The ‘2016 Adventure of the Year’ went to Belgian long distance cyclist Peter Vansumere and the punishing 1,250 km Trans Ecuadorian Mountain Bike Route (TEMBR) that runs the length of the country’s volcanic corridor. Not only did Peter finish the lonely, rutted, white-knuckle ride, he did so in record time to ensure he met the December 31 deadline for the 2016 competition. Bonus points were in order.
WOop woop... when you get home to find your Travel Play Live magazine in the letterbox... and open it to find the first article is yours! What a way to kick start 2017, and a great reminder to have a more powerful voice when it comes to the future of travel and how we can positively shape & impact our planet and our own lives by simply returning to nature.
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Adventure travel exponents Adventure Junky this week launched the earth’s first adventure travel game. The game brings together adventure travellers of every genre - from hikers to bikers, climbers to divers, sailors to snowboarders and wildlife watchers to wing suiters - on the same playing field, and pits them against one another in friendly rivalry. The goal: to determine the Earth’s Number 1 Adventure Junky.
An initial 500+ adventures, from almost every country and culture have been hand-picked by the Adventure Junky team for their authenticity, sustainability and uniqueness of experience. Add to that a rapidly growing number of adventures drawn from players and Destination Partners. Each adventure has been allocated a Points Score, based on a set of challenge factors. Players earn Points and progress up the Leaderboard by completing Adventures.
Adventures range from the softer, such as a Patagonia winery safari or foraging in the Sweden wilderness, to the extreme of summiting the seven volcanoes of Guatemala or a Favela tour in Rio. There’s self-guided (DIY) local adventures for the weekend warrior and fully guided international trips, led by the world’s best operators. Whilst the adventures are undertaken by individuals in the real world, the game is played in the digital world via the Adventure Junky App.
The Adventure Junky App has been designed to streamline the traveller’s journey from the high of one adventure to the next. On it users can browse, bucket list, book, plan, share and add adventures. The app keeps track of, ranks and rewards their achievements. Friends and heroes can be followed creating a strong social community. The App is available on iPhone and iPad, with Android available shortly.
Australian Adventure Junky co-founders Fuchsia Sims and Nigel Malone have a pedigree in tourism marketing, having rebranded three World Heritage Sites and become recognised as specialists in cultural tourism. They’ve also both worked as adventure guides in past lives. Their evidence-based business model was built after a solid six months of market research into the experience economy. The Chairman of Adventure Junky is John Morse AM, former head of Tourism Australia.
Mr Malone outlines the phenomenal growth in Adventure travel. “Of the more than six billion trips that travellers make every year, 40% have an adventure component. That’s 2.4 billion adventures a year, and growing at 15 per cent per annum. Gamification is the glue that can bring adventurers together,” he said. “You only have to look at Fitbit and Strava to see the rise in massive online communities created through gamification.”
But for the founders, it is the psychological side of adventure and games they find most fascinating. Ms Sims explains, “Adventure is addictive. It takes you out of your comfort zone. But not all those who wander are lost. Adventure enables us to grow and develop as individuals. To better understand the world and people around us. It can heal the greatest lows, and inspire us to the greatest heights. Our mission is to fuel the addiction to adventure.”
A few weeks ago I heard someone use the world 'McTravel' and it summed up my thoughts about why we started Adventure Junky. We live in an age when consumers no longer define themselves by the brands they buy, but rather by the experiences they keep - and share. The more authentic, unique and meaningful those experiences are - the more valuable they are, and come to define us as individuals.
At Adventure Junky our mission is to find the earth's greatest adventures. The sort of adventure you’ll take a Land Rover, not a Greyhound bus. A kayak, not a cruise liner. From every corner and culture of the earth. Small group, low impact adventures. Most importantly they are authentic, meaningful experiences, that respect people and place.
Download our iPad App and see for yourself, or set up an alert at AdventureJunky.com to be notified when iPhone and Android apps are released.
Adventure is addictive. It's like a drug – firing the synapses and quickening the pulse. Once you’ve felt that first high you'll just want more! Adventure takes you out of your comfort zone and into the unknown. But not all those who wander are lost...
Adventure enables us to transcend our limits, to grow and develop as individuals, to better understand the world and people around us. It is a powerful force that can heal the lowest of lows, and inspire us to reach our greatest heights
Adventure Junky’s mission is to fuel this addiction. To identify the earth’s greatest adventures. To partner with the most outstanding operators and adventurous destinations. To streamline the traveller’s journey from the high of one adventure to the next.
To bring together all the sailors, spelunkers, the hikers, the bikers, the balloonists, climbers, skiers divers, kayakers, slack-liners wildlife watchers, the trailblazers ALL of you! To acknowledge your achievements, and determine the earth's #1 Adventure Junky!
Download our iPad App, or set up an alert at AdventureJunky.com to be notified when iPhone and Android apps are released