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Travel Motivations in the Post-Recession Era

July 3, 2013
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Posted by Susan Weissman

We all feel like we’ve been to hell and back having struggled through and survived the recession since 2008. The good news is the signs are everywhere that we really are in recovery. (I know, we were told the recovery started years ago, but I’m seeing it now, aren’t you?) The wars, the recession, the scandals have changed us. We think a little bit differently in the buying process, for example. We’ve re-set our priorities.

PGAV just published a study on what motivates the New Destination Visitor. I think some of their findings have interesting implications regarding how to market to these visitors:

•  The emotional drivers for traveling are: reconnect with my loved ones, please the people I care about and have fun together. Tapping into emotional drivers are essential to effective marketing. How can you show your potential visitor that this will be an experience that will allow that connection to happen, that you will have fun when you get here?

•  The 5 most important needs that must be satisfied are: quality product; value for the dollar; a safe, worry-free experience; relaxation; and a unique experience that’s out of the ordinary. Quality and value aren’t new. What is new is the need for a safe, worry-free experience and relaxation. People are stressed out and when they take time off they want to relax and not feel jostled by crowds or aggravated by poor customer service. How can you define your destination as authentically “out of the ordinary?”

•   The “intent to splurge” is slightly up from its pre-recession marker, now hovering around 25%, but the motivations to splurge have changed to creating memories, reducing stress and personal enrichment. Visitors are telling us they will pay more to have an enriching and stress-free experience. What can you do to make everyone feel like a VIP?

It’s summer. Schools out. I hope they are all beating a path to your door.

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