Monday, July 8, 2013
Recently the first TMS Family Travel Summit convened in Orlando, Florida. Obviously, the topic on the minds of everyone in attendance was getting the “recipe” right for high quality, memorable, and affordable family vacations, vacations that are relevant to the needs and desires of today’s families. Timeshares and timeshare resales can be relevant to this discussion, but as an industry we have to focus on ensuring that are doing all that we can to help fulfill those needs and wants.
The Summit attendees, many who are leading travel media and marketers, defined 7 important components for family vacations. Some of these seven components are benefits the timeshare industry already does a great job providing; others are features and benefits upon which we could improve.
7 Essentials for Family Vacations that Serve Today’s Families:
- Make booking trips and accommodations easy by designing websites with the user experience in mind. As the TMS Family Travel Summit explains, keep it, “simple and transparent.”
- Offer vacation options at lower prices. Budgets are tight for many families. Family vacations shouldn’t be a luxury; in today’s busy, stressful world vacations are a necessity. Affordable timeshare resales and timeshare rentals are one way to lower the cost of family vacations. More flexibility in vacation intervals also helps… timeshare resorts must be willing to offer shorter stays at prorated costs for families whose schedules or budgets don’t permit them to take week-long holidays.
- Ensure that there is diversity among your staff and that your marketing speaks to guests of all ages, gender, and races. Remember that the family unit of Mom, Dad, and two kids is no longer the norm and that today’s families are diverse in many different ways.
- Provide free WiFi. Surveys show it is one of the most valued amenities at hotels and timeshare resorts. And when you think about it, why wouldn’t you make it as easy as possible for your guests or timeshare owners to be sharing their vacation experiences with others?
- Offer activities for all ages and all types of interests.
- Make guests feel that everything they do is new and unique.
- Photography and video making are pretty simple these days. Offers photographers and filmmakers on site to help record the fun of family vacations.
Amy Foster, part of the Disney Consumer Insight Team, pointed out to the attendees at the TMS Family Travel Summit that not only do family vacations make treasured lifelong memories, but that these warm, wonderful memories can be what gets us through the tough times in life. As Amy accurately observes, “Fun is not frivolous. …Fun is precious.”