National Geographic targets adventure travelers

National Geographic, a name long associated with seeing unexplored parts of the world, has launched a new program for adventure travelers.

Taking advantage of the growing trend in adventure travel, the popular publisher said that it would offer trips categorized by activity level - easy, moderate, strenuous or 'ultimate challenge.'

Trips will be offered in groups of 16 and include accommodation that ranges from tented camps to cruise ships, as well as local guides including Sherpas in Nepal and nomads in Mongolia.

Destinations include Alaska, Bhutan, Chile and Argentina, England, Italy, Mongolia, Nepal, Peru, Spain, and Tanzania with itineraries such as hiking to a remote monastery in Bhutan, living among some of the world's last hunter-gatherers in Tanzania or kayaking into Alaskan sea wilderness with whales, bears and otters.

"Adventure is an integral part of National Geographic's heritage," said the company's Lynn Cutter.

"These new trips combine the immersive experiences for which we are so well known with the opportunity for a more physically active adventure."

National Geographic says that when possible, experts are drafted in to allow travelers to meet with the people whose discoveries have appeared in its magazines or television programs.

Expeditions, National Geographic's traveler program, was founded in 1999 and now operates 300 trips a year, giving the brand some authority and muscle as it attempts to win its share of the rapidly-growing adventure travel pie.

According to a survey released in August last year by George Washington University and the Adventure Travel Trade Association, adventure travel is on the rise, and adventure travelers are planning longer vacations than the market as a whole, suggesting that the lure of active holidays has proved immune to the overall belt-tightening seen during the economic crisis.

The same study also suggested that National Geographic was the third most-read magazine among adventure travelers, after People magazine and their local daily newspaper.

http://www.nationalgeographicadventures.com

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