National Relaxation Day (which is tomorrow) was the theme of this week's travel research and industry statistics. We also have a look ahead to Labor Day and some tips on Millennial travelers.
54 Percent of Americans Spend Vacation Days Dealing With Personal Obligations
National Relaxation Day is tomorrow, and in honor of the event Princess Cruises has released its Sixth Annual Relaxation Report.
The highlights? Over half (54%) of Americans spend their vacation days dealing with personal obligations such as family emergencies, doctor’s or dentist’s appointments and sick days for their children or loved ones rather than actually vacationing. And the mere thought of asking their boss for a few extra days off causes more stress than asking for a pay raise for nearly a quarter (22%) of American workers, according to the recent survey by Wakefield Research for Princess Cruises.
Stress triggers are on the rise with nearly a one-third of people who get stressed at just the thought of relaxing, up from 28 percent in 2014. And 42 percent frequently feel guilty about relaxing, also up from 38 percent last year. For more than a third of Americans (36%), it’s even more difficult to find time to relax than to live within their budget.
Las Vegas Tops Most-Searched Labor Day Destinations
It's not too late for a last-minute Labor Day getaway, and according to a recent Travelocity survey Las Vegas could be the place to be.
Las Vegas topped Travelocity's list of most-searched Labor Day destinations, along with other perennial favorite Orlando and beach towns within driving distance of major metro areas. According to the survey, 65 percent of Americans are more likely to take a road trip this year than last.
Travelocity also released a look at some under-the-radar Labor Day trip ideas to recommend to clients.
Millennials Value Experience Three to One
Whether it's the type of vacation they're looking for or the reason they value travel agents, Millennials are looking for experience, according to a recent survey of Ensemble Travel Group members in the U.S. and Canada.
The findings are part of a new Ensemble Insights Survey that analyzes booking trends and activity of Millennial travelers. The organization’s recent annual Executive Retreats were led by Millennial authority Jeff Fromm.
Experience plays a primary role in the types of travel favored by Millennials and how they book those vacations. Ensemble Insights Survey results reveal that Millennials prefer FITs (64 percent), all-inclusive resorts (58 percent), and destination weddings and honeymoons (34 percent) over other types of getaways, including ocean and river cruises. (Multiple answers were accepted in this and several other questions.) In addition, this generation books their vacation through a travel professional because of his or her knowledge and experience (47 percent) and time savings (26 percent), far outweighing cost savings (14 percent) and help in emergency situations (13 percent).
Underscoring Millennials' need for 24/7 connectivity, the survey results find free Wi-Fi a must at 67 percent, even outdistancing authentic experience at 47 percent and adventure-focused at 44 percent. At the other end of the scale, factors that matter least to Millennials based on survey results include world-class spas, family-focused itineraries, and timing/seasonality.
2.4 Million Americans Visit London Museums
London had some good news this week with the release of its annual visitation numbers to the city's top museums and galleries. In the last year 2.4 million Americans visited those attractions, up by 9 percent from the previous year, according to new research by London & Partners. The U.S. is now tied with France as the top market by volume, followed by Italy, Spain and Germany.
Separate search insights from Google reveal that London is the most Googled city in the world for art galleries, performing arts and innovative art and design.
Search insights from Google show that London’s theatres generate more searches than those in any other city, while international searches for globally renowned museums rank the Science Museum in London as the most Googled museum in the world.
The Natural History Museum and the British Museum rank second and third according to Google, followed by The New York Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.
The data from Google also shows that London is the most searched for city in the world to visit. Separate research published by London & Partners and MHM Insight reveal that in 2014/15 London’s museums and galleries received 17.9 million overseas visits, accounting for 57 percent of the total 31.5 million visits.
VisitLondon.com is also launching the city's Fall Season of Culture in partnership with the GREAT Britain Campaign.
Amsterdam Hotel Profits Up 15 Percent
Amsterdam and Hamburg also had some good news this week: The two cities saw Gross Operating Profit per available room (GOPPAR) in their hotels surge by 15 percent and 14.2 percent, respectively, for June. Hamburg and Rome led the way in growth in average room rate (ARR) versus June 2014, with Istanbul showing a notable decline:
Occupancy in the Dutch capital shot up by 6.5 percentage points to 90.2 percent and ARR increased by 1.5 percent, while revenue per available room (RevPAR) grew by 9.4 percent. Similar performances were registered in non-rooms departments and total revenue per available room (TRevPAR) rose by 9.5 percent to €230.59. Astute operating cost control and a payroll decline of 1.8 percentage points resulted in departmental operating profit per available room (DOPPAR) surging by 13.2 percent and GOPPAR by 15.0 percent to €107.28.
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