The Herman Trend Alert|
June 5, 2001
Increased Domestic Travel this Summer
As the result of economic and global trends, expect to see increased domestic travel throughout North America this summer. People will take more vacations, but shorter and closer to home. They will have different objectives for their mini-vacations.
The foremost trend influencing travel behaviors this summer is wealth perception. Because of stock market fluctuations, people's perceptions of their personal wealth are way down from last year. Folks are uncertain about their economic futures; some even fear for their jobs. With the lack of certainty regarding their long-term financial health, people are much less likely to spend on expensive overseas vacations or lavish cruises.
Second is fear about the spread of Foot and Mouth and Mad Cow diseases. Despite numerous reassurances delivered by European animal and human pathologists, now simply does not feel like the right time to travel to Europe and especially to the United Kingdom. Combine health fears with the political hot spots in the Middle East, renewed fears about terrorism throughout Europe, and most recently the controversy in Asia. The volatile situation in the Middle East seems to change every day. Between the Japanese stock market and China's threats to annex Taipei by force, Asia has taken on a similar lackluster attraction for tourists.
Theme parks and other tourist attractions will entice visitors with cost- effective packages that will enable vacationers to enjoy high value for their dollars. Many people will seek opportunities to learn while taking some time off. Living museums like Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan, elder hostels, and colleges with special summer programs will gain attention. Some people will select experiences like rafting, outward bound challenges, and exploring. Others will look for unusual things to do and places to go where they can enjoy something different or make a difference for the environment and conserve their cash.
National and state parks will handle record crowds this summer. North American tourists will flock to these safe havens to enjoy relaxing, secure, relatively inexpensive vacations. Education will be emphasized in these environments, too, with programs providing opportunities to gain a deeper appreciation of nature, history and culture.
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