The Current

Thoughts on industry trends from your BVK friends.

Travel Insights: Resolutions and Travel Solutions

January 25, 2022  |  Matt Stiker

Travel & Tourism

Every year in December, our inboxes are flooded with emails and articles about New Year’s resolutions. Lose this, save that, stop this, quit that. For anyone who’s attempted unsuccessfully to keep those resolutions, however, you’re not alone. Interestingly, only a fraction of those who make New Year’s resolutions are actually able to see them through.

And no wonder – most resolutions lists are about denying yourself something, usually something you really enjoy – and who among us wants to do THAT for 12 months in a row!?

So instead, we have a different approach, an alternative suggestion.

Combine your goals with travel. The desire to travel more makes a lot of people’s lists, but there’s no reason that has to be a separate resolution all on its own, especially when it pairs so beautifully with so many of the other top resolutions for the year. Here’s a few examples, and some suggestions for DMOs.

Health & Fitness => Wellbeing Travel

The number one goal is typically around getting more fit, losing weight, getting in better shape. Let your visitors know they can do it while traveling to your destination. 76% of respondents to a recent American Express survey stated they wanted to spend more on travel that improves their well-being, and 55% said they’d be willing to pay extra for these services or activities. In addition, high on American travelers’ lists are enjoying scenic beauty, warm weather outdoor activities, and visiting U.S. National Parks. Who would have thought that getting on the road could help you lose the spare tire around your middle?

Eat Better => Foodie Travel

Eating better/cleaner/healthier is another classic resolution. But while many destinations talk about their food game, there’s a tremendous opportunity to frame it up as a way to properly kick off a new year. For example, Celebrity Cruises put on a 3D-projected “dinner and a show” dining experience called ‘Le Petit Chef and Friends’ in which digitally-projected chefs prepare a meal before guests are served the real thing. When 56% of American travelers include cuisine and food experiences as strong interest for their trips, destinations should consider mixing that up with a dash of DMO know-how and a pinch of engaged partners to get visitors’ appetites for travel rumbling.

Unplug => Off-the-grid Travel

Also high on a lot of lists is the idea of unplugging, getting away from it all, going off the grid. No surprise there – Americans increasingly crave escapes from screens and stress. Top travel priorities for 2022 include relaxing and escaping stress. In addition, Expedia tells us that a successful trip is no longer defined by likes on social media, with nearly a quarter of respondents to a recent survey saying they plan to spend less time on their devices to be more present. Rural destinations rejoice! Take advantage of this desire and ramp up messaging about everything you DON’T have in your destination.

Positive Presence => Conscious Travel

Resolving to have a more positive presence in the world and improve their impact on others has been a more recent addition to the top resolutions lists, and many destinations are finding ways to embrace the parts of their story that demonstrate their ability to enrich the lives of their visitors. NPR has recently revealed that volunteer tourism is now a $3 billion a year industry, and many visitors are recognizing the value of preserving a destination’s uniqueness, recognizing it will help the industry to become more sustainable in the long term. The focus on self is still important, to be sure, but there’s also an opportunity for destinations to incorporate messaging about future generations as well, remembering the adage that “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.”

Work Life Changes => Workations

Cities, countries, and islands across the globe benefited over the last 18 months by capitalizing on the “work from anywhere” trend, and that lives on as a goal for many. With technology affording us the ability to take our work on the road, and as people make adjustments to their schedules, structures, jobs and lives, many will take advantage of the flexibility to experience fresh scenery and fit in more travel, regardless of PTO quantity. According to Airbnb, stays of four weeks or more almost doubled between 2019 and the first few months of 2021. And around 11% of long-term Airbnb bookers said they were living a nomadic lifestyle. When 46% of employed American travelers say they are interested or extremely interested in taking a workcation in 2022, dialing up your destination’s benefits makes a lot of sense.

A Happy New Year to all of our clients, followers and friends, and instead of losing this, saving that, stopping this or quitting that, we hope you gain, and learn, and enjoy, and live. All while traveling.

For details on five top new year resolutions and their associated travel solutions download the deck below.

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This content series is a collaboration between BVK Travel and BVK Insights.

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