What do travelers want from their travels these days?
Travel providers are seeing demand for the following:
1. Impulse Purchases
Nigel Osborne, president of Virgin Vacations USA said “30 percent of their business is booked for travel within 60 days.” He noted that last minute doesn’t equate to low-price. Rather, consumers are looking for value more than low price.
2. More Inclusive
Marc Kazlauskas of Insight Vacations sees “customers are definitely looking for more inclusives and less nickel-and-diming.”
3. Exclusive Experiences
Paul Wiseman, president of Trafalgar, is seeing “travelers looking for exclusive experiences in destinations that are unique to that destination as well as experiences that give them an “inside” perspective on the local culture.”
4. Authentic Escapes
Pamela Lassers of Abercrombie & Kent sensed “the increased need for a genuine escape in an overly connected world.” According to her, “Clients stressed out by checking [their] phone and e-mail are searching for places completely off the grid—no phones, no fax, no Internet.” She has seen demand for extreme adventures (like dogsledding or skiing to the South Pole) and journeys to endangered destinations like Antarctica, Mt. Kilimanjaro or the Himalayas.
5. Small Group Tours
Small group tours are popular according to Melissa McKee of Collette Vacations. “Typically younger than the traditional escorted tour passenger, these travelers find hands-on cultural immersion an appealing component of their vacation,” she said. “The benefits they associate with touring with a small group are a more leisurely paced tour, freedom to explore on their own and cultural discovery. Travelers are also looking for culinary experiences—perhaps a cooking demonstration, a wine tasting, or dinner at smaller, more intimate restaurants that provide local atmosphere.”