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Mairs felt motivated to develop what will be a truly unique eco-adventure company because she perceived both a large gap in the outdoor travel market not currently catering to gay men. She took that as an opportunity to extend what she has learned over 16 years of pioneering in the now booming, women-only adventure travel sector to this new client group.
According to Mairs “Bushboy is the bratty but gorgeous baby brother to Wild Women.” Perhaps like many female entrepreneurs, Mairs views her business, especially in the conception phase, as her baby, but this one is missing its biological father!
Bushboy Adventures already has an all-male office staff team in place guiding its development. The Bushboy team is devoted to ensuring guests have a fun, safe adventure vacation. Guides are knowledgeable, skilled outdoorsmen, with lovely group skills and a great sense of how to play in the woods. Bushboy trips aren’t about proving anything to anyone, though guests may be amazed at how comfortable they can be (or become) in nature, or how good it feels to leave urban trappings behind in such good company.
Rather than the macho wilderness challenge mentality that has dominated the outdoors field for too long, Bushboy approaches their trips as a celebration, as trips of discovery. They also seek to find some balance between getting somewhere with just being.
“Smaller group, active outdoor vacations for gay men have been popular in Europe for years and the time is right to offer the same style of holiday in our own back yard,” said Greg Kozdrowski, owner of Toronto’s Rainbow High Vacations -- Canada’s largest travel agency specializing in gay and lesbian travel. “After years of seeing the same cruises and resort holidays, our clients are increasingly telling us they¹re looking for something different, and Bushboy Adventures taps into this yearning for an alternative.”
There is well publicized research into the travel patterns and demographics of the gay traveler suggesting this is a important niche with a propensity to travel, higher disposable income and, as sophisticated consumers of media, a certain immunity to scares like SARS. Various initiatives within Canada from the Canadian Tourism Commission, to the Province of Ontario, to cities like Vancouver and Toronto have attempted to market more aggressively to this niche, based on this favourable data.
Thus far in marketing to gay men, according to Bushboy staff, there is a bias towards arts and culture, involving cities, hotels, and cultural institutions but nothing to connect the gay traveler with Canada’s wilderness -- what we are best known for internationally.
Alternatively, the women’s adventure travel market has always been fueled by the active lesbian traveler (an under-reported fact behind the boom in all-women travel industry), gay men have been seeking wilderness experiences on their own through informal grouping and gay-specific outdoor clubs.
Bushboy Adventures offers Gay travel vacations with packages such as the Northern Ontario outdoor vacation package, the Northern Eco-Adventure package, the Northern Resort Getaway packages on Manitoulin Island and more. Visit www.bushboyadventures.com for more information.
The official Bushboy Media Launch “Welcome Baby Bushboy!” will take place Thursday, April 20, from 4-7pm at Pimbletts Bed and Rest 242 Gerrard St E. Toronto, ON. Media wishing to attend the launch are asked to RSVP by Monday April 17. To arrange an interview with the Bushboy team, please call 1-888-WWE-1222.