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Adventure Travel Specialists

History

Adventure travel as a formalized activity began developing in the late 20th century. As Americans enjoyed an increasingly high standard of living, as the advancement of technologies made everyday life easier (or “softer”), and as disposable incomes grew, some people began to see vacations as not simply a time for relaxation but for adventure. What distinguishes adventure travel from traditional activities such as camping in the great outdoors? Some experts maintain that those involved in adventure travel are deliberately seeking some type of risk in or an unknown outcome for the activity.

Mountain Travel, founded in 1969, and Sobek, founded in 1973, became two of the leading adventure travel companies in the United States, merging in 1991 as Mountain Travel Sobek. Today adventure travel is one of the fastest growing areas of specialization within the travel industry. Specialists escort paying customers to destinations all over the world—China, Nepal, Easter Island, Alaska, to name a few—and organize activities such as mountain climbing, sea kayaking, and camel-back desert crossings.

The adventure travel industry looks to continue its growth in the 21st century. Some experts note that this is in part due to the computer and the Internet: as more and more people spend workdays sitting in cubicles facing computers, more and more feel distanced from fulfilling physical activities and real feelings of excitement. At the same time, the Internet, with its breadth of information, has made the world a smaller place and given people greater knowledge of travel destinations and possibilities.