A growing interest in adventure will shape the travel industry in the 21st century, according to Lloyd’s of London. Speaking last week to a gathering of the Canadian travel insurance industry, a leading Lloyd’s broker outlined his vision.
“The 21st century will be characterized by independent travelers visiting remote, far-flung destinations, and undertaking more adventurous activities,” said David Stirling, director of Crispin Speers & Partners Ltd. “Increasingly, they will be faced with poor access to medical care, basic facilities and greater exposure to disease. The need for intelligent, specialist insurance cover will become paramount.”
Research by the Travel Insurance Association of America shows that, in the United States, one half of all adults have taken an adventure trip in the last five years. Nearly a third of these are involved in high-risk activity such as rafting, scuba diving and mountain biking. A survey by the U.S. National Ski Areas Association conducted last year also shows that ski resorts are seeing a continuing increase in snowboarders.
While in 1999 snowboarders accounted for 27 percent of all ski resort visitors, this is forecast to rise to over a third of the total by 2004. “As the range of adventure sports grows, we are now turning our attention to activities such as base jumping, kite-surfing and para-karting,” Stirling said. “People are no longer content to watch these events on television, but want to try it themselves. With its strong tradition as ‘the great outdoors’, Canada is both producing an increasing number of adventure travelers and proving a popular destination for overseas visitors.”
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