National Geographic Names Best Adventure Travel Companies for 2009

January is traditionally a month where people begin planning their trips for the new year. The holidays are behind us and we start plotting our next major getaway and looking forward to all the amazing places we hope to venture to in the months ahead. To help out with that planning, National Geographic Adventure magazine has released their list of the Top Adventure Travel Companies in the World.

The list was first made available last year and has now been updated for 2009 with more entries and adjusted rankings, which aren’t just some arbitrary numbers. Adventure actually used a pre-set methodology to determine a score between 1 and 100 for each tour operator. To obtain that score, the companies were each sent a 30 question survey, and their answers were all scored (also from 1 to 100) in the areas of education, sustainability, quality of service, and spirit of adventure. Next, past clients of the various operators were contacted and questioned about their experiences, adding a fifth score of up to 100 points. Finally, all five of the categories were averaged together to generate an overall mark for company.

The final rankings can be found here. On that page they are broken down into various categories such as “hiking & trekking”, “adventure specialists” and more. There is also a list of the best “Do-It-All” companies as well.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for on that list, perhaps the search tool will be of more value. It allows you to seek out a tour operator that more closely fits your needs. You can search by activity, then narrow your finds based on how much you want to spend and your destination of choice as well. And once you complete your search, you’ll be presented with a list of providers that match your criteria and you’ll be able to read a nice profile of each of those companies.

Overall, this is a great tool for those searching for the best alternatives for taking a great adventure in 2009. Start searching now, get your reservations in early, and prepare for an amazing journey to some place exotic and adventurous.

Kraig Becker

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