NEW YORK -- The profile of the safari traveler is changing,
according to Dennis Pinto, director of New York-based Micato
"While previously our travelers were generally in the 55 to 70-plus
age bracket, we are now finding that our safaris appeal to the
younger traveler, with many people in their 40s booking ."
Contributing to this younger demographic is the strength of the
economy and baby boomers looking for diverse vacations.
These baby boomers demand more than just an animal safari.
"Fueled by success in their professional and personal lives, baby
boomers require more from their vacation than merely two weeks in
an exotic location," Pinto said.
"They desire education on the culture and history of the
countries they visit, greater interaction with local people and
emphasis on outdoor activity."
Micato has met this demand by offering nature walks, interaction
with the Masai tribe and lectures by Philip Leakey, a member of the
renowned Leakey family.
Another interesting trend Micato is witnessing is an increased
number of single travelers, according to Pinto. This is seen
especially during the months of April, May and June, when the
single supplement fee is waived. Pinto added that 70% of Micato's
single passengers are women.
Family safaris are another niche market that's becoming quite
popular. "All eight of our family safari departures scheduled for
1999 were sold out," he said. "In response to the demand, we are
operating nine unpublished dates, bringing the total to 17 family
safari departures for the year," Pinto said.