Forest adventure company sees more adults swinging through the trees than ever before
Forest adventure company Go Ape is on a high after more than 50,000 visitors swung through its trees during the 2016 season.
The firm, which is thought to be the UK’s leading forest adventure brand, has welcomed nearly 365,000 customers across its three Scottish sites in Aberfoyle, Peebles and Aberdeenshire.
The company says it has experienced year-on-year growth in Scotland, with a 3% increase in footfall and 3% rise in turnover to £1.2 million in 2016.
Now in full swing for the 2017 season, the company is celebrating Aberfoyle site’s 10th anniversary and has marked the occasion with the launch of a dual course which has doubled the size and thrill factor of the adventure at Queen Elizabeth Forest Park.
It says the investment in two giant Tarzan swings, two high speed cross-valley zip lines and a skateboard zip wire has allowed the site to significantly increase capacity.
The company saw UK turnover increase by 10% to more than £22 million in 2016 with the opening of new sites at Chessington World of Adventures Resort and Battersea.
960,000 customers visited Go Ape’s 31 sites across the UK in 2016 to enjoy Tree Top Adventure, Tree Top Junior, Forest Segway and Zip Trekking adventures.
Go Ape says it’s now planning further investment and growth with the continued roll out of Tree Top Junior for younger adventurers at existing Tree Top Adventure forest locations and the arrival of new adventures in UK cities throughout the year.
With its grown-up version of nostalgic childhood adventures such as climbing trees, Go Ape says it’s seeing an increasing trend of adults hanging out in the forest. Figures show that gorillas (adults aged 18+) accounted for 76% of customers versus 24% baboons (children aged 10 to 17) in 2016, compared to 2005 when records began and 68% of customers were adults.
Jerome Mayhew, Managing Director of Go Ape, said: “It was a very successful 2016 season in Scotland, with a rise in visitor numbers and we’re looking forward to celebrating a decade of encouraging people to live life adventurously in Aberfoyle. Our recent investment in the site has significantly increased capacity to meet demand and will mean that even more gorillas and baboons can swing through the Scottish tree-tops this year.
“What’s really interesting in our customer profile is the ratio of adults versus children embracing that nostalgic activity of climbing trees as an escape from adult life. Against a backdrop of busy lives which are now dominated by technology, we really do love taking a trip down memory lane and reconnecting with our childhood.”
Go Ape offers an exhilarating experience in the great outdoors of flying down zip wires, leaping off Tarzan swings and navigating obstacles and rope crossings high above the forest floor and amidst some of the country’s most breath-taking scenery.
The Peebles adventure in Glentress Forest, which is popular for team-building outings, takes advantage of the valley and features the highest zip in the country – located above a reservoir.