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TrendwatchDecember 10, 2007 By: Travel Agent Central Contributor Travel Agent
"Debaucherism" is a new trend outlined in the World Travel Market Global Trends Report 2007, released in conjunction with the market intelligence firm Euromonitor International at last month's World Travel Market in London.
The idea of "debaucherism," or debauchery tourism, is to follow in the footsteps of tabloid celebrities by traveling to partake in wild parties, says the report. Destinations likely to benefit from this "work hard, play hard" mentality are Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Vietnam, Macau and Dubai, according to the study.
The Caribbean and the U.S. already are benefiting—a prime example is Las Vegas, with its "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" mantra, which has reaped profits from the demographic that ties into this pattern.
The debaucherism demographic consists of 25- to 34-year-olds, who are waiting longer than previous generations to marry. As earners of 17 percent of U.S. income, they have more resources to enjoy before getting hitched. But don't desert clients after they turn 35, as that's another target market.
Traveler Satisfaction with Internet Declines
J.D. Power and Associates' 2007 Independent Travel Web Site Satisfaction study reveals that customer satisfaction with travel web sites has declined, which runs parallel to increasing costs, more frequent airline delays and decreasing levels of customer satisfaction with various aspects of the travel industry.
Six factors were examined to measure customer satisfaction (in order of importance): price competitiveness; ease of booking; usefulness of the information on the web site; availability of booking options/travel packages; appearance/design of the site; and ease of navigation. Independent travel web sites are those not operated by a particular supplier.
Key findings of the study include:
- 1. The average score—based on a 1,000-point scale—for overall customer satisfaction with travel web sites decreased 8 points in the past year, from 810 to 802.
- 2. For a second consecutive year, Hotwire.com ranked highest among independent travel web sites in satisfying customers who book their reservations online, performing particularly well in competitiveness of pricing and ease of navigation.
- 3. The accuracy of reservations made via the web held fairly steady. In 2007, 95 percent of reservations were reported as error-free, compared with 94 percent the previous year.
- 4. Nearly one half (49 percent) of all travel-related reservations made this year were booked on the web, an increase from 46 percent in 2005.
- 5. Independent travel web sites overall receive their lowest marks for appearance/design of web site.
- 6. Generation X and Y travelers are more likely than baby boomers and seniors to book a reservation on price-focused web sites, such as Priceline.com and Hotwire.com.