Spring Break time is here. Our client partners don’t necessarily target college kids, so we are only marginally impacted by demand for a travel experience that is perhaps a rite of passage. Even so, we believe the concept of spring break is a phenomenon on several levels so we thought we would spend a few minutes on the topic.
Folklore of how spring break started is often linked to a well-meaning college athletics coach. Worried that his 1934-35 teams might get out of shape during Christmas break he decided to train his team at an impressive new pool in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Word quickly spread and in the years to come Fort Lauderdale was to become the spring break capital of the world. By the 1980’s it was a bacchanal of gigantic proportions and all out mayhem. Lauderdale was more commonly known as “Fort Liquordale”. Out of control? Yes (we were there…) Offended residents made certain that the students were chased away. And chased they were to places like South Padre Island, Daytona and ultimately (fast forward) Cancun.
There is some debate now that the very nature of spring break travel may be changing. According to Ian Ford, founder of UndercoverTourist.com “I’ve seen a huge increase in the number of parents traveling with their college-age children”. Some experts assert that the bad economy is driving this trend. Other experts are saying that it can be attributed to over-involved (helicopter) parenting.
Other experts disagree completely saying that there is no such trend of more families traveling together for spring break. It could be that they are right and that the nature of most 18-24 year old kids is that they would rather not spend time on spring break with their parents. If you want something of a pulse on modern day spring break antics, "MTV Spring Break 2011" will be broadcasting from Las Vegas. (Viewer discretion is advised) Potential trends aside, we wouldn’t expect to see many parents in that audience; even if they themselves partied it up in Fort Liquordale.
Our blog next week will not be published as this writer will be on a quiet beach in Florida. Against their wishes we will be with our 17 and 19 year old daughters…
This time of year travel trade publications are rife with predictions about 2011. Trase Miller is a contact center service provider but we have never strayed from our vertical focus of leisure travel. The truth is we consider ourselves lucky to be a part of this amazing industry. When you talk to our team members you, get a sense that we have attracted a special breed of people that understand the importance and joy that leisure travel plays on society.
Travel trends often germinate on the business side of things which often begin in corporate board rooms. In 2011 we’ll see:
- Airlines hell-bent on profitability
- i.e. an all out war between airlines and distributors (Sabre vs. American Airlines)
- Consumers will continue to be increasingly nickel and dimed on ancillary sales initiatives
- Growth in vacation package sales will be fueled by new and better technology
- More widely available and increasingly bolted to supplier websites
Trase Miller works closely with leading airlines and their package vacation businesses. Packages are a way for airlines to offer great value without revealing what part of the package has been discounted. Partners in the business are hotel and car rental companies that get to move their inventory discreetly with a discount as part of the package. Consumers get a great value and airlines make a profit selling packages. Everybody is happy.
Travel trends are more often shaped by the way people think and feel.
- Consumers want to connect more with like-minded people in their consideration phase of travel purchase
- Scads of information AND opinion on travel experiences are available on sites like TripAdvisor (over 10 million unique visitors in many months of the year).
- Continuance of the unused vacation time trend
Right Management, a workforce consulting firm, said "pent-up fears about job security" might have been a factor in people being unwilling to use vacation. An increasingly popular vacation choice is the "breakation" which is a mini-vacation lasting less than the traditional 6 nights. Destinations like Las Vegas are important destinations for Trase Miller’s client’s customers much do to this trend.
Trase Miller takes thousands of calls each day on behalf of our big brand clients. When we answer the phone we are speaking to very well informed consumers which is a fact attributable to the amount of information they have access to these days. It takes an incredible amount of training but our Learning and Development team is on it 24/7/365.
It doesn’t matter if the caller is looking for a breakation to Las Vegas or a cultural tour of Europe, we answer the phones as experts. We’re looking forward to 2011 and embrace the trends that are unfolding.