Adventure tourism on the rise for Irish holidaymakers

By Sarah Finnan

February 18, 2020 at 4:47pm


It looks like quiet beach holidays are out, and active adventure holidays are in.

According to research carried out by travel specialists Travel Counsellors, adventure tourism was the biggest trend for those booking holidays in January of this year. Activities such as trekking, safari, skiing and surfing saw a dramatic rise in popularity.

Releasing their annual Top 10 List of Long and Short Haul Bookings in January, the company noted that their busiest day for bookings was Friday, January 31st. Makes sense  - payday combined with a sudden overwhelming urge to get away = lots of flights booked.

Speaking of the Top 10 List, General Manager of Travel Counsellors Ireland, Cathy Burke said:

"Last year South Africa was in sixth place on our Top 10 List of Long Haul Bookings, this year it is third. The country was ninth in the standings in 2018, so it seems that the adventure tourism of South Africa, with its untamed wilderness and scenic beauty, has won over Irish holidaymakers."


She later added:

"New Zealand is another country in which we have seen a rapid rise in bookings in January. It is an adventurer's paradise with opportunities to try activities like scuba diving, hot air ballooning and rock climbing."

Sign us up to all of the above.

Topping the list again for the most popular long-haul bookings was the USA and Mexico - the latter up 15 per cent on the same period last year.

South Africa, Vietnam, Australia, the UAE, Indonesia, Canada, Mauritius and Thailand followed shortly behind. Other destinations that enjoyed an increase in bookings include Jamaica (up 179 per cent), Malaysia (up 127 per cent), Brazil (up 90 per cent) and Tanzania (up 62 per cent).


When it comes to European destinations, Spain ranked first while Italy, Portugal, Greece and newcomer Finland rounded out the remaining top five slots.

You can read the full list below:

Top 10 Long Haul Destinations

  1. USA
  2. Mexico
  3. South Africa
  4. Vietnam
  5. Australia
  6. United Arab Emirates
  7. Indonesia
  8. Canada
  9. Mauritius
  10. Thailand

Top 5 European Destinations

  1. Spain
  2. Italy
  3. Portugal
  4. Greece
  5. Finland

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