Research Uncovers Top Adventure Trends for Summer 2021

Tourism NI launches new interactive experience to help you Choose Your Giant Adventure

  • There has been an increase in the sense of adventure across Northern Ireland, with 34% of adults claiming that they are now more adventurous than they were before COVID.
  • 32% of adults, particularly those 65+, would classify ‘freedom’ as one of their top 3 associations with adventure, with 30% claiming ‘new experiences’ is what they would use to associate with adventure.
  • Over half (48%) of adults claim that seaside and coasts are most likely to give them a sense of adventure, whereas over a third (36%) claim that mountains and hills give them a sense of adventure.
  • Over a third (35%) of respondents said ‘being somewhere new’ would give them the best sense of adventure, as new experiences and exploring are what they most associate with adventure.

Over one third of adults in Northern Ireland say they feel more adventurous than before the pandemic, a 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, 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:
  5. Always follow current COVID-19 travel advice and guidelines before planning and while visiting. Visit 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


  1. Image shows a man in a wetsuit bringing a kayak into the water
    Daylight or Moonlight? Either way, you’ll find the epic paddle around the Causeway Coast breath-taking as your guide leads you to another world – and that’s just the Game Of Thrones® locations…
  2. Image shows a smiling girl wearing a helmet, elbow pads and knee pads on a boom board
    You don’t have to go far and wide for exhilarating eco-adventures right here in the North West of Ireland. From Boom Boarding to Blading and Kayaking, every experience is wild!
  3. Image shows a group of four surfers on the beach
    You never forget your first wave. And one of the most unforgettable locations to experience it is right here on Benone Beach, with packages from Beginner to Advanced. Surf’s Up!
  4. Image shows a group of people enjoying themselves at Todd's Leap
    Off-Road or On-Line? Zip-line, that is… Todds Leap has it all, with everything from 4×4 Off Roading to Drop Zone, Glamping and loads more…
  5. Image shows a group of people enjoying stand-up paddle boarding
    Cross Stand Up Paddle Boarding with a delicious picnic? The answer is in the name… SUP-Nic – see what we did there? You can do it too when you book here.
  6. Image shows four champagne glasses in a circle being held by four people
    Science meets nature, meets art, meets you – when you book a mouth-watering tour. Add in equal parts inspiring and exhilarating, and mix with friends for a memorable experience.
  7. Sailing in the Wake of Giants
    Like Giant Adventures? Colossal sights like Samson and Goliath at Harland Wolff, Norman Castles and more will put the wind in your sails… as you sail majestically around Belfast Lough.
  8. Image shows a person taking a picture of their friend who is skydiving in the indoor skydiving dome
    We are Inflatable Action Courses, we are Indoor Ski Slopes and above all, We Are Vertigo – with indoor skydiving that’ll lift your mind as well as your body.
  9. Image shows the Let's go Hydro logo on the back of a life jacket
    Land Adventure or Water Adventure? Cool dip or cold drinks? The answers are all right here at Let’s Go Hydro! Watersports and Alternative Accommodation to get you pumped.
  10. Image shows a man taking a picture on his phone of the Street Art in Belfast
    Every wall tells a story in Belfast. These walls tell stories that include, not divide, as the guides explain their work through the vibrancy and beauty of this colourful tour.
  11. Image shows couple biking and the lady is looking back at her partner
    Road bike or Mountain Bike? Self-Guided or Guided? Regular Bike or Electric Bike? All the choices and all the ways to explore all the glory of the stunning Mourne Mountains.
  12. Hill Walking with Life Adventure
    Hot showers, hot coffee and bracing, cool hikes through the heart of the magnificent Mourne Mountains. With packages including friendly guides, waterproof clothing and rucksacks provided!
  13. Image shows a lady in a robe on a jetty at Finn Lough Spa Trail with her friend in the foreground taking a photo of her
    One mile from the border… a million miles from stressville. Explore the natural wonder – or stay put and wonder at it all in the stunning surroundings at Finn Lough Spa.
  14. Image shows a group of people having fun in front of the Derry Girls mural
    Tea or Coffee? Cream horns or Pastries? Sure it’s all ‘cracker’, so it is… experience all the craic on our walking tour, with delicious treats and a nice cuppa afterwards.
  15. We're Good to Go
    These businesses have registered with the ‘We’re Good To Go’ industry standard which shows that they have agreed to comply with Covid-19 safety guidelines.
  16. Small Steps to a Giant Difference
    My pledge to take care of Northern Ireland. Make a giant difference to Northern Ireland by signing our pledge. Inspire your family and friends to follow in your footsteps. #MakeAGiantDifference
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