Outdoorsy or Outsidey? Which One is Your Traveler?

Understanding the Behaviors of These Very Different Travelers

Outside and outdoors. Many destinations are struggling with the misconception that all outdoor recreation travelers are the same. Content and videos focused on hiking trails, kayak launches, and the best birding locations might sound like perfectly relevant content. But there’s been a change.

Coming out of the lockdowns of COVID, everyone clamored to be outside. Kayaking down some rivers was suddenly like bumper cars. State parks became busier than the shopping malls of the 1990’s. The novelty wore off fast, but the appreciation of being outside didn’t.

A large segment of travelers wanted to be outside, but without the more extreme activities often reflected in outdoorsy imagery. They want sidewalk meals and biergartens. Farmers markets and open-air festivals. They love being outside, but not necessarily the great outdoors.

They aren’t outdoorsy. They’re outsidey.

What or Who is Outsidey?

How many of your travelers fit this description? Probably far more than who will be grabbing their inflatable SUP for an early morning paddle. What are you doing to embrace this new type of guest?


Outsidey is loving being outdoors for sure. But we’re sitting in the park with coffee, we’re not rock climbing. #outdoorsy #outsidey #mumswhogetitgetit #mumlife #hotmumwalk #parenting #kidsactivities #mumsoftiktok #mumthings #pregnant #pregnancy

♬ original sound – Emma Kenney | Angus The Label

Showing and sharing outsidey activities like patio drinks along the waterfront will strongly appeal to the new outsidey types. In your photography and video, be sure to include outsidey activity. But a word of warning—outsidey and outdoorsy don’t always mingle. Here’s an example (some language).

What’s the Difference Between Outsidey and Outdoorsy?

What are some different activities between Outsidey and Outdoorsy people? One is not better than the other, but you can see how different the experiences are.


Strolling downtown shops
River Tubing (floating)
S’mores around a patio fire
PortaJohn (in an emergency)
Dinner and drinks outside dining area
Live music at a biergarten
Fogging and bug spray


Mountain biking
Kayaking or SUP
Tent camping
Open fire cooking
Blue bags (if you know, you know)
Meals on a river sandbar
Chilling on a “silent” lake
Mosquito netting

One of the easiest distinctions between them is the “intensity” of the outdoor experience. For outsidey people, it is about the outdoor setting, acceptance of urban intrusions, and a larger social element.

For outdoorsy people, their activities focus on a higher level of physical activity and a level of adventure. Outdoorsy experiences are likely less social—it could still involve small groups. An avid paddler may take a solo SUP trip around the lake in the early morning, but when canoeing in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota it will be with a small group. 

As you can understand, both sets of experiences appeal to very different people. As you begin to create your content and craft your message, recognize the differences between these very different individuals. Don’t panic if your community is heavily leaning one way or the other. Be authentic to your area.

How to Create Your Outsidey Content

Your destination marketing organization probably has some outsidey content mixed in with your outdoorsy content. It’s time to separate them. Signalfire recommendations:

  • Make a list of common outdoor activities in your community and separate them between Outsidey and Outdoorsy
  • Create a similar list of your members—do they cater more to Outsidey or Outdoorsy experiences?
  • Plan photography and videography around the Outsidey experiences
  • Build itineraries or activity lists with Outsidey in mind

If you’re looking for help building these pieces of content, Signalfire specializes at capturing these stories. Our team can capture these stories and experiences. Share them on social media, in email newsletters, and even update your website. If you’re ready for a fantastic tourism marketing partner that understands how to reach specific travelers, give us a call.

what's the difference between outdoorsy and outsidey