Tourism survey shows NI people eager to expand their horizons
More than one third of adults in Northern Ireland say they feel more adventurous than before the pandemic, a survey has uncovered.
Independent research commissioned by Tourism Northern Ireland has found the spirit of adventure and discovery has increased.
The findings show that 34% of adults believe they are now more adventurous than they were before Covid.
Elsewhere 32% of adults, particularly those aged 65 and over, would classify ‘freedom’ as one of their top three associations with adventure, with 30% claiming ‘new experiences’ is what they would use to associate with adventure.
Nearly half (48%) of adults claim that seaside and coasts are most likely to give them a sense of adventure, whereas over a third (36%) claim that mountains and hills give them a sense of adventure.
Over a third (35%) of respondents said ‘being somewhere new’ would give them the best sense of adventure, as new experiences and exploring are what they most associate with adventure.
After a year in lockdown, when asked what they most associate with adventure, one third of adults said ‘freedom’, ‘new experiences’, and ‘exploring’. Also high on the list of what people associate with adventure were ‘making memories’, ‘discovery’ and ‘nature/wildness’.
Commenting on the results, psychologist Dr Malie Coyne said: “On a basic human level, we need to feel safe and assured in order to discover new experiences and expand our horizons.
"It’s reassuring to see that people are now ready to step out of their comfort zones and discover places we haven’t yet visited.”
The research marks the launch of Tourism NI’s new new interactive experience to help adventure-seekers here to ‘Choose Your Giant Adventure’.
Via a video experience on Discover Northern Ireland’s website, visitors will go through a visual journey, clicking through a decision tree of attractions that will lead them straight to their ultimate short break.
Dr Malie Coyne continued: “It’s great to see that making memories and feeling a sense of freedom are up there in peoples’ minds.
Urging those with wanderlust to log on, Co Antrim-based adventurer, Al Mennie explained: “As a certified thrill seeker it was inspiring to see the huge interest in outdoor activities and giant experiences such as hiking in the Mournes with Life Adventure Centre or off-road driving and zip lining at Todds Leap.
"Experiences like these make adventures in Northern Ireland unforgettable, and really, unmissable.”
Dr Anne-Maire Montgomery, Tourism NI research and insights manager, said: “Escapism and getting away from it all are key motivators for taking a domestic break in Northern Ireland, as well enjoying great food and drink and having fun.
“Northern Ireland is so compact, and people can design a short break taking in plenty of experiences on land and by the sea, while also embracing accommodation offerings from glamping to luxury city stays.
“With the research showing just how much appetite there is for something new and exciting, we wanted to build a platform that would immerse people in these experiences so they can make the best choices for their short break and embrace a giant spirit at the click of a button.”
The experience can be found at discovernorthernireland.com/things-to-do/my-giant-adventure