ORLANDO – A new survey by Ypartnership revealed a vacation trend that Peter Yesawich said the industry has long known about but until now could never document – that of the "celebration vacation."
"Vacations occupy a very important place in the psyche" of Americans, Yesawich said, adding that, increasingly, consumers are motivated to travel to celebrate events of great personal significance.
Ypartnership's recent survey of some 4,600 active travelers revealed that seven out of 10 (70%) said they have taken a vacation primarily to celebrate a special occasion.
"The motivations revealed in this fascinating piece of work suggest that vacations are increasingly viewed as an appropriate way to either recognize or reward the participants for some event of great significance in their lives," Yesawich said. "As such, we call them 'Celebration Vacations.'"
Survey respondents were also asked to rate the events of greatest personal significance that were most appropriate for a celebration vacation.
Events that participants cited as most appropriate are: a milestone anniversary (78%), honeymoon (75%), family reunion (70%), first vacation with children (67%), wedding (65%), family honeymoon (63%), a milestone birthday (59%), anniversary (57%), retirement (55%), school/college reunion (54%), quinceaneras (54%), school graduation (51%) and Bar/Bat Mitzvah (50%).
According to the survey findings, Celebration Vacations are most likely to be planned around, and include the special event being celebrated.
Certain activities were found to be common. Just over half of respondents with children said they like to enjoy a special meal (54%), while 43% said they buy souvenirs and do more photography/video. Thirty-one percent stay in nicer accommodations, while 32% dine in fancier restaurants and 25% travel farther.
The study also found that Celebration Vacations differed slightly from regular vacations. Nearly one out of five (18%) of respondents said that compared to typical vacations, their Celebration Vacations included more people in the traveling party, while a full one out of five (20%) said their length of stay was longer. Also, 25% planned the vacations much further in advance and 40% spent more on such vacations.
Their motivations for celebration vacations differed from motivations for typical vacations, as well. Just over three-fourths (77%) cited the desire to reconnect with family. A comparable percentage said they were motivated by the desire to mark a special moment for someone (76%) or create a special memory for someone (75%).
Survey results did not differ widely by demographic. For instance, while 75% percent of those who have taken a celebration vacation were under 35 years old, the percentage of adults over 55 years of age who have taken a celebration vacation was not that much less – 69%.
Certain vacation attributes were cited as important when selecting a destination for a family-oriented Celebration. More than eight in 10 respondents mentioned the following: activities that adults and children can experience together, cost of getting there, variety of activities for everyone in the vacation party, cost of staying there and activities available for kids.
Source: Travel Trade