Country Walkers Covering More Ground

If you’re feeling the need to take a hike, Country Walkers has added to its already hefty list of trips. In its 2008 catalog mailed Sept. 4, the marketer of walking vacations introduced 13 new itineraries spanning four continents.

The 110-page book includes a series of five-day “Getaways,” as well as new Family Adventures. Some of the new destinations for next year include Argentina, China, and Bulgaria. Country Walkers has also augmented its Women’s Adventure Program, with new trips to Arizona and Costa Rica.

Carolyn Fox, director of marketing and media relations at Waterbury, VT-based Country Walkers, says that customers help the 28-year-old company create new itineraries.

“Guests complete a survey following each tour, and one of the questions asks ‘Where would you like to travel on your next walking adventure?”’ she says. “Additionally, we periodically send e-surveys to past guests and prospects and inquire with the same question. We listen to our guests.”

Country Walkers mailed 48,000 catalogs in September; another 32,000 will mail throughout the rest of the year. Here’s a sampling of some of Country Walkers’ new itineraries:

Argentina: Tango beats, gaucho culture, historic Buenos Aires, and the Mendoza wine district.

Bulgaria: An eight-day cultural immersion cuts through one of Europe’s oldest countries.

China: A tour of Beijing, walks along the Great Wall, and a visit to the X’ian Terra Cotta warriors’ archaeological site.

Nepal: Eleven days trekking the foothills of the Himalayas and rafting the Seti River.

The Olympic Peninsula, A Getaway: The essence of the Pacific Northwest, exploring seacoast, rainforest and high mountains.

“We recognize the extreme popularity of some of our tours, and may seek and develop new approaches to experiencing them,” Fox says. “For instance, our new for 2008 ‘Getaways’ is an example of this: Shorter tours for the time-savvy traveler, highlighting the essence of a region.”

As certain regions evolve and welcome travelers, Country Walkers will develop a tour if the walking terrain proves to be “exciting and welcoming,” Fox notes. “Sometimes we are the first walking tour company to experience a region, and are assured an authentic experience. Our tour to Bulgaria is an example of this.”

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