IS ADVENTURE TOURISM ONLY ABOUT EPIC, NEAR-IMPOSSIBLE CHALLENGES? IS IT ONLY FOR ATHLETES IN TOP PHYSICAL CONDITION? OR, WITHIN THIS VAST REALM, CAN THERE ALSO BE A MORE FEMININE ROUTE TO THRILLS AND EXCITEMENT?
We’re used to thinking of adventure tourism as a bunch of impossible undertakings done by people - and mostly men - in perfect physical shape, often under extremely challenging environmental conditions.
In the last two to three years in Europe, and for over a decade in America, we are seeing a new way of looking at adventure tourism, backed by studies that have taken a close, detailed look at the tourism industry. The fact that increasing numbers of people are now looking for ways to test themselves, and that specialized tour operators are springing up to meet this need, has made adventure tourism more than just a physical endeavor. It is now a way of seeing vacation as an opportunity for personal growth.
This is something of a cultural evolution in how we view the term “adventure”, a shift from the objective to the subjective and more tied to our ability to push our own personal boundaries.
In terms of the actual activity, adventure for a traveler has always been a personal, evolving concept. Activities typically associated with adventure tourism could include: spelunking, rock climbing, hiking, horseback riding, kayaking, rafting, scuba diving, and much more.
The decision to embark upon a vacation of this sort can be motivated by a range of desires depending on our individual lifestyles and the manner in which we experience our travels on an emotional level. In essence, it’s about seeking mental and physical wellbeing, both physical and cultural challenges and, oftentimes, change.
Women, too, have played a crucial role in the evolution of the concept of adventure and what it means in terms of activities. A more feminine approach to physical undertakings of a certain level of difficulty tend to focus more on the inner journey than on competition, or on achieving a result as quickly as possible.
Pushing our own boundaries implies a concept of self that many women have, not just super-athletic young women with amazing bodies, but also more mature women, mothers raising their children, who train and do exercise because of an increasingly common habit of living a healthy lifestyle and to taking care of ourselves. This sort of woman dreams not only of working out in a gym or in a city park, but also out in the woods, in a mountain meadow, or on the banks of an alpine stream.
This is why it’s important for an adventure tourism destination to offer services that challenge both physically and mentally. In our case here, we have selected nothing but trained professionals in a range of fields, and women as much as possible, who have gained extensive experience over time and have understood, much better than through just another study, the desire of women to go on an adventure vacation and to push their own limits, either alone or together with friends.
As families and the younger generations evolve, the way we travel has changed, from the way we book flights and hotels to how we purchase a whole range of other products and services. It is only natural, then, that also our desires related to travel would change as a result.
Choose your own adventure!
For summer 2019, the Madonna di Campiglio Pinzolo Val Rendena Tourist Association, together with experts in alpine adventure and outdoor sports, is organizing experiences designed specifically for women, inviting you to discover a slower, deeper way to approach the mountains.
by MICHELA VALENTINI