Why we embrace the outdoors
The benefits of embracing the outdoors have been well recognised for a long time, however, the COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to an accelerated demand to visit the outdoors.
Strangford Activity Centre Kayaking
Embracing the outdoors
Traveller behaviours are being driven by evolving global patterns such as value for money; relaxation and escapism, authentic experiences, sustainable tourism and seamless travel (Tourism 360 -Travel Trends 2023), presenting a huge tourism opportunity for the outdoor industry. The People in the Outdoors Monitor Northern Ireland has highlighted over £900 million was spent during visits to the outdoors in 2020/21.
The Adventure Travel Trade Association estimates adventure tourism makes up 30% of global tourism spend equating to €683 billion. In addition, evolving global trends point to an increasing pursuit of healthier lifestyles through diet, hobbies or everyday choices. The aspiration to improve our mental and physical wellbeing has driven a desire to integrate health and wellbeing into short breaks and holidays.
Market research company IMARC predicts growth of over 20% in period 2022 – 2027 in adventure / outdoor tourism with an expected value of US$ 2,548.2 billion by 2027.
This presents a fantastic opportunity for Northern Ireland to sensitively create experiences which embrace our landscapes, culture and heritage and can help people to connect, discover and feel inspired and refreshed.
Outdoor Experiences should focus on:
- Our visitors - How we give them our big-hearted welcome, what they are looking for when they come and how we can meet and exceed their expectations.
- Our giant place - How we bring our legends and stories, land, water and sea to life through connection with the outdoors.
- Our quality and identity - Those aspects which make us distinctively Northern Irish and original, showcasing our care for our communities and natural environment.
- A giant experience - How we combine landscapes, people and adventure to create unforgettable experiences for every visitor.