Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) won’t be taking any more groups abroad this summer.
The co-op announced earlier this week that it will be canceling all its international adventures after May.
Travelers who had already booked international trips after May will receive full refunds, the co-op said. REI will also leave its camping and hiking gear with the operators who were part of its international vendor network so they can continue to use it.
In a statement, REI Chief Experience Officer Curtis Kopf said the co-op’s focus on domestic experiences will allow it to “welcome more people into the outdoors by making nature more accessible and attainable for everyone.”
“REI is a leader at getting people outside,” Kopf said. “We’re the only national organization with a wide range of experiences that provide life-changing outdoor moments, whatever someone’s skill level may be.”
The Seattle-based co-op has also seen increased interest in U.S. trips, the announcement said. “As of March, domestic trips were up by 28 percent compared to 2019, making it one the strongest years in adventure travel sales,” the announcement said.
REI already has more than 100 U.S.-based trips, where participants go hiking, camping, backpacking, cycling, kayaking and mountain biking.
The co-op plans to expand on those adventures and open a dozen new “experience centers” around the country in the next two years, the announcement said. Customers who visit those centers will be able to take guided tours, rent gear and take classes.