This Week's Herman Trend Alert

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  The Herman Trend Alert

May 31, 2011

Vacationing and Living Afloat

Just in time for summer vacations, Forever Resorts, a worldwide collection of destinations providing hospitality services, introduced its new ?floatels? on Lake Mead in Nevada. Though the company is calling it a ?brand-new accommodation experience?, it has offered smaller luxury houseboats rentals in selected recreational areas for years. The difference is that these houseboats feature multiple living spaces and will stay moored at the National Recreation Area’s Echo Bay Marina.

Advertised as an ideal choice for families, multi-generational groups, gatherings of friends or couples seeking lake accommodations, Floatels, provide travelers with an inexpensive introduction to the houseboating experience.

Each 67-foot Floatel is climate controlled and includes a spacious living area, fully equipped kitchen, four bedrooms and a sleeper sofa (sleeps 10), TV/DVD player, outdoor grill and a sundeck featuring a hot tub. Introductory prices for rentals start at USD$190 per night for four passengers. The interior appears to be similar to a Recreational Vehicle (RV) on the water, only wider. (RVs are about 108? wide, because that is about the limit for fitting in a traffic lane to travel most roads in the United States.) Find more information at

Vacations afloat have been available in locations throughout the world for a while, including the Ambassador Floating Hotel in Tucumcari and the floating eco lodge in Uakari, both in the Amazon region of Brazil. Brazil is also building floating hotels to accommodate its visitors for the World Cup in 2014. In addition, we found floating hotels in Sweden, Thailand, Canada, and India.

The Norwegian company Floatel International Ltd. builds housing for workers on offshore oilrigs. Their two models have been purchased by major oil companies.

Responding to the burgeoning volun-tourism (combining volunteerism and tourism) market*, the leading edge concept we found in our research came from our friends at the top destination design and engineering firm WATG. Their award-winning design for convertible modular living space may be built anywhere and is amazing. Watch their video at

As previously forecasted, Baby Boomers, seeking new experiences will be attracted to Floatels, just as they are attracted to volun-, eco- and adventure tourism.

* Half of affluent travelers are interested in voluntourism.

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