By the year 2000, tourism will be the world's single most important economic activity. Even now, there is hardly a place on earth, no matter how inaccessible, that has not been visited by some traveler seeking adventure, enlightenment, or simply change from the familiar world back home. In this pathfinding book, David Zurick explores the fastest-growing segment of the travel industry--adventure travel. He raises important questions about what constitutes the travel experience and shows how the modern adventure industry has commercialized the very notion of adventure by packaging it as tours. Drawing on two decades of personal travel, as well as the writings of others, Zurick unravels the paradox of adventure travel--that the very act of visiting remote places untouched by Western culture introduces that culture and begins irreversible changes. This first in-depth look at adventure travel opens new insights into the physical, philosophical, and spiritual attributes of the travel experience. Written in a lively style, the book is intended for everyone interested in travel and its effects on both travelers and the people and places they visit.