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World Tourism Week

Do "real" travelers like to cruise -- or only just "tourists"? Photo by Clark Norton

Do “real” travelers like to cruise — or only just “tourists”? Photo by Clark Norton

Happy World Tourism Week, everyone.

This is the annual week (September 21-28 in 2013) when the United Nations World Tourism Organization — which supports sustainable tourism around the globe — celebrates global tourism and tries to keep it on an environmentally friendly path.

This year’s theme is “Tourism and Water: Protecting Our Common Future” — a vital topic because if we don’t protect the earth’s oceans, rivers, lakes and wetlands, we’re all in deep trouble, not just the tourism industry.

But the name “World Tourism Week” got me to thinking about a debate that’s been brewing among travel bloggers and websites recently on the connotations of the word “tourist” and whether or not “tourists” are lesser forms of life compared to “travelers.”

The thinking goes like this: “Tourist” implies someone who takes group tours, maybe… Continue reading

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According to government and private surveys:

  • Leading-edge baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1955) and seniors account for four out of every five dollars spent on luxury travel today.
  • Roughly half the consumer spending money in the U.S.--more than $2 trillion--is in the hands of leading-edge baby boomers and seniors.
  • Baby boomers (born 1946-1964) travel more than any other age group.
  • When asked what they would most like to spend their money on, baby boomers answered “travel” more than any other category, including improving their health or finances.

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