Please help - survey for university student
Hello all! I am a student at the University of Colorado (USA). I am doing research on the topic of adventure travel vacations and I would love it if you could take a few minutes to fill out a survey for me. Thank you!
Your survey assumes that people take trips through a company. I think you'll find a lot of members here, perhaps even a majority, who just go on their own and plan their own bike tours. For them half the questions in the survey are pointless. I stopped the survey halfway through b/c I have never adventure traveled through a company. I just go camping or biking based on plans I make myself. Just my $0.02.
Adventure travel vacations? It must be my age (61) but I'd never heard of this term.
Having consulted Wikipedia I find that I've been going on these regularly since I was aged 16 when I went to a summer camp and met some girls.
All this time I never realised I was an Adventure Traveller
Last edited by Caretaker; 11-17-10 at 01:35 PM.
Gear Combo Guru
I also stopped responding when I got to the questions about the factors that made me choose one tour company over another, and didn't give me the option of saying that I'd never use a tour company.
Bike addict, dreamer
Yeah, the poll seems to be a little... um... misguided?
+2 AdamDZ. I may not ever use a company. But I would like to travel and camp as often as possible in the warmer months. My first question was, "Is this a troll?'
A couple of tips:
Originally Posted by custudent
First, the University of Colorado is not in the USA. It's in the People's Republic of Boulder.
Second, a bunch of good questions in the survey, but as others have noted, it's hard to wrap your mind around question like "when did you take your first Adventure Travel vacation" if it's not clear what an Adventure Travel vacation is, and whether you mean with a tour company or any vacation that's on your own.
Maybe you could start by asking folks if they ever do any of the following while on vacation (cycle touring, kayaking, rock climbing, trekking, etc.), and then asking whether they do it alone or assisted.
Another tip - people don't like answering demographic questions (age, income). Save those for the last two questions of the survey.
Writing good surveys is hard!
Long Distance Cyclist
I haven't bothered to look at the survey, but if it is all about touring companies as the others here have mentioned, I'm not interested.
I've done a lot of travelling and touring in various parts of the world, both on the bicycle and by other methods of transportation but I have never made use of a touring company.
Tis the season for the students to come out of the woodwork and start posting this surveys ... it's getting worse every year. More and more of them. Maybe we should have a forum for pointless polls!
I've had a look at a few of these surveys, but either the student was sleeping through the "Design Your Survey" class, or maybe the instructor never talked about that sort of thing. Most of these surveys have one or two particular outcomes in mind (often things avid cyclists or travellers wouldn't even think of), and are designed to force the survey taker to answer the way the survey designer assumes everyone should answer.
Thanks for the pointers BengeBoy and others. I should have made it more clear... the survey is more about doing it with a company because I chose (Cycling) Adventure Travel Vacations for my Marketing class. And yeah, I probably should have added (any|more|some) option to not have a company at all. I'm still accepting responses as the survey is... thanks to anyone who has responded already.
Edit: sorry blues frog/others... I really wasn't trying to troll. I'm just pretty ignorant to the entire adventure traveling scene.
Last edited by custudent; 11-23-10 at 04:30 PM.
Reason: to address blues frog
Long Distance Cyclist
And that's a problem if you want to be successful in marketing. If your goal is to sell a marketing idea to an "adventure travel company" but you know nothing about "adventure travel", it's going to be pretty difficult to come across like you know what you're talking about.
Originally Posted by custudent
A good first step would be to do some research ... on the internet, in books and magazines. Then find an organisation that you might define as an "adventure travel" company and talk to them ... or even better go travel with them. Try out the product, gain some experience yourself. Talk to or try out several if possible.
Then ask yourself what you liked and didn't like. In this case, ask yourself what an "adventure travel company" has to offer that make it better than doing it yourself. As you can see by the comments here, one of the biggest questions we, who travel by ourselves, ask about an organised company approach is ... "Why would we bother?"
If you're trying to promote an "adventure travel company" you'll want to answer that question.
Thanks for the feedback Machka. I wish I had time to do one of these. Unfortunately, due to the awesomeness of the school scheduling, I get to turn in my paper at the end of the semester (December). But the entire thing (doing some online research) has sparked my interest in going (maybe next summer). I didn't realize that there were so many people who didn't use a company- I guess I need to work on my Google skills. Thanks again.
Yeah most of it did not really apply to me for the same reason. This is true for my bike tours, as well as my many other "adventure" trips. I have never done a commercial trip.
Long Distance Cyclist
But why would you bother using a company? Have you at least researched several of these companies? One of the first things you'll notice is the very high fee for travelling with them. You mention that you don't have time to travel with any ... well, as a student, you probably don't have the funds to travel with any either.
Originally Posted by custudent
I've looked at a few over the years and have calculated out what it would cost me to do a similar tour by myself, and so far it has always come up significantly less expensive ... plus when I travel by myself, I have the freedom of choosing to go here instead of there, to do this instead of that.
So one of the questions a marking person might ask themselves is ... why would a person want to pay $$$ to travel with this company when the person could pay $ to travel on their own? What does the company offer to justify the extra $$?
Why would you bother using a company?
Well, ten years ago I used a company because I lacked the confidence to do it myself. I wasn't totally new to bike touring having done it thirty years previously but I'd never gone cycling abroad before.
I went with Breton Bikes in Brittany, France and they weren't terribly expensive because they don't provide a group leader or support vehicle.
That trip gave me the confidence to do it myself and I've never used a company since.
I'm Carbon Curious
I think all these surveys from "students" are just cheap marketers in disguise.
Originally Posted by avner
just another gosling
I took the survey and thought it decent for someone who was just getting familiar with the concept. OK, which among the above posters have canoed down the Amazon alone? How about a nice traipse though the African veld? Or kayaking in Iceland? Or hiking in the Brooks Range? How many of us have done that alone or on our own? That's adventure travel. What we bike tourers do is not really adventure travel, as it is commonly referred to. We are way too safe and pedestrian, even though we may be on bikes. I define the difference between an adventure and a disaster thus: you come back from an adventure. But unless there is some small question in the adventure seeker's mind, it doesn't qualify. That's the reason there are adventure travel companies: to take the worst of the risk out of it by providing experienced guides and appropriate equipment and backup.
Having said that, there are many companies and individuals who do a good job with bike tours which are not in the category of adventure travel. Erickson's tours come immediately to mind. I know many people who have had wonderful times on his tours. Not everyone is an experienced bike tourer, ready to load up the panniers and ride in the Alps. There are great gradations in experience and strength among people who ride at the club level. My local bike club, 13,000 members strong, puts on many bike tours every year. They all sell out. A lot of people enjoy the camaraderie and the support of an organized tour. Sure it costs between a little and a lot more than going it alone, but it gets people out to see the country or the world on their bikes, and that's a wonderful thing.
There are also real adventure travel bike tours. A friend went on a long MTB tour through Africa a few years ago. That tour would qualify in my mind. I would not do it on my own.
I was motorbiking in Africa 40+ years ago and wanted to go further into the continent, but I was just chicken having heard of giraffes stepping on sleeping campers heads, among many other unknown dangers, like being eaten. That would have been adventure travel, for sure. I had enough trouble just not getting arrested by the crazed gendarmarie.
Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
I have no trouble w/the concept of "Adventure Travel" businesses, just thought the survey was confusing.
There are all kinds of bike-touring companies -- ones that offer little more than a "ride leader" for supported tourers riding in a group; to pretty ambitious adventures; to following the Tour de France around every day and sleeping in hotels; to wine-and-luxury-lodge tours in France of California's wine country.
I've done one very short Adventure Travel trip with a touring company -- my family and I booked a very short kayaking trip w/Oars, Inc., which specializes in whitewater rafting and kayaking trips. It was fantastic -- my son is into kayaking, the rest of us aren't. They took care of the boats, camping gear, food, etc. All we had to do was paddle, apply sunscreen, set up our own tents and help do dishes after dinner. I think Adventure Travel companies offer great value for folks who want to do something in a sport or a geography where they're not comfortable handling the planning and/or outfitting on their own.
Ditto. Perhaps placing a link to the survey on a site where users pay someone to go on a pre-planned/supported tour would yield better results.
Originally Posted by EKW in DC