For many nudists, stripping to bare the essentials for what makes a great vacation is part of fighting misconceptions of their community.
"We're just the same people you sit next to on a subway, or at the library, or at the school board meeting," said Susan Weaver, president of the American Association of Nude Recreation.
"Naturists" -- the industry's preferred term --is more than just folks running around in the buff and sunbathing at nudist-only resorts, say insiders. According to the American Association of Nude Recreation, clothing-optional tourism is a $440 million-per-annum industry that includes everything from cruises, organized tours and more 250 resorts and clubs nationwide.
In its first annual nudist trade show in Las Vegas this past weekend, 22 vendors from resorts, travel agents and companies that cater to naturists showed their wares and tried to reach new customers who may think naked holidaymakers are only aging hippies or swingers.
"Nudists like to do all sorts of things," said Brian Spence, founder of NudistClubhouse.com, the organizers of the Nudist Clubhouse Nudist Expo 2012. "We're more than just sitting on the beach and getting a tan."
Bare Necessities Tour and Travel was one of the vendors at the expo and specializes in nude cruises that take customers as far as the Panama Canal and Russia. In the past couple of years, they've served over 5,000 passengers, many of them repeat customers.
"The people that travel with us, travel with us again," said Kat Whitmire, VP of sales for the company. "We have a 70 percent passenger return ratio."
Read more: http://www.foxnews.c.../#ixzz1xMJLnWyw