Monday, Aug 29, 2022
Post-pandemic travel was always going to look different to how it did pre-2020. Throughout 2022, new ways of traveling have emerged: from ‘bleisure’ travel to the rise of rural escapes, the way that consumers choose to travel has transformed.
As travelers re-engage with the world, they’re also keen to build on social connections. The pandemic caused a shift in priorities for many, and among the biggest resolutions made was a commitment to spend more time with loved ones. With the pandemic keeping families and friends apart, a spike in interest for types of group travel (such as ‘friendcations’ and multigenerational travel) have been noted.
According to Condor Ferries, the numbers of families taking time away together was anticipated to rise by nearly 25 percent year-on-year, increasing to an annual 376 million trips in 2022. Travel technology company Amadeus confirmed this trend in a report which revealed an 83% spike in group bookings.
Vacation rental company Evolve found that travellers over 40 are more likely to travel with their significant other or plan multigenerational trips, whereas those under 40 are more interested in traveling with a group of friends.
Adding group or multigenerational trips to your portfolio could translate to more sales and greater success, but if you’re not used to selling large group trips, then how exactly do you go about it? Everything from the type of accommodation to the destinations you recommend and the added extras you offer will differ for large groups. Here’s what you need to know and consider when selling group travel.
It’s important to tailor your clients’ destination options to the group. For instance, destination choices for groups of friends may be very different to those of a large family group. Groups of friends may be up for a more adventurous long-haul destination, whereas families with a wide age range may be more comfortable with somewhere a little closer to home.
For multi-generational travel, your clients need a destination that Grandma feels as equally comfortable as her three-year-old granddaughter. This means that short-haul trips are most likely to be more popular with large family vacations – destinations that are either domestic or situated within a one to three-hour flight away. A long-haul flight might be too much for some members of the family.
According to research by Evolve, secluded mountain/rural escapes and waterfront getaways will be the most popular 2022 vacation experiences.
In Europe, this could include popular Mediterranean choices such as Spain, Italy or Greece, as well as countries with lots of wild, open natural space, such as Sweden and Norway. Destinations with lots of lakes, forests and mountains could also be good choices – including Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
In the US and Canada, national parks and vacations near water make for good choices. It could also include destinations that lie within a few hours’ flight of some of the southern US states such as places in Mexico and the Caribbean.
Friend groups, on the other hand, may be ready to travel further afield. They may take this opportunity to go somewhere that they’ve always wanted to visit. But even among friends, rural destinations, filled with nature are set to be more popular this year.
Wondering which destinations are popular in your market? The Compass by Bedsonline uses artificial intelligence to gather global data, creating a snapshot of the current state of the market. Search by holiday type and lead time to discover which destinations are currently trending for your clients – you can even filter hotels by those which are best-suited to families.
Self-catering properties are a great option for group travel experiences, as they allow groups to stay within their bubble and share common spaces, without having to worry about mixing with other travelers.
It also means that they can cook and eat together without having to find restaurants with tables big enough to accommodate a large group. After being kept away from each other during the pandemic, people want accommodation with large communal spaces, places where they can cook, eat and hang out together. Think villas, large cabins, and country houses.
According to Condor Ferries, 70 percent of families say that amenities for children is an important factor in making decisions. This means that self-catering properties with large gardens, swimming pools or playgrounds would be a great choice.
Groups of friends will be after something similar – properties with large communal spaces where they can all hang out together or big kitchens where they can cook and eat together.
Because rural destinations and those surrounded by nature are still top of travellers’ wish lists, car hire is an obvious added extra. Car hire is often necessary in rural locations, as well as to access large self-catering properties. Large groups may need to hire several cars to transport everyone, so offering deals on more than one vehicle could be a great incentive for them. By accessing the Bedsonline Booking Engine, you can seamlessly cross-sell car rental opportunities, and can even add such ancillaries to the same quote as an accommodation booking, allowing you to present all items at one final cost to your clients.
If groups are travelling to more natural destinations, it’s likely that they’ll be interested in booking outdoor activities too, giving you even more chance to upsell. According to Evolve, consumers are most interested in exploring the outdoors (58 percent) – including hiking, biking, and kayaking – and wellness/relaxation experiences (61 percent) in 2022.
Both multigenerational family groups and groups of friends will be interested in these types of activities, so it’s a good option to upsell to both. Remember, you can cross-sell ancillaries within the Booking Engine – this includes activities and, better yet, the booking engine will even recommend relevant activities for your clients.
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