Editorials A walk on the wild side By Nadine Godwin / October 17, 2000 Share 1 -- As I walked the trade show floor at the ASTA congress in Las Vegas a few weeks ago, I sought out companies that were not in the show a year earlier, or indeed, that might not have even existed last year. There were plenty, and not surprisingly, many had some kind of dot-com connection.I was intrigued in equal measure by another focus: special-interest or adventure travel.There was Uncommon Voyage, a California-based entity that promises access to some of the world's most exotic destinations, whether the client's interest is nature, specialty trips, active travel or culture.This is a budding consortium: Lisa Brandes, owner of Voyages Travel, is recruiting other agents with specialty niches to join the network.I was enchanted by the Uncommon Voyage booth with its display reminiscent of scenes from Indiana Jones movies.Not far away, Atlanta-based eGulliver (a dot-com with a niche focus) also sought agencies with specialties to join a network. They are promised referrals from the eGulliver Web site.The attention-grabber here was the garb. Deslie Webb, founder and chief executive officer, was jauntily decked out in khaki shorts; others in her group had dressed to represent various travel interests, too.ASTA was barely over and we wrote about the creation of the Adventure Collection, a marketing alliance of six adventure travel operators. (To read about it, click here.)The group aims to be a source of adventure travel information for agents and the public, said Jan Cooper, vice president of sales for Lindblad Expeditions, a founding member.In the same issue, we reported on ExpeditionTrips.com, a new Web company that aims to disseminate information on 30 companies that offer small-ship cruises and to act as a wholesaler for those same firms. It claims to have the only Web-based searchable database on this product type.We knew adventure travel is growing in popularity; also, adventure tour firms are more interested in retailers than has historically been the case.The feelings are mutual: More retailers want to sell exotic products, too. After all, you can make some real money and collect happy, repeat customers.The timing could not be better for a new Travel Weekly feature that highlights active/adventure travel. To read that story, click here. Because the focus is on small-ship cruises, you will find more on ExpeditionTrips.com there.Each month, we'll highlight other facets of active/adventure travel. The series also will include features on special-event travel. Look for the series. And send us an e-mail with your suggestions.