An opportunity exists for clubs and fitness professionals to tap into the growing market of holiday-makers, who are opting for fitness-focused experiences over the traditional stay-by-the-pool type adventures.
While there will always be a place for relaxing holidays with cocktails by the pool, fitness tourism or challenge-based holidays are now a popular option for those looking for something more from their annual leave.
There is a growing desire for people to tick more items off their bucket list and return from a trip feeling accomplished, rather than simply relaxed.
22-year-old personal trainer, Kate Collins from Geelong (VIC) decided to make her very first overseas trip, one that would push her personal and mental levels, by trekking the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea.
In her professional life, Kate was questioning her decision to be a personal trainer and felt she wanted to be really challenged. As a result, she chose to endure nine days of thick jungle, muddy, narrow tracks and on some days, torrential rain and came out the other end feeling like she could take on the world.
This inspirational journey proved to be the impact she needed to drive her to continue in her career and encourage her clients to push themselves harder as well.
Kate took on a stringent training program in the eight weeks leading up to her trek and as a PT discovered a few training tips to help others preparing for Kokoda or similar, which should be including in their training.
Such tips included:
1. Training while wearing a backpack.
2. Only introducing walking poles closer to the trip so the support on the track is a pleasant surprise.
3. Working out with the hiking boots on.
There are lots of awesome adventure and fitness-focused travel businesses, including:
- Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority has just launched a new campaign and website called Do Kokoda, which is designed to encourage Australians to share their Kokoda stories and images on www.dokokoda.com and to provide a platform for people wanting information about trekking.
- Wild Women On Top teach women how to climb the highest peaks in the world (wildwomenontop.com)
- Health and Fitness Travel are a company specialising in tailor-made healthy holidays (healthandfitnesstravel.com.au)
– Sharing Bali, originally known for its fitness retreats in Bali have expanded to now offer health and fitness programs in The French Alps and South Africa (www.sharingbali.com)
Compiled by Analee Matthews, editor of the WNiF magazine and website.