Long-established outdoor retailer REI (a trading name of Recreational Equipment, Inc) is a nimble player in the evolving outdoor and adventure travel markets. It has launched its first Under-35 trip collection offering immersive experience packed with hiking, biking, paddling and other physical activity with plenty of opportunities to get close to local people, places and cultures. Designed by and specifically for those between the ages of 18 and 35, the collection is a fresh take on active travel to explore Latin and North America, Europe and Asia to better serve an age group that is increasingly prioritising experiences over things.
Justin Wood, senior manager of adventure travel at REI, elaborated, “Our team has taken great care to design highly active itineraries with the right balance of down time, and most importantly that facilitate a community for younger travelers to travel deeply and responsibly with their peers. For example, on our nine-day Colombia trip, guests will feel like archeologists by trekking with a private chef and discovering a lost city older than Machu Picchu and with far less visitors. We bike Medellin, hike in the world’s highest coastal mountain range, meet tribal leaders, and enjoy some well-deserved downtime at the photo famous Tayrona National Park.”
While many features of the Under 35 collection remain true to REI’s other award-winning trips, the new offerings include more freedom and flexibility (for example, ‘choose your own adventure’ afternoons with a hike, bike ride or culinary tour; optional morning yoga; cooking classes or nightlife activities) and are designed for a cost-conscious customer with more modest accommodation expectations. The collection was designed through a co-operative approach between REI’s travel leaders and a fleet of experts – an REI co-operative member advisory travel panel, employees, past travellers and members between 18 and 35 years old. Almost 20% of all REI members are in this age range.
REI also announced the expansion of its used gear and rental programs, designed to appeal to a younger demographic of cost- and sustainability-conscious consumers; a growing number have indicated they would rather rent than own products. The co-op will roll out and test new rental and re-commerce options throughout 2019, including a pilot bike trade-in program, and adding snowshoe, ski, snowboard, fully equipped camping and backpacking kit and more rental options in 115 stores across the country.
REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle, and is the USA’s largest consumer co-op with more than 18m members and 154 stores in 35 states and the District of Columbia. It invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national non-profits that create access to – and steward – outdoor environments. ked0 Lis