Black Meetings and Tourism

Nov/Dec 2010

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The Ypartnership/Harrison Group 2010 Portrait of “LAST MINUTE” VACATIONS GROWING IN POPULARITY ACCORDING TO NEW NATIONWIDE SURVEY “Time is of the essence” is a popular expression today, yet one rarely heard in discussions about vacation plan- ning. Despite this, it now appears to be a mantra embraced by the growing percentage of American leisure travelers who take “last minute” trips. Given the frenetic pace of contemporary life, it comes as no surprise thatmoreAmericans are taking “lastminute” vacations.Simply coordinat- ing schedules to get time away from work repre- sents a greater obstacle than the actual cost of the trip for many travelers today. But who would have guessed that three out of every ten (27%) took a last minute trip last year? Equally surprising, who would have surmised they planned those trips an average of just six days prior to their departure? One of the market forces accelerating this trend is the growing use of “flash sales” by travel service suppliers. These impulsive offers, delivered through unsolicited emails, have become more commonplace during the past 12 months as suppliers have tried to liq- uidate what would otherwise be unsold invento- ry. Some of the deals are so irresistible, it’s no wonder they drive impulsive demand (fully one out of seven recipients of these unsolicited emails reports purchasing a travel service as a result). While one might expect the recipients of these offers to book aweekend flight or hotel roomon a whim, the booking of a complete vacation package (38%) or a cruise (21%) is unprecedented.Overall, the types of serv- ices booked as a result of a flash sale include: • Airfare: 47% • Hotel or other lodging: 47% • Vacation package: 38% • Cruise: 21% • Car rental: 20% Fully one out of four (26%) leisure travelers took a vacation in their local area as an alterna- tive to vacationing in a destination that would have required more extensive travel (aka a “staycation”) during the past year. This type of vacation appears to be yet anothermanifestation of the trend toward more impulsive vacation behavior on such short notice. American Travelers (SM) is national survey of 2,524 U.S. households that was conducted in February 2010. The results provide an in-depth examination of the impact of the current economic environment, social values and media habits on the travel habits of Americans with an annual household income of $50,000 or more. For more information, please visit the Publications section of U.S. COMMERCE DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES STRONG OUTLOOK FOR INTERNATIONAL VISITORS THROUGH 2015 The U.S. Department of Commerce recently announced that international visitation to the United States is projected to increase 9 percent in 2010, setting a new record of 60 million visi- tors in a year. In addition, growth in the travel and tourism industry is projected to increase to nearly 83 million visitors by 2015 – a 51 percent increase over 2009. “The travel and tourismindustry’s remarkable growth this year is good news for our small and medium-sized busi- nesses, which account for more than 80 percent of the travel and tourism industry,”U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. “The Obama administration is committed to continuing our robust efforts to attract foreign visitors to theU.S., and we recognize the critical role the industry plays inmaking the National Export Initiative a success.” PresidentObama’sNationalExport Initia-tive is an unprecedented, government-wide effort to double exports by 2015, supporting several mil- lion American jobs. The U.S. travel and tourism industry consistently runs a trade surplus. The October forecast represents a significant upward revision from May and reflects robust economic growth forecasted through 2015 from Asia (+101 percent) and South America (+92 per- cent). Individual country performances over the next five years are expected to be led by China (346 percent), Brazil (198 percent),SouthKorea (171 percent), and India (123 per- cent). The forecast considers the potential effect, beginning in 2014, of the international marketing efforts of the new Corporation for Travel Promotion (CTP), which was formed as a result of the Travel Promotion Act of 2009. The goal of the CTP is to promote the United States as a premier destination to inter- national travelers. The Travel Forecast is prepared by the U.S. Department of Commerce,Office of Travel and TourismIndustries and is based on numerous fac- tors including recent visitor volume trends, and forecasted economic,demographic, and travel trends. Black Meetings & Tourism November/December 2010: 69

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