In an effort to attract a wider (read: younger) range of clients, Elderhostel has a new name: Exploritas. And the company's education travel and learning vacations are no longer limited to older adults.
When Elderhostel was created in 1975, the age limit for participation in its adventure travel and learning vacation programs was 60, later reduced to 55. As Exploritas, adults of any age are welcome--even travelers in their twenties.
Exploritas hopes to reassure older travelers by insisting that while the company will accept travelers of any age, the focus will continue to be on attracting Boomers and seniors. Here's part of a message from Exploritas' president, James Moses, posted on the Exploritas site:
"The widely circulated and erroneous idea that we will be seeking new participants as young as 21 has become a lightning rod, and has led to a false fear that our programs will be overrun with overly energetic 20-and 30-year-olds. The simple message is that we won't be actively seeking any participants younger than Baby Boomers, but neither will we be turning away any adult who loves lifelong learning."
In difficult economic times, when many people cancel or postpone travel to save money, it's understandable that a travel company like Exploritas would want to attract more customers to stay profitable.
But Elderhostel was special precisely because it offered learning vacations and adventure travel from a unique perspective. There are plenty of adventure travel companies open to everyone.