Following the volcanic eruption on New Zealand’s White Island, tourism will likely continue due to niche traveler markets.
One of New Zealand’s most active volcanoes, it continuously attracted day trippers and featured frequently on flight routes.
In light of the recent eruption, local tour operators and travel providers are likely to be shaken. Concerns focus primarily on the health and safety of passengers but also for the future of their livelihood.
Hospitality providers within the areas of Whakatane, Rotorua and Tauranga which are popular destinations for travelers visiting the White Island will be concerned. A variety of tour agencies operated across White Island, showcasing the magnificence of the natural area.
Hoteliers and tour operators will be more likely to serve to a more specialized market
Adrenaline junkies are those commonly associated with the harsher side of adventure tourism. They will continue to search for thrill seeking opportunities.
New Zealand is typically associated with adventure travel. Tourists look to embark on an expedition to the wide array of natural attractions. Extreme activities include bungee jumping, white water rafting, sailing or diving, and many others that are readily available.
Hoteliers and tour operators that previously capitalized on tourism to White Island are now likely to serve a greater niche market. Those looking to stay within areas close to White Island may now be considered to be extreme adventure seekers aspiring to seek adventure at the eruptive volcano.
Niche markets like White Island are not offset by a trauma
Extreme adventurers also link to other forms of tourism that are considered daring or mysterious. These include ‘last chance to see’, ‘once in a lifetime’ and even ‘dark tourism’. The latter being where travelers venture to sites that are widely associated with death and destruction.
These listed forms of niche tourism relate to adventure travel. This is where tourists seek experiences that are out of their comfort zone and the social norm. Despite recent volcanic eruptions on the island of Stromboli in Italy, travelers still venture to and around the destination.