Over the last few years, the world travel landscape has undergone significant changes brought by security concerns, the advance of the Internet, the economic crisis and green considerations. These new conditions have given rise to the independent tourist: the “Free Independent Traveler,” or FIT. FITs have been a part of the tourism marketplace since before the adoption of interactive tourism services.

The term refers generally to people over 35, of above average income, and who like to travel in small groups or as couples. They avoid mass tourism and the holiday package of traditional travel operators, and favor a more individualistic approach to travel, supported by the assistance of a travel advisor.

Common denominators for FIT travelers  are being environmentally aware, with the desire to experience new ways of life and they usually are enthusiastic, off-the-beaten-track explorers with a thirst for experiencing the “real thing.” They enjoy good food, architecture, and the heritage of local cultures.