Travel trends come and go – from eco travel to medical tourism, spiritual travel to tornado tourism. One of the latest trends appears to be all about stripping things down to the basics. And I mean that literally.
The “nakation” – aka clothing-optional tourism – is becoming one of the fastest-growing segments of the travel industry. Shirking that outer layer at nude beaches and resorts and even on clothing-optional cruises has become the vacation choice du jour for hundreds of thousands of free-spirited Americans.
Travel industry experts suggest that nude recreation is fast becoming a billion dollar-a-year industry. It’s certainly bringing in big bucks in Florida, where the state’s tourism department reports that nude recreation made a US$7.4 billion economic impact in the Sunshine State last year.
Mature adults, 45 and older, make up the majority of nakationers, according to Mary Jane Kolassa, media relations representative for the American Association for Nude Recreation, or AANR, the oldest and largest advocacy group for nude recreation in North America.
“The demographics are shifting, however,” says Kolassa. “We’re seeing more millennials, Gen Xers, African Americans and Hispanics opening up to the joy and freedom offered by the nude travel experience.”
Behavioral scientists theorise that the appeal of nudism may relate in part to the need in our increasingly complex world for “tech detoxing” and going “off the grid” as remedies for the frenetic modern lifestyle. Ditching the duds, they reason, can be seen as one more way to simplify the chaos. Egalitarianism comes into play as well: without the trappings of clothing, it’s hard to stereotype someone as “blue collar” or “white collar” when there are no collars.
Original publication 22 October, 2019
Posted on NatCorn 4th November 2019
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