School is out, the days of the “staycation” are over and people are traveling! According to a recent study by U.S. Travel, the outlook for domestic travel within the U.S. is looking better than last year. Occupancies are expected to grow while rates decline slightly. After what has been a couple of years of cost-cutting, most families are ready to get away and enjoy themselves. With forward-looking data indicating sustained increases in GDS average daily rate (ADR) and length of stay (LOS), Pegasus Solutions reports show a remarkable +39.6% increase in net revenue on a date-of-booking basis for the GDS channel, according to Mike Kistner, chief executive officer of Pegasus Solutions.
“Leisure travel demand is alive and well. Consumers will be traveling this summer, though they are shortening their stays and expanding searches for the best value,” added Kistner. “With the return of traveler confidence comes the opportunity to increase your revenue. Merchandise the guest experience, offer a guest-focused service model and create demand for your unique product.”
What are resorts and destinations doing to capture the interest of family travel? We have researched a few interesting concepts out there that cater to the guest experience and hope you find them inspiring.
Vail Resorts is offering an Epic Summer promotion this season. “In these challenging times, we’re seeing a return to the basics of a classic family vacation with ‘luxury’ now defined as companies providing a good value and people spending quality time with friends and loved ones. Our ‘Epic Summer’ vacation will have the best that Colorado’s Rocky Mountains have to offer with everything included at one very attractive price,” said Rob Katz, chief executive officer of Vail Resorts. A sample itinerary is the Seven-Day Epic Summer Itinerary. Families will experience the wonder of standing at the top of the Continental Divide in a trip to world-renowned Rocky Mountain National Park; the thrill of whitewater rafting down a scenic Colorado river; the serenity of horseback riding through groves of aspens, pines and fields dotted by wildflowers on Beaver Creek Mountain; the awe of a gondola ride to the summits of Vail and Keystone mountains, followed by family-friendly naturalist hikes and mountaintop picnics and the reward of a Wild West cowboy campfire dinner, complete with wagon rides and storytelling.
In Hawaii, the Four Season’s Hualalai offers teens the Hale Kula, a game and activity centre geared primarily toward teens but which can be enjoyed by the entire family. It has a state-of-the-art entertainment center complete with a 54-inch television with surround sound, six video game stations, and a grassy area for organized outdoor games. Also, they offer a family dinner and a s’mores bonfire on the beach, canoe paddling, and tuck-in-story time, to name a few events.
In Redmond, Oregon the hills are alive with the sound of music! The Booher Family Music Camp provides instruction to vacationers by music experts from around the country, giving budding musicians approximately 27 hours of instruction over a week-long period in the instrument of their choice: fiddle, guitar, piano or bass. The folksy, all-levels camp also entertains, offering hayrides through the nearby elk ranch and evening performances by the teachers. Branson, Missouri comes to mind for such a great musical vacation! Would anyone in Branson like to give this a try?
There are so many unique opportunities for resorts and destinations to set themselves apart from the competition. What can you do to add value and provide a one-of-a-kind vacation experience? We would love to hear your ideas. Please share them here and on our Facebook Fan page
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