Rethinking How to Market Celebration Vacation – Vacation Agent


If you’re restricting your unique occasion sales pitches to spot weddings, classic honeymoons, anniversaries and birthdays, you’re lacking the boat on some perhaps profitable bookings. Look at targeting hole-yr pupils, expectant mom and dad and not long ago divorced guys and women of all ages, as perfectly as rethinking write-up-nuptial holidays. We spoke with a selection of industry experts to get their consider on these developing area of interest segments. Right here is what they have to say.

Divorce Parties

The “divorce party” is potentially the most recent member of the celebration travel area of interest.

Now, to be crystal clear, this is not a celebration of a unsuccessful relationship. Consumers are not going on holidays to revel in the reality that their relationship has finished, but relatively to rejoice in the closure of the actual divorce course of action and the beginning of a newfound feeling of independence.

Immediately after all, divorce — with all the cash and arguing that usually accompanies it — is typically considered amid the prime 3 most annoying lifestyle functions a human being could endure.

Just like solo travel, divorce events revolve mainly about trips that the client could not consider while he or she was married. Probably it was a fishing trip or a buying tour or a tour of Key League Baseball ballparks that he or she always relished, but the husband or wife did not.

“Taking the trip you want with who you want demonstrates your newfound liberty,” suggests Laura Hanaford of The Trip Trotter, which is element of the Tzell Vacation Team. “I took my divorce trip to St. Barths, which is a perfect spot as it combines glamour, seaside, buying, partying and the ideal dining in the Caribbean.”

Kier Matthews, vice president of sales and countrywide accounts at Europe Specific, tells Vacation Agent that a terrific way to come across these clientele is by aligning on your own with the closest divorce attorney. Probably you could possibly established up a networking lunch with a single these types of neighborhood lawyer, give him or her your card and start out viewing the client prospects develop.

“Divorce trips are absolutely a point, especially for women of all ages,” suggests Hanaford. “My feminine clientele say that they are so made use of to compromising on a spot and functions that they in no way get to consider the trip they want. As Americans, we’re given these types of minimal time off that unless it’s a bachelorette occasion or [other] big occasion, we in no way get to travel with our friends as trip time was saved for our spouses and people.” She tells us that Dubai is at present a incredibly hot pitch for these type of trips.

Dubai is “fabulous for divorce events and girlfriend getaways,” suggests The Trip Trotter’s Laura Hanaford.

“If clientele are prepared to fly a bit farther, Dubai is fantastic for girls trips and divorce events,” she suggests. “With their luxury inns, best buying malls full with daring functions like indoor skiing and skydiving, Dubai is a terrific spot to present your ex you are absolutely free to do what you want. While the country is dry, inns are not. The seaside is a terrific spot to dangle out and inns are well known for their all-day extravagant brunches. Several of the clubs host women evenings, so there is always somewhere to occasion.”


The babymoon area of interest may well have taken a hit in 2016 due to the Zika virus scare, but this kind of celebration travel did not totally vanish final yr — it just relocated a bit.

The mosquito-borne virus that can cause start flaws worried away most expecting moms from celebrating their potential kid in heat weather conditions places where the Zika mosquito was present, but it did not signify babymoon clientele have been canceling.

“The concentration on Zika and outbreaks all over tropical locations near the U.S., traditionally most loved babymoon places, has surely built organizing these types of trips additional challenging lately, although I have not noticed any true fall in the selection of tourists intrigued in using a babymoon,” observes Caroline Fridley Bracewell of Effortless Escapes Vacation.

A selection of agents we have spoken to on this concern inform us that quite a few babymoon clientele originally heading for the Caribbean or Central and South America have been opting to rather consider a nearer domestic trip they perceive to be safer. Europe has also been a good option for moms-to-be seeking to rethink their tropical trip programs.

“A developing problem for individuals reserving honeymoons and babymoons is seeking to come across a tropical spot that is finances-welcoming and not influenced by the Zika virus,” suggests Alex Scipione of Alex’s Adventures. “Most travel advisors now have to present a likely ‘traveler beware.’ I think that ultimately it is top individuals to search into places that they may well not have originally considered, and consultants have to perform with this new piece of the puzzle in their organizing.”

And that puzzle piece is becoming located additional and additional within just the United States, suggests Bracewell.

“With the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America out, I’m finding that resorts in Southern California, Arizona — primarily Scottsdale and spa retreats these types of as Miraval and Canyon Ranch — and Charleston, SC, are becoming additional well known as option solutions,” she suggests. “All of these locations present fairly limited travel time, mild to incredibly hot weather conditions, lots of pampering, superb foods and a selection of increased-conclusion resorts that permit mom and dad-to-be to entirely chill out and appreciate a unique and romantic trip.”

Nevertheless, if it’s even now the classic heat-weather conditions places your babymoon clientele want, we have been told that the two Bermuda and Hawaii are at present scorching incredibly hot in this current market.

“So significantly, Bermuda does not have any noted conditions of Zika. It also works perfectly due to the fact it has uncomplicated obtain from the complete east coast and tons of direct flights,” suggests Jim Augerinos of Ideal Honeymoons. “Atlantic seaside places like Kiawah Island have been tremendous well known as perfectly.”

Other noteworthy babymoon places that are finding up steam, notes Augerinos, are Montreal, Paris, London, Dublin and Reykjavik, as perfectly as Austin, TX Sedona, AZ Massive Sur and Healdsburg, CA Vancouver, British Columbia dude ranch-design resorts in Montana and tremendous-luxe places these types of as Amangiri in Canyon Place, UT.

“People are loving the plan of being stateside and acknowledging there are so quite a few fantastic selections, regardless of whether it be a countrywide park, a charming historic city or coastal town,” suggests Augerinos. 

And the wish to travel nearer for a babymoon is not fully Zika linked.

Charleston, SC, has been cited, together with a number of other U.S. resort towns, as a well known possibility for the two babymoons and mini-moons.

Jenna Mahoney, travel editor with Bridal Information Magazine, tells Vacation Agent that Zika is only element of the explanation clientele will be using additional babymoons a minimal nearer to property.

In the earlier eight a long time, she suggests, the typical age for having babies has risen. Mainly because of that, there are additional high-threat pregnancies in general, so women of all ages prevent traveling as well significantly from property.

“I think the most important variable is travel time,” observes Augerinos. “Most expecting women of all ages do not want to fly prolonged distances and 3 to 6, probably seven, hours is typically the max. I also would extremely propose traveling in the 2nd trimester, which is typically the simplest and when most women of all ages feel like typical. Entry to great health-related care is also paramount when deciding upon a spot, should an emergency crop up.”

As significantly as international places go, Mahoney, like Augerinos, suggests Bermuda is flourishing and also the Cayman Islands can consider gain of this developing phenomenon considering the fact that they are the two close to the U.S. and uncomplicated to get to.


Simply just reserving a classic honeymoon was anything agents did, perfectly, quite a few moons back.

We know most of our readers are previously armed with the bare essentials to provide the classic honeymoon, so we are employing this chance to rather inform you about the most popular “moon” of the honeymoon subsets, the mini-moon.

The mini-moon commonly refers to a few added times expended in the spot where the marriage ceremony took spot. Mainly because there may well be some stragglers from the marriage ceremony, mini-moons typically consist of a few friends and spouse and children of the newlywed few.

These are commonly just a few times in length. It is also probable the mini-moon will direct into the honeymoon. The to start with few times may well consist of spouse and children and then the few will jet off to yet another spot to be by itself with each other. For case in point, a client who experienced a spot marriage ceremony in Maui may well shell out a few of added times on the island with friends and spouse and children in advance of the few usually takes off to Kauai for a few times of “just us” time.

Mahoney suggests the mini-moon is becoming additional and additional well known, incorporating that, in some conditions, these newlyweds will then ebook a ten- to fourteen-day, full-blown honeymoon possibly a few months later or for their to start with anniversary.

Whilst Augerinos thinks most of these new “moons” are fads relatively than trends, he does acknowledge the mini-moon qualifies as a legit area of interest subset.

“What is going on is that brides and grooms are overwhelmed with organizing a marriage ceremony and the time they are using off for the marriage ceremony,” he tells us. “They require anything to consider the edge off the marriage ceremony weekend, but help you save the true honeymoon for 3 to 6 months down the line — when they can consider the time, when they are refreshed and have a minimal breathing space financially — immediately after all the marriage ceremony costs roll at when.”

Augerinos, who tells us he is observing about 15 to 20 % of his honeymoon clientele opting not to consider the honeymoon instantly adhering to the marriage ceremony, suggests some well known mini-moon places consist of Charlottesville, VA Charleston, SC Savannah, GA Ashville, NC St. Michaels, MD Bluffton, SC New Orleans and Boston.

As significantly as general honeymoons go, The Trip Trotter’s Hanaford tells Vacation Agent these types of European incredibly hot spots as Italy, France, England and Greece are even now going solid. Specially, she suggests her France bookings are at an all-time high.

Romance experts we spoke with say Bermuda is flourishing as a babymoon spot in the wake of even now-lingering Zika fears.

Portugal is gaining traction and is usually paired with Spain,” Hanaford notes. “Most honeymoons that I plan consist of additional than a single country and usually the international locations are [kinds that are] not typically paired with each other, like Italy and Eire, or Vienna and Santorini. Thailand has been solid this yr and clientele usually postpone their honeymoon to appreciate far better weather conditions there.”

Hanaford suggests the most in-desire tour for honeymoons are wine tours and personal boat rides. And even though there is the specter of Zika in Florida, she factors out that her Miami organization was extremely solid this yr for not just mini-moons, but primarily for girlfriend getaways and bachelorette events.

Destination Weddings

What can everyone inform you that you do not previously know about reserving spot weddings? Probably the most powerful piece of guidance we have gleaned pertaining to reserving this kind of celebration travel is to inform your clientele not to actually get legally married in yet another country.

As a substitute, clientele should tie the knot legally in their property country and then have a symbolic ceremony in yet another spot. The experts we spoke to say this will remove the mountain of crimson tape that clientele who get married legally overseas typically have to lower through.

Also, Bridal Guide’s Mahoney tells us the most popular pattern within just spot weddings is personalization. She suggests that quite a few would-be brides and grooms are shying away from worn out marriage ceremony traditions, like champagne fountains and throwing garters, and rather opting for additional distinctive inclusions, these types of as taco vehicles and hand-rolled cigars.

Hole Year Vacation

Hole yr tourists — mainly high school grads using time off in advance of moving into college — are seeking for experiences. While backpacking throughout Europe will always keep on being well known, areas these types of as South America and Asia are climbing in acceptance.

A single type of experiential travel that is especially prevalent appropriate now is “voluntourism.” Tour operators these types of as Tasks Overseas, Ripple Africa, i-to-i, and Raleigh Worldwide focus in finding volunteer do the job for tourists. Notice: A good deal of other operators, like Go Abroad and Hole Year Adventure Vacation, not only present volunteer do the job-based expeditions, but also present a wide range of other functions.

The advantage of volunteer-based travel (aside from the feel-great facet of it) is that it’s also a résumé booster. Graduates who decide for an internship or a volunteer software while traveling are not shedding out by not instantly moving into the work current market. It is not only a great way to shell out time but also a wise way.

With Ripple Africa, tourists can aid make improvements to the conventional of training and healthcare, protect and sustainably create the setting, and make prospects for the communities in Malawi. On i-to-i’s Train English as a Foreign Language software, tourists can even take part in paid internships the enterprise has positions in Africa, Asia, the Americas, the Middle East, and Europe. Project Overseas specifically caters to high school graduates — in 2016, one,140 hole yr pupils went abroad with Tasks Overseas, which was the most ever for the enterprise. These pupils represented 32 assorted nationalities and contributed 275,000 do the job hours. The enterprise has limited-term international volunteer programs in 30 international locations.

The other conclusion of the spectrum features tourists like the clientele of SmartFlyer’s Kelly Smith — college and graduate school alumni who have time off in advance of beginning grad school or their to start with day of do the job, respectively. (Smith notes that she’s been organizing a whole lot of “bar trips” for law pupils). For the duration of these travelers’ situations off, they’re seeking for their following experience, considering the fact that most have previously frequented the standard areas in the course of their undergrad a long time.

G Adventures finds that Thailand is the most well known spot for YOLO tours, which have built-in attractiveness for hole yr tourists. 

“I’m finding that some individuals choose to travel solo while others go in tiny groups, but everybody is seeking for experience,” Smith suggests. “Most of these tourists are trading hostels for 4-star inns. They want a wonderful spot to relaxation their head at evening but do not require everything deluxe. They’re also shelling out additional cash on experiences relatively than accommodations.”

Go Abroad, G Adventures and Contiki, which specializes in 18-to-35-yr-old tourists, are all great solutions for adventurous tourists. Several of the tours these companies present consist of trekking, ziplining, bungee jumping and making the most of the neighborhood society. Go Abroad sells hole yr travel to each individual continent apart from Antarctica. They present solutions from volunteering to do the job travel to experience to health-related travel.

G Adventures, while it does not present “gap yr travel” for every se, does present “YOLO” (you only are living when) tours that are made for young, finances-mindful tourists. Whilst some of their trips are hosted in hostels and a lot less-high-priced inns, there are ninety four solutions of tours (all 15 times or additional), with 30 ranging from 30 to 65 times.

The most well known places amid these “YOLO” tourists from the U.S., in buy of acceptance, have been: Thailand, New Zealand, Vietnam, Australia and Costa Rica. Amongst G Adventures’ British clients, India and Southeast Asia seem to be to dominate amid prolonged-term tourists.

In the same way, Contiki does not provide hole yr-certain travel, but targets the age group. The tours are broken down into eight types, assisting the traveler come across what is ideal for him / her. They consist of: Learn, In-Depth Explorer, Tenting, Wintertime & Ski, Shorter Excursions & Festivals, Sailing & Cruise, Effortless Speed, and Significant Electricity.

Publish-School Vacations

Graduating college is a main milestone that prompts quite a few young tourists to rejoice by hitting the road.

“They’ve completed their undergraduate diploma, worked through college and then, in advance of they start out graduate school or go into the true planet, they say, ‘Let’s travel,’” suggests Kim Launer, a travel consultant with the DeKalb, IL, business office of Royal Vacation & Excursions. “I did a few of people this earlier summertime. They’ve been using a minimal sabbatical of 3 or 4 months and doing trips.”

Europe is by significantly the most well known spot for this type of travel, suggests Launer. “Everyone needed to do 6 weeks, eight weeks in Europe.” She notes that Eire, Scotland and Britain, collectively, constituted the most well known European spot, adopted by Italy.

Coming in third was not a single country, but relatively viewing “as quite a few international locations as humanly probable that they could get to on their finances, possibly from Hungary to going through Germany, seeking to hit the Netherlands, Spain — as quite a few as they can possibly get to in a limited time period of time,” suggests Launer.

Expense discounts are a big variable for the clientele for these types of trips, quite a few of whom are involving 23 and 30 a long time old and have not however officially introduced their professions.

“It’s mostly individuals who are seriously hitting the fact of the reality that doing some type of guided tour where they have some issues put together [these types of as transportation, lodging, and some of the sightseeing], saves them a terrific deal of cash,” points out Launer.

Industry experts determine Eire as a prime attract for babymoon, mini-moon and write-up-college tourists.

Most of the trips Launer has noticed are land-based, as opposed to cruises, and quite a few of these clientele want to examine the society of just about every area.

“Maybe they’re a historical past buff and they’ve experienced a course or two on it, or probably they’re a foreign language main — that seriously contributed to where they went,” suggests Launer.

The most essential attract for tourists intrigued in this type of travel, although, is the benefit of a guided trip.

“People in this age bracket are being familiar with that anything that has been prearranged is of a far better benefit than seeking to go ebook a B&B on their very own — they squander time and at times cash on issues that could have been prearranged,” notes Launer.

Protection is also a variable and individuals are additional aware, she suggests, incorporating, “They’re not just acquiring off of their flight, they’re paying interest to their environment, and knowing that they’re going to places that are risk-free and that they’re ready to travel in.”

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