Question 7: Zip line tours: saturated market or growth market?
Micah: There is still room for growth from my perspective. Whether it is existing courses adding new features or elements, or parks being developed in new locations. The public continues to be inspired to try something adventurous.
Jim: I still see zip line tours growing. I do not believe it is a saturated market nationally. Typically, we have seen saturation in a few areas with high tourist populations and varied topography, such as Hawaii. But other areas are just now exploring this market. With our company in particular, we have seen a push for tower-based courses along flat coastlines. Population, whether year round or seasonal, is still a key factor for locating a new course.
Valdo: It is not saturated, but has become more sophisticated from a business point of view. We consequently need to innovate with both design and programming. As a supplier, we are very careful to take on only those clients who have the best probability to be profitable, who are open to a variety of options and choose the ones that will work best for them. We are not afraid to have difficult conversations with potential clients if we believe their zip tour concept or location cannot be profitable.
Paul: In certain areas, like eastern Texas for example, there is certainly saturation—but not as much as some people think. In most areas, multiple offerings raise awareness of the activity and build up all of the tours. So, growth market.
Ryan: I think there is still room in the market for more zip line tours. I think that new tour operators, though, need to take into consideration how they might create a tour that’s a little different than other tours, or focus on markets where there might not be many existing tours.
Tim: Definitely a growth market. I think in Europe aerial adventure parks may be saturated, but they are just taking off in North America. The true tree canopy tour that is miles long and allows the exploration of special places is just beginning to take off. Ski resorts, beach resorts, state and national parks, all are in the beginning stages of developing canopy tours and ropes courses. That also applies to Via Ferratas. There’s plenty of room for growth.