To understand the role of the adventure guide, we need to first take a look at what we mean by adventure tourism, and more specifically, what we mean when we say that Nordegg Adventures is an inbound adventure tourism company.
Over the next few sections, we’ll discuss the adventure tourism context and how it compares to other contexts guides often work in, like tourism, outdoor recreation and interpretation.
First, let’s take a look at what we mean by tourism, experiential travel and adventure tourism. Use the arrows to scroll through each slide below.
What is Tourism?
Tourism is simply being outside of our usual environment, an escape from the day-to-day. It can be in a foreign destination or simply exploring near where we live.
Experiential tourism is a collection of memorable activities that create connections with place and people. What is memorable and how connections are made are inherently personal concepts, meaning that we need to have a clear understanding of who the guests are if we are to succeed in creating something relevant and engaging for them. Engaging the senses and reflecting on what we’ve done are the two key elements that differentiate an experience from an activity.
Adventure tourism is a type of experiential travel that includes at least two of the following three elements: physical activity, natural environment, and cultural immersion. It often involves some physical or mental exertion and a willingness to step outside of one’s comfort zone.
In other words, adventure tourism is about crafting moments that create connections with place and people as our guests enjoy outdoor activities.
Inbound vs Outbound
Inbound refers to companies that focus on sharing the region where they are based with visitors and locals. Inbound tour companies are typically experts in one region with their staff living in the community where they work.
Outbound tour operators take their guests on journeys to faraway lands, aka destinations outside of where they are based. These companies specialize in the logistics of international travel and often rely on local operators to deliver portions of their tours.
Most of the Explore Nordegg & Abraham Lake partners are inbound operators.
The way we see it, adventures are not necessarily about reaching summits or overcoming extreme conditions. Adventures are about doing things that are new and different for each of us, doing things that can be a little scary but that also make us curious to explore further.
Tourism is a broad concept
Keep in mind that tourism comes in many different forms.
For most people, the word tourism brings up the image of big buses and resorts. There is a market and place for mass tourism like this but that’s not what we do. Our focus is on small groups and activities that allow enough time for meaningful connections to be made. That’s partly why our adventures appeal to locals and visitors alike.