Driving Cultural Tourism: Drive-Marketand Group Tours
For more fuel for your marketing fire, studies also show that there’s no better way to break away from the stresses of everyday life than to take a vacation and change your scenery. According to a survey by travel industry expert Peter Yesawich (data also is found on the U.S. Travel Association’s website), getting away from home is a vital part of taking a break. He relates that in our fast-paced, pressure-packed, 24/7 world, vacation getaways are more important now than ever. They provide an opportunity to re-energize so we can return to our lives refreshed. In addition, the study found that many Americans feel that vacations are a birthright, and they will plan and save to ensure that they have quality time with their family. The economy has an effect on where families take their vacations, but they will not cancel
planned vacations. Instead, families often opt for a closer destination, a shorter trip or search for a destination that provides greater value for their dollar. Value Is King Considering these consumer attitudes about travel, it makes sense to promote the benefits of travel as well as vacation options that provide great value for tourists’ dollars, including:
• Trips on one tank of gas • Gas vouchers for an overnight stay • Weekend getaway packages • Girlfriend getaways, i.e., women traveling with women to relax and
recharge • Group tours
Value is a key driver. You can suggest many ways a savvy traveler can offset costs. Learn from the examples of hotels, rental car companies, tour operators and the like; they are very much in tune with what drives demand and offer a range of special cost-saving offers to stimulate travel. Attracting the Masses of Road Travelers In 2011, Mandala Research, in partnership with Solutionz Holdings, conducted the Drive Market Study to serve as a benchmark to identify, profile and segment drive-market travelers. Shop America Alliance was a co-sponsor of this study. The following statistics come from this research. These numbers are compelling. To develop your tourism marketing plan, it is important to have data to support customer trends and behaviors. The study found that with 82 percent of the U.S. population taking between one and five leisure trips during the previous 12 months, the expectation to “get away” is almost an American birthright For 84 percent of those travelers (slightly higher among Boomers and the Silent Generation at 88 percent), the personal car is the preferred mode of transportation-nearly twice as popular as air travel.