State of the American Traveler Survey (Winter Edition)

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swirt's picture
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New Research Reveals Group Discount Sites are Impacting Travel Planning

This is a pretty robust survey -> report from Miles Media

The link to the summary: for the State of the American Traveler.  The full version(pdf) is the link in the 4th paragraph of the summary.

 

 

Generic's picture
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We were just having a discussion about group buying sites and how the structure of deals are changing, positive and negative.

  • Timelines of the deals are getting shorter. You may get a coupon now that has a few weeks expiration instead of a few months.
  • Many of the deals are more structured. It's a meal for two people including a choice of A or B and C.
  • Some of the deals now include beer or wine (We actually skip these deals, no need to pay for wine/beer that we don't like. Oddly enough we have had an apperatif or soft drink, which we may not order without the deal... but to be forced to choose beer or wine is a turn-off).

The reviews are still a problem, especially in the hotel industry. Anyone doing a deal knows that they are also going to take a hit in the reviews. Often because people don't read or the expectations are off.

Locally, the two hotels we see using the deals are both problem childs. One is actually bankrupt and is below 60. The other is a suburban restaurant in the inner city that has been having trouble getting people in the door. 

But I must also admit that we have a few properties in town that also rely on opaque selling (ie Priceline and Hotwire) to fill their rooms, which if you ask me isn't much different. The intent of these deals is to bring people for longer or to bring people who will come back and stay at full price. I don't see bargain hunters as guests who return in my experience. My guests who return come back because they love our hospitality. The price isn't the major decision factor.

People get used to higher gas prices. People get used to higher exchange rates. Our currency was 5% higher last year than this year against both EUR and USD. (For example, USD100 got you CAD96.60 last July, now it's CAD99.80. EUR100.00 got you CAD140.00 last July and now CAD133.75.) I wonder how that will translate to actual visits, because the Europeans are more likely to stay during the week, which is when I make my money.

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gillumhouse's picture
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In 2007 when we had the first of the explosive gas prices, we visited one of my many cousins. He told us about his neighbor who said they were not going to visit the in-laws that year because of the price of gas. My cousin asked him what kind of mileage he got with his car. When told, he then ran the numbers - miles of distance, mpg, etc. Then he said to his neighbor, "You mean you are not going to take your wife and kids to see her family because of $50?" The guy had not worked out the actual cost - just that gas was $x.xx per gallon.

Everyone HAS to drive to us. (we did have a fly-in last Sept. for a WVU football game) because the nearest major airport is 2 hours. We have a puddle-jumper 11 miles away for the private pilots. Would LOVE to tap that market!

birdwatcher's picture
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This is what my DH says all the time-ok so gass is $4/gallon-but you go buy bottled water for much more per gallon? So what gives? If you are gonna take a vaca you will take that vaca and if its close to home much better for regional and local business...

Joey Camb's picture
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depends what it is a fear of? in the UK i would guess but have no proof a lot of the drop in Jan is - we have run out of money after xmas or maybe the fear is fear of not having enough money?

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Madeleine's picture
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camberleyhotelharrogate@yahoo.co.uk wrote:

depends what it is a fear of? in the UK i would guess but have no proof a lot of the drop in Jan is - we have run out of money after xmas or maybe the fear is fear of not having enough money?

The survey just says 'fear of travel'.

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Arks's picture
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We'll see what $4+ gas does to the travel optimism. Might be a good time, this summer, to advertise closer to home. A lot of people may be taking staycactions, avoiding long drives.

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Madeleine's picture
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Arkansawyer wrote:

We'll see what $4+ gas does to the travel optimism. Might be a good time, this summer, to advertise closer to home. A lot of people may be taking staycactions, avoiding long drives.

Gas prices are psychological barriers, not physical barriers. Someone who was going to pay $150 to drive here and back isn't going to seriously not go on vacation for an extra $21, IF they think about it. If they don't think about it, sure, they'll say, "Ack, I'm not paying $4.50 a gallon for gas to go on vacation." When the reality is they are not paying an extra $.70/gal to travel.

Thing is, no one ever figures the price of gas into the vacation. They just pay it unless someone throws it in their face every ten minutes. 'Stay home! Gas prices are thru the roof! You can't afford to travel.' Oh for Pete's sake. Too bad we can't scare people away from junk food as easily. Or hotels.

Guests will pay $300/night for a hotel room that was $179 2 weeks ago but no one ever says, 'We should find a B&B, the hotels are all over $300!' Why is that?

 

Madeleine's picture
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Referring back to the 'packages' thread, it doesn't look like buying a vacation package was high up on the list.

Also note lots of people USE review sites to gather info; few of them post info.

And, inquiring minds want to know- what makes people so fearful in Jan? Upticks in fear of traveling in Jan.

Thanks Swirt!

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