Want to get away? Most U.S. travelers do and quickly, this according to The Ypartnership/Harrison Group 2010 Portrait of American Travelers. The national survey of over 2,500 U.S. households with an annual income of at least $50,000 showed that ‘last minute’ vacations have soared in popularity with American travelers. According to the survey, 27 percent took a last minute trip last year that was planned in an average of just six days prior to their departure.
The results provide an in-depth examination of the impact of the current economic environment, social values and emerging media habits on the travel behavior of Americans. One of the market forces accelerating the trend is the growing use of ‘flash sales’ by travel service suppliers. These impulsive offers, often delivered through unsolicited emails, have become the norm during the past 12 months as suppliers try to liquidate what would otherwise be unsold inventory.
The survey revealed that one out of seven recipients of these flash sales reported purchasing a travel service as a result. And it’s not just your weekend getaway; travelers are booking complete vacation packages or a cruise.
Types of services booked as result of a flash sale:
- Airfare (47 percent)
- Hotel or other lodging (47 percent )
- Vacation package (38 percent )
- Cruise (2 percent %)
- Car rental (20 percent )
According to the survey, 26 percent of leisure travelers took a vacation in their local area as an alternative to a destination requiring extensive travel. These ‘staycations’ appear to be yet another indication of the trend toward more impulsive vacation behavior on such short notice – and open up a range of opportunities for the hospitality industry across the USA.