Off the beaten path with new travel magazine

Fri Aug 7, 2009 7:04am EDT
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Airlines are hurting and staycations are in vogue but an American entrepreneur is betting that even in a troubled economy wanderlust and curiosity will keep people jetting off to far-flung places.

And instead of escaping from the hum-drum of daily life to luxury hotels in exotic locales, or the usual tourist haunts, they will be looking for new experiences and to learn about the countries they are visiting and the people who live there.

"When times are difficult people are looking for something different. Afar is different," said Greg Sullivan, about the new travel magazine he will launch this month.

Through Afar, which will be published six times a year, he plans to create a voice for people interested in experiential travel -- traveling to connect with the essence of a place and its people.

"I really believe that more and more Americans are looking to travel differently and they are looking to understand other people and other cultures," Sullivan, the founder and CEO of AFAR, added.

International travel grew two percent globally in 2008 to 920 million arrivals. It is expected to reach 1.6 billion by 2020, and more than 375 million will be long-haul travelers, according to the World Tourism Organization's long-term forecast.

The top regions will be Europe, East Asia and the Pacific, with cultural, educational, eco, adventure and purpose-driven travel becoming increasingly popular.

BEER ON A BEACH   Continued...

<p>Men wait for the visit of tourists at Taquile island on Lake Titicaca June 24, 2009. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo</p>