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ITB China News 2018 - Preview Edition

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8 SPECIAL FEATURE ADVENTURE TOURISM Bruce Poon Tip G Adventures Discovery, Thrills and Sustainability The spirit of adventure continues to grow exponentially G ADVENTURES – A CASE EXAMPLE According to Bruce Poon Tip of G Adventures, “Adventure travel is more than a vacation. It’s a chance to get to know your world better by putting yourself on a first-name basis with the people, places, and things that make it worth exploring.” The proof that adventure tourism is lucrative comes in the track record of Poon Tip’s company. In 1990, he founded G Adventures with nothing more than two credit cards and a burning desire to create “an authentic, sustainable travel experience like nothing the world had ever seen”. 28 years later, they’ve grown from a one-man show to a company of over 2,000 worldwide in 23 offices, and from a handful of trips in Latin America to more than 650 adventures spanning the globe STAND No. 622 BEYOND CONFIDENCE More and more adventure lovers want to challenge themselves to exceed your limits. To conquer their greatest fears or to simply step out of their comfort zone. The world’s highest ropes course challenge in Penang sees thrill-seekers stepping out the window on the 65 th floor of the Komtar building. The Gravityz encourages people to build their confidence and to take a leap out of their comfort zone, hence their tagline: Beyond Confidence In an era where experiences trump ownership, adventure travel is poised to benefit from demographic, technological and environmental trends to lead the wider travel industry on sustainable development. Adventure Tourism has grown exponentially worldwide over the past years with more and more tourists visiting destinations previously undiscovered. This allows for new destinations to market themselves as truly unique, appealing to those travellers looking for rare, incomparable experiences. In its report on adventure tourism, the UNWTO stated, “In a sector that is not only innovative, it is resilient in reaping the benefits that adventure tourism can bring to an economy, it is necessary to put in place conditions that make the country easy to visit as well as attractive to develop. Furthermore, this Report takes a closer look at the links between the proper management of adventure travel and a sustainable, ethical tourism which contributes effectively to community development.” reports that soft adventure activities (narrowly defined as hiking, viewing nature/ ecotourism, kayaking, rafting, backpacking) constitute a global market valued at 0bn involving an estimated 238 million tourists per year. ADVENTURE TRAVEL: PIONEERING IN SUSTAINABILITY While tourism has been often recognised as a force for good as a result of the jobs and money it can deliver, the real story for 2018 is, says So, in a nutshell, how one can be socially and ecologically responsible while taking economic sustainability into account on one’s travels? “The original notion of a ‘sustainable traveller’ was the backpacker”, says Bruce Poon Tip of G Adventures. “Tourist boards often maligned them as they didn’t fall into any categories, but they were the first travellers to distribute wealth as they travelled by paying for everything locally. This also proved to be more cost effective, and today continues to offer the benefit of cultural experiences that can be difficult to attain, while benefitting local communities STAND No. 754 Adventure companies continue to say they anticipate growth in the coming year: a recent survey published by the Adventure Travel Trade Association highlighted that more than 70% of businesses say they are growing; 40% of those say the reason for growth is new customers. International research firm Euromonitor in collaboration with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Christina Beckmann, Director, Education and Research at the Adventure Travel Trade Association, adding, “The adventure industry’s awakening to the reality of its deeper and perhaps greatest, potential: adventure travel experiences offer the rare opportunity to communicate on an emotional level with hundreds of millions of travellers about the urgency of conservation for our planet.” globally at the same time. My advice would be to remain conscious of the benefits you are creating by travelling and to be more aware of paying fair trade prices locally for services, while travelling” ITB CHINA NEWS • Wednesday 9 th May 2018

ADVERTORIAL SPECIAL FEATURE ADVENTURE TOURISM 9 WE ARE WILLING TO SHARE OUR EXPERTISE IN CREATING UNIQUE TOURS FOR TOUR OPERATORS LOOKING FOR NEW PRODUCTS. Laurent Holdener Managing Director – Terre Cambodge, Adventure Travel Network (ATN) ATN @ ITB China The Adventure Travel Network opens the gates to new experiences throughout Asia Adventure Travel Network (ATN) is an international network of DMCs around the world, primarily specialised in adventure & nature tours, and focusing on customised trips. We asked Laurent Holdener – Managing Director – Terre Cambodge to tell us more about ATN’s activities in Asia. We have always been strong in African and Asian continents, with numerous agencies based locally. We are willing to share our expertise in creating unique tours for tour operators looking for new products. Laurent, we notice you have on your booth your colleague from Laos. Can you tell us more about the unique selling points of Laos for the Chinese market? Firstly, geographically, Laos borders China. While obviously there are overland crossing possibilities in Mohan / Boten (province of Luang Namtha). Northern Laos is particularly suitable to nature-based activities like hiking. The slopes are not steep and the landscapes are stunning, with scattered ethnic minority people villages, century old wild tea trees in Phongsaly, hot natural springs in Muang La area and amazing forests, like the Nam Ha National Protected Area (NPA). Laos is a safe, secure and stable destination. It is a slow-paced, calm, quiet, serene, relaxing and still very authentic country. It also has very little air pollution, as there are few industries. These are strong arguments for urban Chinese visitors, often coming from polluted cities. The Chinese are building a high-speed railway across Laos, to link Kunming / Yunnan to Vientiane, the capital of Laos. The railway will eventually go across to Thailand to connect Bangkok and further south Singapore. In little over than 3 years from now, it will be complete and operational. It is the right time to visit Laos while it is still relatively unfrequented. What about Cambodia? We offer multi-sport activities: trekking deep into the jungle, far from people, close to the animals and nature. Then there’s kayaking, surrounded by the verdant jungle where one can navigate through lush greenery and dense growth of trees along the Kampot River. Explore Cambodian “Cuisine” with its local flavours on a journey full of surprises. Meals are balanced between cooked and raw, solid and liquid, sweet, sour, salty and bitter. For an interesting experience, travellers can stay in a village with the local people, surrounded by spectacular primary jungle offering a wide panel of possibilities for nature enthusiasts. Off the beaten track adventure journeys are managed by Terre Cambodge. Sri Lanka has grown, over the past 5 years, as a popular destination for the Chinese market. What is on offer here? People can discover historic ruins, lush countryside, mesmerizing hill country with endless tea plantations, and white sand beaches. In a few days’ time, one can cover many popular places and enjoy some adventure activities such as trekking, cycling, catamaran cruising, white water rafting, boat excursions to spot dolphins and whales, snorkelling, jeep safari and so on. And Mongolia? Mongolia is such a wonderful country to visit, yet so different from any other place on earth! It is a very interesting country neighbouring the People’s Republic of China, providing the right number of varied landscapes in so many locations, that makes this place a pristine destination for Chinese citizens who want to escape the crowd and the cityscapes. It is a place to enjoy nature, rest and enjoy great outdoors activities, riding camels along the sand dunes, hiking on the rocky formations, or just relaxing at the hot springs. What are the key aims of your presence at ITB China this year? We are very excited in entering the Chinese market, and looking at the opportunities that it offers. We all have experience in arranging tours for Chinese customers, and we are looking at expending our relationship with additional partners present at ITB. ATN is presenting the full range of adventure products that each destination can offer, from cycling to sailing on a catamaran, the variety of activities is very diverse. In addition to nature oriented activities, each destination has a rich history to showcase STAND No. 740 ITB CHINA NEWS • Wednesday 9 th May 2018