba diving, while others focus on selected destinations that are popular at the time (or unexplored regions).  
  • Television travel programs – If an adventure activity or destination is featured on television it will more than likely stimulate demand. It is a very effective tool to stimulate demand. Examples include ‘Getaway’ programs featuring the latest deals or holiday destinations, and travel documentaries where the travel reporter is immersed in the culture and experiences and takes the viewer along with them.

The media’s role is effective but it may not always be considered good. The profile of a destination may be raised, with visitors flocking to the location, which may in turn effect fragile or remote environments. Also, these programs may fail to give travelers information on how to be a responsible and considerate traveler in particular areas.





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