Your customers are short of time? They want to use the plane less? Enjoy nature? What if you offered them a microadventure?
What is microadventure?
Microadventure is a term made famous about ten years ago by the English adventurer Alastair Humphreys. After having travelled the world in great length, for example to Alaska, Siberia, South America or Africa, he decided to spend a year in his country, the United Kingdom, at the end of which he listed ideas for adventures that could be done close to home.
Sleeping under the stars in a forest a few miles from home, taking a random train to a nearby destination and back by bike or swimming in a lake are adventures in themselves. It is therefore not necessary to climb Annapurna or to descend the Amazon River to quench one's thirst for discovery.
In short, the microadventure invites "people with normal lives" to enjoy nature close to home. Everyone is free to do so, at their own pace, for a few hours during the week after work or for a weekend. The important thing is to respect the environment.
Who is microadventure for?
This concept was originally designed mainly for city dwellers between 25 and 40 years old (millennials) who live in big cities such as Paris, New York or Brussels. Microadventure is a way to connect with nature, to find simplicity, to disconnect from a hectic and stressful professional life. It is a way to break the routine symbolized in France by the May 1968 slogan "metro, work, sleep".
You can propose these outdoor activities to your clients who are city-breakers, who like to travel regularly to European or American cities, but who are sensitive to the themes related to the climate emergency and the "shame of taking the plane" (“flygskam”).
Is your agency located in a small or medium-sized city? Then develop offers for those who have left the big cities since the COVID-19 crisis to find a more pleasant living environment, where it is easy to telecommute. In the United States, these cities, like Kingston on the Hudson River, are known as "Zoom Towns”. In France, according to a survey conducted in July 2021, one out of three working people living in cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants would like to move to smaller cities.
This population can arrange its working time, and therefore its free time. For an afternoon, two, three or four days, for example, these potential customers will want to discover little-known places close to home or popular places but in a different way.
Put forward your added value, the advice, the knowledge of your region. Use your social networks and/or your website to address those who do not want to improvise at the last moment. You are likely to interest people attracted by another trend in tourism that the health crisis has reinforced: staycation.
"Yes, but my clients don't want to sleep in a sleeping bag”. Offer them accommodation more adapted to their expectations of comfort like a bed and breakfast, a gîte, a mountain refuge or a hotel.
Microadventure is not limited to cycling or walking. Depending on your clients' desires, you can suggest other ways to discover your region: climbing, kayaking, paddle, electric bike, horseback riding, donkey, sand yacht, snorkeling, paragliding, etc. For families, recommend an itinerary that takes into account the needs of the little ones.
What are the benefits of a microadventure?
Microadventure allows you to have an activity spread out over the year. For example, in Occitania, it is possible to propose hiking to the summit of Canigou between June and October. Climbing the walls of the Gorges du Tarn is more fun in spring and fall. From Angers, you can discover the treasures along the Loire River by bike in any season. Your clients will enjoy a different atmosphere than a stay that is only designed for the high season.
By favoring short distances, modes of transportation such as train, bicycle, walking, car if necessary (or better carpooling), you participate at your level to reduce the carbon footprint.
More and more travelers are looking to meet local people. Put forward your contacts whether they are restaurant owners, guides, owners of an accommodation, craftsmen, etc. They will give a touch of authenticity to the experience that your customers will live. This will help make tourism more sustainable, as will your proposals to discover less frequented places and to spread tourist flows over larger territories.
The microadventure is an invitation to enjoy the present moment, to look at the environment with a different eye. It is another way of looking at tourism. Travel agencies, it's another way for you to make tailor-made trips and a great opportunity to show your know-how by selling memorable experiences.
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📚 Sources :
1- La micro-aventure, une nouvelle façon de voyager ? https://www.geo.fr/aventure/la-micro-aventure-une-nouvelle-facon-de-voyager-201510
2- La carte de la microaventure dans le Grand Paris https://www.enlargeyourparis.fr/balades/microaventure-grand-paris
3- Les “zoom towns”, ces villes moyennes qui profitent du télétravail https://www.wedemain.fr/ralentir/les-zoom-towns-ces-villes-moyennes-qui-profitent-du-teletravail/
4- Welcome City Lab - cahier tendances #6 - Les grandes tendances du tourisme d’aujourd’hui et de demain https://welcomecitylab.parisandco.paris/
5- What is a microadventure ? Everything you need to know https://www.muchbetteradventures.com/magazine/microadventures-everything-you-need-to-know/
6- Why You Should Plan a Weekly Microadventure https://www.themanual.com/outdoors/what-is-a-microadventure/
7- The 'Zoom towns' luring remote workers to rural enclaves https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20210604-the-zoom-towns-luring-remote-workers-to-rural-enclaves