Over one third of adults in Northern Ireland say they feel more adventurous than before the pandemic, a new survey has uncovered.

With the ebb and flow of recent lockdowns impacting consumer behaviour across the board, new independent research commissioned by Tourism Northern Ireland has found that local peoples’ spirit of adventure and discovery has increased.

After a year in lockdown, when asked what they most associate with adventure, one third of adults said ‘freedom’, ‘new experiences’, and ‘exploring’. Also high on the list of what people associate with adventure were ‘making memories’, ‘discovery’ and ‘nature/wildness’.

Commenting on the results, leading psychologist Dr. Malie Coyne said, “On a basic human level, we need to feel safe and assured in order to discover new experiences and expand our horizons. It’s reassuring to see that people are now ready to step out of their comfort zones and discover places we haven’t yet visited.”

As people explore Northern Ireland, the new ‘We’re Good to Go’ industry standard provides that peace of mind. The research also revealed an interesting variety in people’s perception of adventure, with 15% of people associating relaxation more strongly with adventure than adrenaline or action.

Dr. Malie Coyne continued, “It’s great to see that making memories and feeling a sense of freedom are up there in peoples’ minds. It shows a longing for special moments rather than quick fixes, and appreciating that we can explore somewhere completely new right on our doorstep in Northern Ireland, can fulfil that need.”

With a huge array of experiences to enjoy, Tourism Northern Ireland has come up with the perfect solution to help you embrace the giant spirit of Northern Ireland and book your next short break with a new interactive video experience.

Through the new immersive video experience on Discover Northern Ireland’s website, visitors will go through a captivating visual journey, clicking through a decision tree of attractions that will lead them straight to their ultimate short break.

If seaside is your preference – and you will be one of 48% of adults for whom seaside and coasts are the epitome of adventure – the online platform will take you to your ultimate seascape in Northern Ireland.

Using curated videography and stunning drone footage, visitors can visualise themselves paddle boarding along the River Foyle with Far & Wild, riding the waves at Benone Longline surf school or navigating the rugged coastlines and ravines with Causeway Coast Kayaking.

If you prefer more gentle experiences that still give you a unique sense of adventure, you can listen to artist Adam Turkington guiding you through the funky street art on the cobbled streets of the Cathedral Quarter in Belfast, or check out the ‘Derry Girls Afternoon Tea and Tour’ package.

Someone who knows all too well about adventure is professional big wave surfer and one of Northern Ireland’s greatest explorers, Al Mennie. Urging people to uncover the corners of Northern Ireland from the mountain peaks to green fields and beautiful waters, Al said, “As a certified thrill seeker it was inspiring to see the huge interest in outdoor activities and giant experiences such as hiking in the Mournes with Life Adventure Centre or Off Road Driving and Zip Lining at Todds Leap. Experiences like these make adventures in Northern Ireland unforgettable, and really, unmissable.”

Dr Anne-Maire Montgomery, Tourism NI Research & Insights Manager, said, “Escapism and getting away from it all are key motivators for taking a domestic break in Northern Ireland, as well enjoying great food and drink and having fun.

“Northern Ireland is so compact, and people can design a short break taking in plenty of experiences on land and by the sea, while also embracing accommodation offerings from glamping to luxury city stays. Even over only two days you can cover so many locations and really mix and match your itinerary to suit your personal sense of adventure.

“With the research showing just how much appetite there is for something new and exciting, we wanted to build a platform that would immerse people in these experiences so they can make the best choices for their short break and embrace a giant spirit at the click of a button.”

Play the interactive video experience and Discover Northern Ireland at https://discovernorthernireland.com/things-to-do/my-giant-adventure, where you can also enter a competition to win your ultimate stay in Northern Ireland.

To help make your trip as run as smoothly as possible, Discover Northern Ireland has put together 5 top tips for visitors to be aware of:

  1. It is essential to pre-book and to check availability directly with each provider and to be aware of each venue’s cancellation policy when booking.
  2. When planning a trip, consider how to avoid traffic congestion by travelling at quieter times such as weekdays, be sure to check traffic ahead of time or consider taking public transport.
  3. To ensure you get the most out of your day-trip or staycation, and to avoid busier spaces, consider booking a mid-week break, or explore lesser known destinations.
  4. Embrace a Giant Spirit safely and take care of yourself, local business and the environment around you by signing the Visitor Charter Pledge on Discover Northern Ireland’s website. Visit: https://discovernorthernireland.com/know-before-you-go/giantdifference.
  5. Always follow current COVID-19 travel advice and guidelines before planning and while visiting. Visit nidirect.gov.uk and check that the provider has been accredited with the “We’re Good to Go” industry standard.

For more information on great places to visit and for things to see and do – check out  discovernorthernireland.com

Nadia Duncan

Author: Nadia Duncan


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