May and June were exciting, as observations and predictions provided more insight into consumer travel behavior. The weddings and honeymoons market also underwent many changes.
So what is happening? The minor resurgence of the consumer market, according to the findings of Forrester Research Vice President Henry Harteveldt, points to the following changes, which also apply to the bridal market:
1. Leisure travelers say value, reliability and past experience are equally important as price.
2. This is the era of “neo-frugal chic.” Savings is a point of pride. Every purchase is highly researched. However, there is an increase in people willing to pay more on products that save them time and hassle. (This is especially true of brides, who say they are overwhelmed by the various aspects of planning a wedding. A good service provider to help with destination weddings or honeymoon is a priority for them.)
3. The U.S. audience reportedly spent almost as much time online as watching TV in 2009. (Agents need to make sure they are online and, most importantly, not forget social networking.)
4. Seventy-two percent of leisure travelers in U.S. and Europe are engaged in social media.
5. Fifty-eight percent of travelers have Facebook accounts. The fastest growing aspect of Facebook is its mobile version.
6. Fifty-two percent of travelers do not have a brand in mind when they start research on their vacation. Only three in 10 travelers report being loyal to a travel company.
My next article will give further insight from other speakers. Understanding demographic and market changes will help you better target your clientele.
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My recent travels have taken me to the Caribbean island of Anguilla. Adjectives that come to mind are endless: beautiful, peaceful, picturesque, charming, heavenly vistas. In short, Anguilla is a paradise that is also very welcoming. I suggest flying into St. Maarten and then taking the ferry to Anguilla. Imagine sailing the beautiful waters of the Caribbean!
I stayed at the tranquil and elegant Malliouhana Hotel & Spa. The rooms are large and elegantly done, with stunning views of the Caribbean Sea. They take cleanliness to another level. Malliouhana is the perfect place to have a destination wedding or spend a romantic honeymoon. Resort Manager Bart van Deventer is hands-on and takes special pride in interacting with his guests. At breakfast, I watched him bid each member of a family good-bye (including children). The wedding coordinator is Chantelle Davis (1-264-497-6111, ext. 407, [email protected]).
For more information on new research findings or to answer questions on the Malliouhuna hotel, e-mail me at [email protected]