In 2007, the real estate market shifted to favor homebuyers. Gas prices went up and the value of the U.S. dollar fell, but the number of American travelers planning a vacation in 2008 has stayed strong.
According to an article: Travel Trends: What's Hot in 2008 by Beth Harpaz in the December 17, 2007 issue of USA Today "the Conference Board's most recent consumer survey found 45.8 percent of Americans intend to take a vacation within six months."
Authorities throughout the travel industry seem to believe travelers in 2008 want to be practical, yet still enjoy amenities that make vacationing simpler and more relaxing.
"In 2008, experts say, Americans may take shorter trips or choose destinations closer to home where their dollar goes further," Harpaz continued.
Family Comes First: Family Travel on the Rise
In our fast-paced American culture, two income households, sixty-hour work weeks, fast food and cell phones have become the norm - all to make life more convenient. However, the modern conveniences of our daily lives now seem to require a lot of attention and personal energy. In response to the stress modern life has developed over the last century, Americans are now returning to their roots. The importance of time with family and a healthy quality of life is moving up on the priority list.
Luxury travel industry expert Karen Weiner Escalera and her Florida-based travel marketing firm, KWE Group, firmly believe that family travel is on the rise for 2008. In one of Escalera's most recent articles on the Travel Industry Wire, Top Ten Luxury Travel and Lifestyle Trends for 2008, the number two trend is "Relationships with family and friends take center stage." According to Escalera, "Accelerating since 9/11 and fueled by a backlash against a contemporary world dominated by 24/7-work schedules and dehumanizing technology, family travel is growing at a faster rate than all other sectors of leisure travel."
A recent survey of American Express travel agents also revealed a significant rise in luxury travel among families - 82 percent wanted high-end hotels with kids' programs and 56 percent were traveling with nannies.
"Parents, grandparents and friends are looking to travel as a way to reunite, and to celebrate life's landmark events. Business trips with the whole family will become as common as tag-along spouses, while high-end business hotels and resorts will roll out the red carpets for families with special suites and villas," Escalera added.
Concierge Condo Rentals and Timeshares versus Second Home Purchases
The modern traveler believes that there is no reason why the comforts of home cannot be available while on vacation. Vacation planning is greatly enhanced when you consider concierge condo rentals or timeshare options. Many families especially appreciate the opportunity to save time and money when cooking in a private kitchen or receiving tourist information and discounts from a personal travel concierge. These kinds of amenities allow travelers to spend more time relaxing and less time organizing, mapping and making decisions about travel plans. A timeshare can offer the benefits of owning a second home for vacations, without the headaches of year-round maintenance and cost.
Recently, Howard C. Nusbaum, President of the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) recounted his experience at the Travel Industry Association (TIA) Marketing Outlook Forum, an annual conference of travel and tourism professionals that highlights future industry trends. He describes how Peter Yesawich, Ph.D., CEO of Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown and Russell, explained during the forum that the most recent Travel Monitor study completed by his company detailed large numbers of travelers interested in condominiums instead of traditional hotels.
The Travel monitor study also showed an increasing number of travelers interested in vacation ownership products such as private residence clubs and timeshares. The impressive data from his (Yesawich) survey furthered the buzz that timeshares were no longer a niche product, but rather a staple of today's diverse travel industry.
In 2008, vacation ownership specialty products will provide stiff competition for second home sellers as traveling individuals, groups, and families opt for practical comfort and luxury while on vacation.