Affinity travel: The broad trend in niche tours

Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:03am EST
 
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - What's your passion?

Whether it's Zumba or food, wine tasting or volley ball, exotic locales or family reunions, there's likely a vacation that caters to it.

Travel industry experts say these so-called affinity tours are as fast growing as they are far flung.

"It's really a specialized week that we offer to customers," said Kate Moeller of Club Med. "I would say if we compare an affinity week to the week prior and after we generally see a 25 to 50 percent increase in that week."

Moeller said among the global resort group's offerings are a food and wine experience in the Dominican Republic, a volley ball clinic in Florida and a Zumba fitness and music festival in Mexico.

Most of Club Med's affinity weeks take place during the industry's slower, or shoulder, seasons of spring and fall.

"We do it when people are less apt to travel," Moeller said. "It's also when consumers can get the best deals."

It seems no interest is too niche to be ignored. A recent week in Mexico was devoted to food bloggers.   Continued...