Adventure travelers are active.
If we hear about a remote location with epic swells, you can be sure we’ll be riding 10 hours on a one-lane road in the middle of nowhere with 35 other people, for whom deodorant is a new concept. Why? Just for the experience.
The mistake, however, is to assume we know enough about it or we can get the information elsewhere. “Ah. They’re enthusiastic mountain bikers. They don’t need our help.”
Wrong. You know the area way better than we do. There are a number of factors that change where someone would want to go and stay. And planning that trip ahead of time will help inform our decision. When planning his Canary Island trip, my friend Matt says he’d loved to have seen a booklet on the kitesurfing spots around the island.
Broken down, it might look like this:
- List the beach
- Explain the terrain and the best launch points
- List the riding experience needed
- Mention the ways to get here
- Provide information on the winds, best time of year for each break, and services nearby, including schools and hospitals
- Offer special considerations
- Include a quick story maybe for each break from someone who surfs there often…It could just be tips from locals. But even better would be a testimonial with their name and favorite break.
What Do the Activities Entail? How Does One Improve?
Though this works for everyone in the tourism industry, if you’re an activity vendor that focuses on, say, mountain biking, this especially pertains to you. You definitely should have material on your site about how to do it, and do it better, faster, harder, and more interesting.
“With all the research I do, it’s amazing how many dive, rappelling, and mountaineering shops, to name a few, have little to no content on their site that offers any introduction to and education about the sport,” Matt says. “That’s a big turn off right there, because it comes across as a lack of passion.”
Talk about easy-to-pull—together content. Subject matter experts hoarding all that valuable knowledge that we adventure travelers want and need.
Maybe you’re thinking, “Ya, but there are thousands of videos on YouTube about proper running form. Who needs another one?”
Your. Potential. Audience.
There are thousands of videos that repeat everything from how to choose a wetsuit to the top ten best rucksacks. But not every video establishes a relationship with the audience.
Matt says, “Even if the information is really great, if the speaker’s voice annoys me, I don’t get their humor, of if I simply don’t like them, I won’t waste my time. And I don’t have to. I can easily find another video done by someone I like.”
It’s how and what you say that connects with those individuals you’re supposed to reach. Maybe in a way that has been missing all of this time. Who knows?
The point is if there’s room on the internet (and there is), you might as well stake your flag.
Questions to Get You Started Explaining the Activities and Improvement:
- What are the basics?
- How can you check your gear before the activity to make sure it’s good to go?
- What are some rules of etiquette about the sport?
- What are the top 5 mistakes of beginners?
- What are 5 things that set experts apart from beginners?
- What are the best places to head if you’re a beginner, intermediate, expert? And why?
- What are some things to bring with you, if possible?
- What is usually provided by an outfitter?
What Should Adventure Travelers Consider When Planning?
Try visiting the Alhambra in Granada, Spain without a ticket reserved months in advance. It can be done, but not so easily. Because Matt didn’t know this upfront, he had to schedule another visit just to see the Moorish Palace.
A similar situation occurred in Venice, Italy when he’d wanted to take the Doge’s Palace Secret Itineraries tour. But nowhere in his research did it mention having to sign up in advance. So, unfortunately, Matt totally missed out.
If you have events or activities that require signup, make sure you make that very clear.
What is The Access to Health and Wellness Resources?
If Matt heads off on a mountain biking excursion, and he’s not going with a tour or a group, his first concern is having a basic first aid kit, an emergency number, and a way to contact park rangers, etc.
“You just never know what’s going to happen,” he says. “You have think ahead.”
For example, he says, the first week he’d moved to Asheville, North Carolina, the news was consumed with an ongoing search for hikers missing for several days. They’d just gone out on a simple half-day hike.
So it helps to be prepared. How can you help with that? What can you tell him that’s going to give Matt a better awareness about his surroundings and the possible options for when things go awry?
Granted, this can be an area where you might want to tread lightly so as not to scare potential visitors. But how you come at it that makes all the difference.
Has there been a heroic rescue of late? Maybe you got new Chinook helicopters that can land on remote mountain tops. Maybe you just upped your park comms to have emergency call stations throughout. Maybe you ramped up your park service personnel.
“I always like when experts tell stories about the crazy things they’ve seen and ways people can prevent similar situations from happening again,” Matt says.
Imagine what would concern you and seek to answer those questions.
Questions to Get You Started Listing the Health and Wellness Resources:
- Where is the local clinic? The hospital?
- What resources do they have there?
- Do they take any one? Do you need insurance?
- Do you need a card?
- Do you need to be a resident?
- If something serious happens, where would they send someone?
- How does rescue and safety change throughout the year?
- Do you have people available, onsite, going with you, who are trained in CPR? For example, if you’re a mountain biking outfitter, and your tour guide also used to be a traveling nurse, that’s a great story to have on your website. That’ll reassure a lot of people and make it more personable. And, if Matt’s going on an excursion, knowing that he’s putting himself at risk in some way, who do you think he’s going to go with?
What Experiences Have People Had?
Reviews matter. So, as adventure travelers, we want to hear from those who’ve been there and done it.
Experts. Novices. Instructors. People who had crap experiences. People whose lives were forever changed. People who keep coming back, year after year.
We want to know that it’s possible. Then we can follow in the same path. Or we can try what’s not been done. We want to do it better. Farther, faster.
Hearing from others motivates us.
We get more excited to get out there and make it a reality. Stoked about the possibility that we’ll be off, having an adventure, testing our limits, living more fully. Having fun. Feeling the adrenaline. Feeling alive.
Hearing about other people both answers questions and poses them.
We get to thinking, wondering, about everything. The person’s training methods, what gear they took, who they went with. Their approach, their timing, the challenges they faced and how they dealt with them.
Who succeeded? Who failed? How they did it? How long did it take them to succeed? And what about the sport for them in general moves them? How did they come to this sport? How did they come to this point in the world at this time? How did they follow their hearts? What challenges did they overcome to be here? How does this place compare to the other they’ve been? Will they come back? Why or why not? What were their favorite parts? What were they thinking, if anything?
Most importantly, what did they learn? What did they come away with? What was their experience? How did they change? What does that change mean for them, if anything, in their life?
More specifically, for enthusiasts and extreme personalities, why this mountain? Why this river? Is it something they’ve always wanted to do?? A family thing? Maybe their grandfather did it. Maybe to climb this mountain sets you apart from all the other climbers out there. What about it makes it so attractive?
Something very critical takes place in our indulgence of curiosity of another person’s experience. We start imagining ourselves in their position. We start identifying with the main character of the story. And then it all becomes more real to us. A possible adventure for us.
Questions to Get You Started Sharing Other Peoples’ Experiences:
- Who succeeded?
- Who failed?
- How did they do it?
- How long did it take them to succeed?
- And what about the sport for them in general moves them?
- How did they come to this sport?
- How did they come to this point in the world at this time?
- How did they follow their hearts?
- What challenges did they overcome to be here?
- How does this place compare to the other they’ve been?
- Will they come back? Why or why not? What were their favorite parts? What were they thinking, if anything?
- What did they learn?
- What did they come away with?
- What was their experience?
- How did they change? What does that change mean for them, if anything, in their life?
Want more examples on how to get more attention with action-oriented storytelling? Check out my free ebook: