RIGHT NOW, AS YOU READ THIS, I’M CRUISING THROUGH THE TETONS with my husband and two boys in a 32-foot rented RV stuffed with a couple of tents, a pile of sleeping bags, packs, boots, a stove, a grill, a big cooler and four chairs. I’ve been dreaming of this classic family adventure for a long time-- ever since Shaun and I camper-vanned around New Zealand on our honeymoon. We’ll hit a couple national parks, run a river or two, hike some peaks, watch some wildlife, eat a disgusting amount of s’mores and spend hours at our favorite family game: Apples to Apples.
August is the perfect time for a family adventure, and also the perfect time to shine our SNEWS Spotlight on the business of family adventure. Be on the lookout for some great stories this month as we celebrate families and adventure travel:
>Our resident Number Cruncher, Corey Buhay, will dig into the data behind the adventure travel industry to give us a handle on how big the market really is and what types of adventure travel is on the rise.
>We'll have a feature targeted at retail shops who want to harness the power (and dollars) of adventure family travel. You probably already stock everything your customers need for a local hike or a family trip to the Alps, after all. We’ll talk to experts that can help shops learn how to better target these consumers who might not see themselves as “outdoorists.” We’ll learn from some retailers who already crush this segment of the market and gear companies who have expertly placed themselves in both the travel and outdoor industries.
>We've talked to manufacturers who excel at kids' gear, and one shop shares advice for achieving better sell-through in that category.
>We’ll take a look at a business model that’s proven successful to retailers: Taking trips with your customer. They come to you for gear, tips and local beta already, so why not expand your business and travel with them, too? We’ll talk to stores who make money—and build loyalty and community—by offering trips for their customers. From partnering with guide services to hosting local dayhikes or weekend outings, the business of travel goes beyond sleeping bag sales.
>InThe C-Spot (stimulating interviews with outdoor industry power players), we’ll talk to Shannon Stowell, president of the Adventure Travel Trade Association.
A big thanks to our sponsor this month, Northside, whose tagline “Just For Fun” is not only the motto for my summer family road trip, but also the mission behind what they do. If you haven’t checked out their full line of rugged, reliable affordable family footwear, click here.
In the meantime, if you get my out-of-office message, you know where I’ll be: somewhere in the Tetons with a sunburnt nose, dirt under my fingernails and river-rinsed hair in search of adventure. Follow me on Instagram at @kristinhos.