Kusa Cast – A Conversation with Quintin Smith

Kusa Cast – A Conversation with Quintin Smith

Quintin Smith, managing partner of Cape Adventure Brands, shares insights into the surge of adventure tourism in South Africa post-pandemic. He discusses the company’s commitment to inclusion and accessibility, highlighting the popularity of e-biking as an activity that accommodates guests of varying abilities. Quintin also emphasises the importance of the tour guide or leader in the adventure travel industry, even as automation and new technologies are adopted. With a focus on sustainability and collaboration within the industry, this podcast offers a fascinating look at the future of adventure tourism in South Africa.

Adventure tourism in South Africa has seen a surge in demand post-pandemic, with Cape Adventure Brands reporting a 10-15% increase in month-on-month comparisons. The company offers outdoor and adventure-based travel experiences, including kayaking, biking, and wine tours, and recently acquired iRide Africa, which caters to experienced cyclists. Quintin attributes the increase to pent-up demand and the return to regular booking patterns.

Cape Adventure Brands offers a variety of tours, with no age restrictions and accommodations made for all fitness levels. E-bikes, which provide assistance while pedalling, have revolutionised cycling, making it accessible to anyone who knows how to cycle. Quintin notes that e-biking has become a popular choice for tours, as it is an inclusionary activity that can accommodate guests of varying abilities.

The company places high value on the tour guide or leader, recognising that their skill and personality can make or break the success of a tour. Quintin emphasises the importance of human capital in the adventure travel industry, even as automation and new technologies are adopted. The booking process is 80% automated, but there is always a human touch at the end of the line for customer service.

Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, Cape Adventure Brands has remained optimistic about the future and has received bookings as far out as 2024. The company plans to launch a walking and hiking brand in the near future, which will complement its existing products and infrastructure. However, the industry as a whole has faced logistical challenges, particularly with products that have moving parts. The supply chain for cycling equipment has been affected, with some wholesalers waiting up to nine months to receive components and spare parts.

Sustainability is a major focus in the adventure tourism industry, and there is a need for self-charging batteries in the e-bike world. Quintin notes that the adoption of new technology may be slower in South Africa due to the smaller volume of travellers compared to the US and Europe. However, he believes that there is untapped potential for adventure tourism in the area and that the negative media coverage of South Africa needs to change. He emphasises the need for collaboration within the industry to promote the country’s positive aspects.

For more information, log onto https://capeadventurebrands.co.za/ or email Quintin at quintin@capeadventurebrands.co.za.


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