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Traveling for Adventure!

 Boomers Drive Adventure Travel Trend

The most recent explosion in the travel industry may have been ignited by aging baby boomers who still want to kick up their heels. Adventure vacations for persons over 50 years old are one of the fastest-growing areas of the travel industry, according to Purdue University travel expert Alastair Morrison.

"We are seeing a large number of 'younger-older people' in the travel market who are choosing to go on adventure vacations," says Morrison, professor of tourism management. "When they go on vacation they don't want to be passive; they want to do something." He says these aging boomers also want a high-quality experience and have the discretionary income to support their demands.

The Canadian Tourism Commission reports that the typical foreigner visiting that country for adventure travel is a male over the age of 45, who travels with a companion. Don't think that you must scale the Alps or bungee jump in order to take on an adventure vacation. Morrison says active vacations come in all shapes and sizes from the "soft" to the "hard."

"What people are looking for is a special environment with a range of activities," he says. Many adventure vacations include elements of another trend in travel, eco-tourism. Adventurers may choose to visit a rain forest, go birding or hike to Incan ruins. These vacations are seen as environmentally friendly, because they emphasize activities rather than facilities. "Adventure travelers feel more helpful and less intrusive on locals. They tend to need only smaller-scale facilities such as lodges or tents," Morrison says.

Because of the growth in active vacations, companies are packaging adventures to make them easier. Companies organize adventures for every interest and itinerary. You choose the package and they make all the arrangements. They'll even cook your food and carry your equipment. Source: Alastair Morrison, Purdue University News Service.

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