Emerging Trend Shows Relaxation May Take a Back Seat to More ‘Active Travel’ Itineraries

Travelocity Editors Recommend Hot Spots Around the Globe for Those Looking to Break a Sweat

SOUTHLAKE, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–July 26, 2007–The exploding number of marathoners, cyclists, swimmers, tri-athletes and other extreme sports buffs around the world is starting to carry over into the travel scene. With outdoor activities topping the list of potential ‘leisure activities’ for many people, each year millions are choosing to travel for the sole purpose of participating in their favorite sports activities, and Travelocity has just the itinerary to scratch their itch. While it may be hard for leisurely sun-worshippers to understand, outdoor travel activities are more popular than ever. For example, the Outdoor Industry Foundation conducted its first ever Active Outdoor Recreation Economy Survey last year which showed that active outdoors travelers spent more than $145 billion on trip-related expenses in 2006.

Sports connoisseur, travel guru, and Travelocity contributing editor, Larry Olmsted, has researched and found that the “active travel” group continues to grow exponentially — from extreme race goers to those who opt to walk for charitable causes.

“Running and biking events are becoming a significant part of the plans for traveling consumers, as passionate participants stray far from home to revel in their accomplishments,” said Larry Olmsted, Travelocity contributing editor. “The opportunities for outdoor sports travel go far beyond just the classic ski or golf trips of yesterday.”

With outdoor activities ranging from multi-day tours to un-scheduled group rides, active travelers have plenty of options when looking for a unique vacation that tests their mental and physical endurance. Travelocity’s sports travel expert explains that the rationale is really quite simple. For intensive events that require extended training, such as marathons, the promise of a European or Hawaiian vacation is the carrot that keeps active travelers running towards their goal.


Marathoners can travel to any of the top 10 U.S. cities and a wide variety of international cities to find their dream race and trip. According to non-profit organization Running USA, there were more marathons held in 2006 than ever before, including five races with more than 30,000 finishers. Racers looking for a European vacation can head to:

— London – which held the third largest marathon last year

— Paris – which held the fourth largest marathon

— Sweden or Germany – which held races all ranked in the top 12 international runs

Runners hoping to find a race locally have to plan in advance, with the ING New York Marathon becoming increasingly competitive to enter, and the Windy City marathon filling up more than six months in advance.


Cyclists are the second largest growing segment of active travelers behind runners. New York, a hot spot for cyclists, holds its annual Commerce Bank 5-Boro Bike Tour in the city and had a 12,000 participant increase this year with more than 42,000 people from several countries. Cyclists seeking some extra competition may want to try out the Iron Horse Classic in Durango Colorado, where bikers race a steam locomotive. The group tries to beat the nation’s most famous antique train, the Silverton-Durango Narrow Gauge Railway, over a 50-mile route from train station to train station in the high peaks of the Rocky Mountains.


Active travelers looking for a sunny beach vacation to recover from their active lifestyle may want to check out the Baja Peninsula for a weeklong sea-kayaking trip or a visit to one of Mexico’s many surf camps. Domestic travelers can participate in one of Hawaii’s many race and trail offerings from the Kilauea Volcano Wilderness Marathon to the always popular Susan G. Komen 5K Hawaii Race for the Cure.

Active travel is not limited to single-day events. There are plenty of multi-day tours, from the annual Tour of Colorado (a seven-day bike ride) and the Pan-Mass Challenge (a two-day charity ride) across Massachusetts, to several annual charity group rides in Europe, such as London to Amsterdam and London to Paris (three to five days). Many of these events include festivals with concerts, BBQ, and shopping, offering the active traveler even more reasons to opt out of the scenic drive this year.

“Travelers are ready to lace up their running shoes, jump on their bikes, or pull on their wetsuits to prepare for their travels this year,” said Olmsted.

For more information about the active travel trend and Travelocity’s travel tips and advice, please visit http://windowseat.travelocity.com.

About Travelocity

Travelocity(R) is committed to being the traveler’s champion — before, during and after the trip – and provides the most comprehensive and pro-active guarantee in the industry – see http://www.travelocity.com/guarantee for details. This customer-driven focus, backed by 24/7 live phone support, great prices and powerful shopping technology has made Travelocity the sixth largest travel agency — booking $10.1 billion in travel worldwide in 2006. Based in Southlake, Texas, Travelocity also owns and operates Travelocity Business(R) for corporate travelers, lastminute.com, a leader in European online travel and ZUJI, a leader in Asia-Pacific online travel. Travelocity is owned by Sabre Holdings Corporation, a world leader in travel commerce.

Andrea Collins, 212-715-2222
Alyson Briggs, 972-488-4790