The Gamification of Sustainable Adventure Travel

Adventure Junky

Australian start-up Adventure Junky is looking to change the way we travel. Through an app that creates a points-based game out of adventure travel, the company hopes to promote travel that is high on experience, and low on impact — to both the people and places we visit.

I had the pleasure of traveling through Tierra del Fuego with Adventure Junky co-founder Fuchsia Claire Sims these past couple of weeks. An avid adventurer herself, Fuchsia has seen first hand the result of overtourism. You need take just one look at Iceland to be warned of the downside to excessively promoting the beauty of a country’s natural environment.

To try to counter this mass tourism approach, Adventure Junky ensures that the adventures promoted within the app are of the sustainable kind. With help from the Adventure Travel Trade Association, the company created a set of guidelines to help select exactly which adventures make the cut.

Within the Adventure Junky app, you can find and book your next adventure, add your latest adventure, get credit for past adventures you have completed, and send your friends an adventuregram. You create a profile where you set your adventure preferences and provide a place for your friends and fans to follow all your adventures.

As part of the game, you collect points and patches for each completed adventure. If you upload a brand new one, you will also receive points when another player completes it in the future. A leaderboard displays the top adventures at each point in time and you can also check how adventurous you are compared to your friends. From time to time, the Adventure Junky team will reward you with gear and other prizes.

Adventure Junky currently partners with tourism boards, destination marketers, and tour operators to promote their adventures. In addition, over half the adventures are user-generated — the team at Adventure Junky approves these first to ensure they meet the sustainability guidelines.

The Adventure Junky app is free and available for both iOS and Android.

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