The Silicon Review
Born and bred in California, Dan Austin has a passion for adventure travel. The travel and adventure enthusiast left San Jose, CA in 1974 to find adventure and never looked back. In 1976, Dan became a partner of a rafting company in the Pacific Northwest. His travels soon took him to Alaska, where he owned and operated a mid-size construction company. Dan gained valuable experience working out difficult logistics and long-distance problem solving. His company completed projects from the most remote Alaskan village to the military bases of Hawaii and The Azores. Looking for a new challenge and having experienced small group adventure travel as a guest, Dan stepped into the adventure game full time.
With a legacy going back 40 plus years, Austin Adventures was set up as a Montana-based company focused on Montana-themed adventures to start. Over 25 years, Austin Adventures eventually grew to be a part of the global platform to keep up with customer demand, especially alumni who want to travel again and again.
Austin Adventures has been sharing its love of adventure with its guests for decades. The insider’s knowledge and key contacts in each destination allow Austin Adventures to offer unique experiences and encounters that give its guests an in-depth feel for the local people and their way of life.
Austin’s first trip was back in the 80’s featuring Yellowstone National Park and it was an adult-only & bike-centric event. The Company’s adventures have evolved to accommodate not just adults but also families. Yellowstone National Park was and still is Austin’s #1 selling product. The Yellowstone program to this day often serves as a new guest’s first Austin Adventures experience.
Coined by a guest a long time ago, “The Toughest Part is Going Home” has become Austin Adventure’s tagline and the company justifies that perfectly. One of the #1 sources of Austin’s bookings are repeat business and the company takes that as a great sign that it is delivering a fantastic product. With so many return guests, Austin has almost been forced in a way to grow its product offerings to keep up with guest demand.
Success without struggle is a myth
Struggle is an integral part of every new born company and startup. Just like other small tour operators, Austin Adventures was facing difficulties in getting market share in a crowded environment but the company never gave up. It takes time and patience. Austin Adventures started out very small with its humble beginnings in Montana and expanded its offerings. Today, the company offers over 80 programs on all 7 continents.
Digitization was another challenge for Austin Adventures. The company had an early start when it came to embracing the digital age and the Internet. Over the years, it’s been a welcome challenge to keep up in the ever-evolving digital market. Austin kept an open mind, explored the phases of digitization and implemented all its findings in the market, website development, social media and more.
In a business like travel and adventure, one cannot be stagnant nor have stale products. One has to keep creating new and exciting adventures to keep up with the times. Innovation and ingenuity serves a company well to keep ahead of the masses. Austin constantly tries to come up with the next great adventures. The Montana based company never forgets that the customer comes first.
Austin Adventures has come a long way and has grown into a leader in the Adventure Travel Industry. But, even with all the growth and experience of over 25 years, the down to earth guy, Dan still considers Austin Adventures as a small family-run tour operator.
“Our guests become part of the extended Austin family. With this idea in mind, you could say our family has grown quite large over the years!”
Austin Adventures’ headway
Austin Adventures’ popularity is touching the sky with every passing year. The company works with guests individually to come up with the right product for them at the right location and the right time. These are adventures that draw in active minded people with active lifestyles. Austin considers itself ahead of the curve when it comes to efforts on running a sustainable tour.
The consistent growth over the years has been due to always putting the customer first. The guests return over and over again because they know Austin treats its guest right and they will get an incredible vacation at a great value. Customer feedback also play a vital role behind Austin Adventures’ popularity. When Austin hears back from its guests that they had “the vacation of a lifetime” or their adventure was “life changing” – those words are music to their ears.
The future roadmap
In its near future, Austin Adventures is unveiling 10 new adventure programs ranging from a “Mighty Five” Utah national parks trip to a luxury trip on an island in Costa Rica. One of the favorite new trips the company will be rolling out is “Tanzania by Bush Rover”.
Austin Adventures will soon change the entire structure of the industry. Dan Austin sees a future in which Austin Adventures is still a small, family-run, boutique Travel Company delivering the same five-star product the guests have come to expect.
The company will work to continue to grow the business, develop and implement new marketing initiatives and product, and remain focused on what it does best: Luxury active adventure vacations.
The man behind Austin Adventures
Dan Austin is the President and Founder of Austin Adventures. Dan has over 20 years of experience in International Commercial Construction which eventually led to 25 years in the adventure travel business based out of Montana. Prior to Austin Adventures, Dan was the President of Criterion General. Dan currently serves a very active role in Austin Adventures, dappling in a little bit of everything (marketing, operations, sales, etc.) to keep himself sharp.