Adventure tourism: area of work

From Aberystwyth to the Atacama, you can make an exciting graduate career in adventure tourism.

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As a result of the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting restrictions to travel, it's likely that you will have to put your plans to get into adventure tourism on hold for the time being. Rest assured, however, that potential future employers won't look unfavourably on your application as a result of this – as our article on filling a coronavirus-shaped gap on your CV highlights. If you are looking to use this time to boost your CV, however, you may want to get an insight into some career-friendly activities you can do while social distancing.

In a nutshell

If you like adventure in your life and want to get a kick out of your work, why not go abseiling, skydiving or caving as part of your graduate career? As an adventure tour guide, you could be involved in researching and planning treks or expeditions and then providing the equipment and expertise needed to run them successfully.

You might need to find out which season is suitable for a proposed trip and where to find the best sites. It is important to gain the general skills of a tour guide as well as experience and knowledge of the activities you will be organising. Safety regulations are crucial and for some roles you’ll be required to complete a competency course (for example, a lifesaving course) or gain a first-aid qualification.

Working environment

Where you can work is as varied as the activities you can organise. You could be taking people hiking in the Lake District, white-water kayaking in Scotland, or trekking through a rainforest in Puerto Rico.

Since some work is seasonal you could use the opportunity to gain experience in summer and winter activities, as well as working overseas. Careers in adventure tourism can include desk-based work – for instance researching trips and planning itineraries – as well as leading tours.

Getting in and getting on

  • You could be taking clients on the adventure of a lifetime and expectations will be high – so excellent organisational and planning skills are a must.
  • A friendly, calm and confident personality will also help you to communicate with those around you, even in stressful situations.
  • Being a resourceful problem-solver with a good deal of common sense is necessary too; you’ll need to deal with things when they go wrong, keeping everyone feeling happy and safe at the same time.
  • It probably doesn’t need to be said that a willingness to travel can be necessary in this area of work and travel experience will be a must for some employers.
  • It is also important to be culturally sensitive and respectful when working abroad. Language proficiency is often required in overseas positions too.
  • Energy, fitness and good health are also obvious prerequisites in this area.
  • A few roles require specialist knowledge or a relevant degree subject. For example, a degree in ecology or conservation experience may be beneficial when applying for jungle expedition roles. Equally, if you’re going to be leading certain activities like rock-climbing or sailing, you’ll need the relevant qualifications.

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