8 reasons to sell touring and adventure holidays

By Linsey McNeill
Home » 8 reasons to sell touring and adventure holidays

Giles Hawke, CEO of Cosmos Tours and former Chair of the Association of Touring and Adventure Suppliers (ATAS), explains why you should focus on this market:

It’s growing

Pre-pandemic, touring and adventure was one of the fastest-growing markets. COVID has skewed that a little, but it’s going to bounce back, partly because during lockdowns people started walking and cycling more often just to get out of the house – and they found they loved it. At the same time, people’s interest in nature surged. A touring and adventure is ideal for people who want to explore outdoors.

High value

The average passenger value is £2,149 per person before flights – and agents are taking a greater share of these bookings. In 2015, just 25% of adventure and touring holiday were booking through agents, in 2019 agents accounted for 44% of all sales.

Which still says to me that there’s another 56% agents can capture. We as adventure and touring companies are not going out getting people to book direct, so you have a chance to go out and grab this business.

These business is complex, you have an opportunity to explain it to customers. Customers want to talk to someone they can trust.


In a recent Deloitte study, nearly one in three consumers claimed to have stopped buying products because of ethical or sustainability concerns, this figure is going to grow.

After cycling and rail, coach travel is the most sustainable form of transport. A coach takes 22 cars of the road – Cosmos plants trees to offset its carbon, but for a week’s travel that’s just two trees – so a coach holiday is a good choice for people who want a more sustainable holiday.

Health and safety

A Mintel study found that 76% of Baby Boomers, 70% of Generation X and 60% of Millennials said health was the most important factor in choosing a holiday. All ATAS members have increased their health and safety. We are really focused on giving people a safe holiday.

We check out all the hotels and venues you send your customers to. Our contractors are going round the world making sure they’re safe.


Research by Booking.com shows 90% of customers say they want flexible bookings and, while it’s a different product, all ATAS companies have really flexible promises with regard to COVID-related cancellations, and our customers will be looked after if they catch COVID while on holiday

Touring isn’t just for old people

There’s a misconception that touring holidays are only for old people, some people think it they go on a coach holiday it will be full of the blue rinse brigade, but the average age is 55 and there are products for every age group.

Adventure holidays aren’t only for the super-fit

All adventure operators have a good range of activity levels covered by their itineraries and all make it very clear how many miles are covered, how many inclines, how long it will take and how fit you need to be for each of their tours. Many of the traditional adventure operators are introducing ‘soft adventure’ holidays. We make sure we gear them to the lowest common denominator, so no-one is pushed.

There’s no stranger-danger

People worry they’ll be stuck with strangers on a touring holiday, but we get a lot of solo travellers and they come because they want to be with likeminded people. Touring and adventure customers are generally intelligent, curious, well-educated people who want more from a holiday than flop and fry.  We find a lot of our guests have a lot in common with others and they often go on to book other holidays together.

Share this article

Latest News