The Adventure Travel Industry in Mexico & Around the World

Size of the Adventure Travel Industry / yr:



Billion Dollars US

Global Adventure Travel Industry / yr

physical activity


natural environment


cultural immersion

What is Adventure?

The Adventure Travel Trade Association - ATTA - defines adventure tourism / adventure travel the following way - which has now been adopted by the the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO):


Adventure travel is a trip that contains at least 2 of the following 3 elements - physical activity, natural environment and cultural immersion. The UNWTO goes on to state in the UNWTO Affiliate Member Report on Global Adventure Tourism released jointly (2014) in collaboration with the ATTA that "while the definition of adventure tourism only requires two of these components, trips incorporating all three tend to afford tourists the fullest adventure travel experience".

Potential for Mexico in the Adventure Travel Industry

In a global adventure travel industry worth $683 billion US annually, Mexico, a mega-diverse country with 11,000 kilometers of beautiful coastline, jungles, deserts, forests and more than 1000 species of birds including 180+ endemics, is ranked 13th in an adventure tourism development index conducted by Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA). Mexico's 180 amazing natural protected areas receive 14+ million visitors per year, which highlights the potential for Mexico to compete with other countries like Costa Rica in the nature and adventure experience economy.

In Mexico there are 2,300+ ecotourism companies (SECTUR 2014) of which only 120 are represented by the Mexican Association for Adventure Travel and Ecotourism (AMTAVE) and only 6 are members of the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA). Our Market Ready Model has revealed the challenge: 85% or the companies / operators are Emerging social or private companies and some are Visitor Ready. The vast majority are not Market Ready or Export Ready. Most are not ready to maximize and leverage their tourism opportunities nor do they have the resources to adequately market themselves.



Ranking of Mexico's adventure travel industry in ATTA's Development Index

Source: ATTA


Adventure / ecotourism companies in Mexico

Source: Market Ready Model


Millions of foreign visitors to Mexico that experienced at least one adventure activity

Source: SECTUR 2016



Companies in Mexico that are NOT Market Ready or Export Ready, only Emerging and some Visitor Ready

Source: Market Ready Model

Mexico's federal and state governments as well as destinations need to support and better understand the companies that make up the adventure travel sector and help them address the building of their business, operational and commercial capacities. While it is important to recognize that Mexico's SECTUR (Secretaria de Turismo) has taken important steps in the professionalization of adventure guides which is excellent, the lacking core business competencies which we can identify with our Market Ready Model need to be addressed in order to produce more Market Ready and Export Ready companies and experiences. At AMT.MARKETING we are here to help develop the commercial capacities and the digital footprint of the social and private adventure travel and ecotourism companies and destinations.


Number of AMTAVE Mexican member companies

Source: AMTAVE


Number of Mexican adventure companies that belong to ATTA

Source: Market Ready Model


Number of ATTA member companies in 100 countries

Source: ATTA


Number of foreign ATTA member companies that operate in Mexico 

Source: ATTA

Industry Partner Organizations

AMT.MARKETING works with leading organizations as we strive to bring the best solutions for the adventure travel sector in Mexico.

About the ATTA

The Adventure Travel Trade Association's purpose, with more than 1300 member companies in 100 countries around the world, is to nurture and professionalize the responsible and sustainable development of the adventure travel industry.

About La Mano del Mono

La Mano del Mono, our partners in the Market Ready Model is an exemplary, multi-award wining organization dedicated to combining environmental education, ecotourism and experiential learning, joining local hands to create global changes needed to conserve our natural resources and support the development of communities.


AMTAVE - the Mexican Association for Adventure Travel and Ecotourism (Asociacion Mexicana de Turismo de Aventura y Ecoturismo) was created in 1994 to help represent, strengthen and consolidate operators, guides and consultants and other service providers within this sector in Mexico.

About Ecoturismo Genuino

Ecoturismo Genuino is currently the only virtual collaborative community of ecotourism consultants and professionals in Latin America. It is an initiative built with more than 5 years of experience in the field collaborating in the development of a genuine ecotourism in and around natural protected areas.