If you want to know how important boomers are to adventure travel tour operators, ask Peter Grubb of Idaho-based ROW Adventures, which was named Travel and Leisure’s top tour operator for 2012.
“VERY important,” Grubb told me, especially since most of ROW’s international trips are comprised primarily of members of the baby boomer generation, now aged 49-67. International trips may range from sea kayaking in Baja and whale watching in British Columbia to snorkeling in the Galapagos and venturing to Machu Picchu. Boomers, he notes, often have more time and money to spend on such trips than other groups.
Boomers also join many of ROW’s domestic adventure trips, which include rafting, hiking, kayaking and canoeing in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. (ROW began as a small Idaho river-rafting operation 34 years ago and has expanded rapidly over the past few decades.)
While most boomers opt to join regularly scheduled trips, ROW also offers a small selection of 50-plus specialty trips each year for those who want to travel with others in the same age group. These trips require only moderate physical conditioning — though “we find plenty of in-shape boomers!” Grubb says, and they generally find they don’t have to modify the itineraries for the 50-plus crowd. For 2013, these include yachting in Croatia or along the Turkish coast, cruising the Nile and canoeing along the Lewis and Clark Trail in Montana.
Boomer parents and grandparents are also well represented in the multi-generational pairings on ROW’s “Family Magic Rafting” trips run on Idaho’s Salmon River, forming “a reasonably significant part of our business,” Grubb says. (For my earlier post on boomers traveling with their grandchildren, go here.)
The key takeaway for tour operators is that boomers continue to be active, adventurous travelers who seek out often challenging trips and experiences around the world.
Just ask Peter Grubb, who has been taking boomers on adventurous trips for decades — and still finds the boomer market a crucial part of his business.
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