Travel Dips For Younger Boomers
Boomers ages 45 to 54 are having an especially hard time finding the time and money to travel, a new PhoCusWright study found. Over the past year, their travel plans dropped off as rising college tuitions, supporting elderly parents and retirement planning began to squeeze their budgets, the U.S. Consumer Travel Report (fourth edition) stated. Incidence of travel within this group fell by 3% to 60%. And the average trip expenditure dropped by more than 10%. In terms of the entire population, nearly one in four (38%) did not purchase a single leisure vacation within the past year.
Slippage in Hotels’ Customer Service
“We are seeing a lot of industries getting plaudits for customer experience, but we are not seeing hotels on those lists. We have to start asking ourselves, ‘Why do we have this beautiful, multimillion dollar asset? What are we doing differently in a five-star hotel from a two-star hotel?’ This is where we have slipped.” – Theresa Syer, Syer Hospitality Group
Luxury Travelers Seek Exceptional Experiences
Luxury travel clients overwhelmingly want exceptional experiences when they travel the 2012 Virtuoso Luxe Report revealed. Virtuoso travel advisors reported that the number one reason their clients are traveling this year is that they are seeking authentic experiences in new destinations. They’re also seeking personal enrichment, quality time with loved ones, and new experiences in familiar destinations. And while some want rest and relaxation, others crave adventure. Though many want to visit new places, the top five most requested destinations are mostly tried and true – Italy, France, South Africa, Australia and England.
Shipboard Charges Cause Client Complaints
“It used to be that cruises were an incredible value compared to land vacations. But now that you have to pay for so much on board, this is no longer the case. My clients are complaining that they are being nickeled and dimed.” – Lucy Hirleman, CTC, MCC, Berkshire Travel
Disney Test Next-Gen Fastpass System
Walt Disney World is beta testing a new version of its Fastpass system this month. The new system would allow guests to book their Fastpass attractions and times before they leave home. When they enter Disney World they will be given a special RF Fastpass card, preloaded with their selections. When they arrive at each attraction they wave the card in front of RF scanners to confirm their arrival. Disney expects to offer the new Fastpasses at more attractions than are currently available.
GHM Hotels Offers Free Nights
GHM Hotels is offering agents a complimentary night at its seven properties in Asia. Travel sellers need only contact a property to request a free night; specially-priced stays in suites and villas for additional nights also are available. Agents who take GHM up on the offer and who submit a written account of their experience will be eligible to win an additional two nights at any property. The company will award the two-night prize to one agent every two months throughout 2012. Submissions can be sent to astaytoremember@ghmhotels.
Kazakhstan Credits “Borat” for Tourism Boost
Kazakhstan’s foreign minister has thanked the movie “Borat” for boosting its tourism draw, the Foreign Associated Press reported. Foreign minister Yerzhan Kazykhanov reportedly told a session of parliament that since the movie was released the number of visas issued by Kazakhstan grew tenfold. The Sacha Baron Cohen film is even now banned from the country for “lampooning” its people.
Maria Lenhart contributed to this article.