Popularity of adventure travel increases among Americans

September 04, 1994|By New York Daily News

More than 50 percent of the U.S. adult traveling population, or 147 million people, have taken an adventure trip in their lifetime. Three-quarters of them have taken an adventure trip in the past two years, according to a survey from the Travel Industry Association.

The study examines outdoor/adventure vacations, which have gained in popularity in recent years as Americans have been looking for new ways to spend time with their families and share new experiences.

* Most popular outdoor or adventure activities: Camping (85 percent), hiking (74 percent) and skiing (51 percent), followed by snorkeling or scuba diving (30 percent), sailing (26 percent) kayaking or whitewater rafting (24 percent) and biking trips (24 percent).

* Marital status. Adventure travelers are more likely to be married (66 percent vs. 56 percent) and have children (50 percent vs. 37 percent) than other travelers. Also a higher proportion are women (49 percent) compared to the average profile of U.S. travelers (40 percent).

* Spending habits. More than one-half (51 percent) spent $500 or less on their adventure vacation. One-fourth spent $500 to $2,500, while 6 percent spent $2,500 or more. The average amount spent was $871.

On average, men spent more than women on their most recent adventure/outdoor trip, $908 vs. $831.

* Reasons for travel. The majority of adventure travelers said they took their vacation for fun and entertainment (71 percent). Just over half (51 percent) wanted to get away from it all. Another 21 percent did it for the thrill.

* Age factors. Although the most popular reason for taking an adventure vacation among all age groups was for fun or entertainment, other reasons varied by ages. For instance, 59 percent of 45 to 54-year-olds took the trip to get away from it all, vs. 51 percent for all adventure travelers. Of 18 to 24-year-olds, 39 percent took the trip for the thrill vs. 21 percent for all adventure travelers. Thirty per cent of 55 to 64-year-olds took the trip because of an interest in the environmen vs. 14 percent for all adventure travelers.

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