The final part of my series of travel marketing to stressed-out Americans ends with this jaw-dropping finding: 63% of U.S. residents haven’t taken a vacation in the last year.
My series has taken findings from the five-part breakdown of Skift’s major report Travel Habits of Americans 2014 from Rafat Ali. I’ve then applied those results to practical implications for adventure travel marketers.
This statistic of Americans putting off vacations differs from the finding discussed in the last post, where 42% of Americans didn’t take any vacation days in the past twelve months. Those days off aren’t necessarily used for going on a trip – they can also be spent being at home and taking care of matters there.
Here is where the heart of the issue lies with the overworked American. Many people feel they don’t take vacation for several reasons:
- Even if they are entitled to vacation days, their supervisors strongly discourage them to take that time off.
- If they do take that time, it may jeopardize them for future promotions or pay raises, putting them in possible financial peril.
- Many jobs don’t offer paid vacation time. Some businesses will let those people go if they should go on a break.
Regarding Ali’s report, the results showed that no significant gender, regional or urban/rural differences exist between who’s taking vacation days and who isn’t. Older Americans (those who would most likely be retired from the workforce), childless adults and the more affluent appear to travel the most.
What this means for you, the adventure travel marketer, is you can craft a more traditional campaign to the older, more affluent client. If you have the budget to create a direct response piece sent by traditional mail, then you may want to go after this age group.
This may not seem like a strange idea at first. More seniors are taking active vacations where physical fitness is an important prerequisite. They don’t just want to be taken from one site to another on a bus and led around. According to Bronwyn White at MyTravelResearch.com, older folks are choosing adventure travel more than ever before.
With a mailed piece, your advertising can stand out amidst the clutter of email marketing and social media. If you are reluctant to try direct mail marketing, try sending a small mailing to your list subscribers in this age group. Then see what response rates you get.
So what about marketing to younger demographics? You can pretty much follow the suggestions I gave before. Emphasize social media marketing with a mobile emphasis, and make sure you include plenty of visual content. This doesn’t always mean pictures and videos, although that’s what you’ll want to include the most. Think about charts, infographics and vectors (animated figures) as well.
No matter what you do, always convey the idea that your American audience needs to take a break. Too many U.S. workers feel like they can’t take time for vacation. Appeal to their emotional sensibilities, and you’ve got a recipe for marketing success…and can be their hero.