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It’s been a turbulent few years for travelers, but the industry is poised to rebound in 2023. Households have uncorked two or three years worth of pent-up wanderlust, Covid-19 fears have waned, and last vestiges of pandemic-era travel restrictions have eased. The U.S. dollar is strong versus the euro, remote work offers more flexibility for trips, and airlines have added new routes to popular destinations.
But a big challenge is value, with inflation pushing up airfares and hotel rates. That’s why more travelers are choosing experience-driven trips, such as volunteering or taking a culinary journey, rather than a traditional vacation.
A resurgence in interest for adventure travel has also helped. In the past, adventure travel has been a small corner of the bigger leisure travel market, but it’s increasingly becoming its own niche and is growing rapidly. Experts see this as a result of the growth of digital platforms, the popularity of extreme sports, and the emergence of the “sea shaka” culture.
The resurgence of adventure travel is also fueling the expansion of short-term rentals, with investors pouring billions into the category over the past few years. Skift takes a look at some of the biggest players shaping this emerging market.