The Year of 2017 has been a year full of renovations, many of which happened to take place within the hospitality industry. One specific topic is still, and might always be pondering in the minds of those in a hotel's or a resort's Marketing and Advertising Department. Who is the best market to cater to? Or more specifically --- Who is the best market to cater to for 2017-2018? Family vacationers could be the answer. Here is some insight into what families will be looking for and how a resort can get the businesses from family vacationers.
The “adults-only” segment
To answer this question, I took the liberty of investigating through last year's highlights to see what all the fuss was about for “adult-only” resorts and hotels. In 2016, "adult-only" resorts and hotels are popular among honeymoon goers, singles traveling, and overall, couples having some quality time to themselves. What drew them in were resorts based on a coastal, island settings. Such places as the Caribbean got great popularity for this new wave. Resorts in the Dominican Republic, such as the Hotel Riu Republica and the Luxury Bahia Principe Samana Don Pablo Collection, became a hit as the adults-only and no-kids destinations. The clientele that was pulled in towards these destinations were Millennials, Baby Boomers, and Generation X adults, who were seeking a romantic getaway. A place that is secluded thrives on luxurious amenities and offers a variety of relaxation opportunities to explore. That was what made 2016, the year for “adults-only”. The Year of 2017 could also become another year for "adult-only" resorts.
The traditional family vacationers
Upon researching for this new year's "up-and-coming" market segments, I found one result that many people might have never expected. As of the beginning of 2017, the traditional family vacationers have become the new ‘in’ for hotels. Of course, there are some notable downsides to this market segment. Many argue that when vacationing with children, they feel more of going on a trip than a real vacation. That is why there are three keys to defying this statement for the family:
1. Pick your destination.
2. Handle the budget.
3. Make the most of a vacation.
Communication is of the utmost importance. In picking a destination, everyone needs to agree on which location calls out to them the most. Hearing everyone's inputs from the family helps in clearing some possible fights or arguments upon arriving at the resort. Talk to some friends who have been in a similar situation and hear their opinions before making a final decision. Sometimes a second point of view on the matter could really make us feel more at ease.
Budgeting is another important factor that needs to be considered. Planning ahead will help a family's wallet feel less strain. Looking into flexible dates that could favor a family in saving a couple hundred of dollars could be very helpful, but what makes the biggest difference on the budget will be the amount of time a family puts into research. Look into the best deals, on the best apps, during the best time. Compare what various websites offer and see which offers the best deal. Talk to others in the family and ask them for their inputs on the financial aspect of the trip.
After some research, a family should be aware of what matters the most to everyone. This could be getting the most out of the vacation. Look into all the amenities that are offered at a resort. Find the activities that everyone in the family will enjoy. If a parent needs a morning or an afternoon off for himself/herself and the other half, look into such opportunities as camp sessions for children. Even if such opportunities for children are not available, kids may get exhausted easily. It is really not important to squeeze in everything on the agenda. Enjoy the family quality time and make the best out of a vacation.
What can resorts do?
For resorts, it is important to know whom to target and what their target market is looking for. Also, what is planning process? If a resort tailors to the traditional family vacationers, it may consider opening a camp for children, designing actives for certain age groups only, and offering cocktail afternoons for parents or adults only. Promoting deals offseasons could also help a resort stand out from all the others. Adding a phone line for advice on vacationers is another option for "perfecting" a resort. Once a vacation is booked, be sure to check-up with the guests and offer them good deals for future bookings.
Do you have a good idea of whom your resort want to target? What can a resort do to stand out from the competitors?
About the Author
Karen Valeria Sandoval was born and raised in the City of Loma Linda, California. Less than four years ago, she decided to further her education in Hospitality Management at California State Polytechnic University Pomona. Thanks to the Disney College Program, she has expanded her knowledge and experience in guest relations and teamwork. She is now working at the Hyatt Resort & Spa in Huntington Beach, CA as a Recreational Attendant. During her time off from school, she enjoys traveling, blogging, and doing yoga. One day, she hope to own a house near the beach with a blue-eyed Siberian Husky.
* This post was edited by Linchi Kwok.