“Going local” is one of the hottest concepts influencing consumer spending habits. More and more people are showing interest in eating locally-sourced foods, supporting neighborhood businesses and, to the benefit of independent hoteliers, spending their travel dollars close to home, otherwise known as taking “staycations.” And the great news for independent hotel operators is this trend is growing annually. According to Google Trends, online searches for “staycation” annually in July and were up 10% in 2014, so operators have lots to look forward to as the summer travel months approach.
Taking a closer look at the staycation trend, here are 3 reasons why travelers are opting to vacation closer to home:
Staycations fit within busy schedules.
When speaking with guests, operators routinely hear how glad they are to get a break from their busy schedules. Balancing professional and personal responsibilities makes taking a 2-week dream vacation too challenging for lots of people, but taking a few 2 or 3-night trips per year is the perfect solution for time-crunched travelers, especially millennials. Last year, 33% of millennials took at least one vacation within 50 miles of their home. Traveling to a destination within driving distance, but just far enough away to feel special, is all some travelers need to rest, relax and recharge their batteries.
Staycations are budget-friendly.
One of the main reasons why many people don’t take their dream vacation is because it’s just too expensive. Even if they find a great hotel rate, other expenses like airfare and car rental can push a trip’s cost out of reach. By taking driving-distance staycations, travelers can receive a great local experience, including visiting attractions and enjoying great dining, at a fraction of the cost of a longer trip to a further destination. Additionally, with a lower cost per trip, travelers can afford to take multiple trips over the course of a year – greatly broadening their travel experiences.
Staycations provide opportunities for local discovery.
Major cities like New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco will always attract a high number of tourists, but 2014 Google summer search trends showed that people are looking beyond the traditional travel destinations for their next trip. Smaller markets like Asheville, NC, Columbus, OH, Seattle, WA and San Antonio, TX, as well as attractions like Seattle’s Chihuly Garden and Glass and San Antonio’s River Walk, were extremely popular in travel search results last year, proving that “going local” is picking up momentum among travelers and has the potential to be lucrative for independent hotel operators.
With data proving that “going local” and taking “staycations” are spiking in popularity among travelers, independent hoteliers must view this as a “low hanging fruit” opportunity and position themselves to capture their share of reservations and revenue.
Subscribe and stay tuned to the innRoad blog as we continue this discussion by providing tips on what independent hoteliers can do to attract “staycationing” travelers to their property.