What’s the hottest trend in outdoor vacations?
Walking, said Peter Grubb, owner of River Odysseys West rafting company in Coeur d’Alene. Grubb recently returned from a major adventure travel trade show in Chicago, where goes each year to sniff out industry trends.
“Lodge-based walking trips appear to be the hottest thing going,”’ he said. “That’s where the dynamic growth is.”
Europe has capitalized on the trend, Grubb said. “It’s also really big on the Olympic Peninsula, where companies are booking clients in the Lake Quinalt Lodge.”
The clientele tends to be older, wealthy people, he said. In Europe, walking vacations start at about $250 a day. “These people are walking outside, but staying in the nicest possible lodging,” he said.
Grubb also senses a disturbing trend in the adventure travel industry.
“Consolidation could gradually change the nature of the industry,” he said. “A smaller company called Overseas Adventure Travel recently was bought out by Grand Circle Travel, a $120 million-a-year bus tour company.
“This trend could change the nature of adventure travel to a corporate world profit-driven motive rather than a mom-and-pop lifestyle driven industry.”