Ypartnership Reveal Vacation Info


NEW YORK (Sept. 18, 2008) -- Vacations have always been a welcomed source of rest and relaxation, yet a new survey reveals they are increasingly motivated by events of high “personal significance.” 

In a national survey of approximately 4,600 adults conducted by Ypartnership in June of 2008, better than eight out of ten (81%) respondents reported having celebrated a “special occasion” on a vacation, and almost three-quarters (70%)  revealed they have taken a vacation primarily to celebrate a special occasion.  Most frequently mentioned were anniversaries and birthdays.  Adults less than 35 years of age (75%) were more likely to have taken such a vacation than adults over 55 years of age (69%).

“The motivations revealed in this fascinating piece of work suggest that vacations are increasingly viewed as an appropriate way to either recognize or reward the participants for some event of great significance in their lives,” said Dr. Peter C. Yesawich, whose marketing services firm authored the survey.  “As such, we call them ‘celebration vacations’.”

Most Significant Life Events
Survey respondents were asked to rate the “life events” of greatest personal significance then identify those they were most likely to celebrate by taking a special vacation.  The life events for which a leisure trip is considered most appropriate include:

A “milestone” anniversary – 78%
Honeymoon – 75%
Family reunion – 70%
First vacation with children – 67%
Joining of families/family honeymoon – 63%
A “milestone” birthday – 59%
Anniversary – 57%
Retirement – 55%
School or College Reunion – 54%
Quinceanñeras – 54%
School Graduation – 51%
Bar/Bat Mitzvah – 50%

By comparison, 28% mentioned “recovery from a personal illness,” 26% cited “a promotion” and 23% mentioned “scholastic achievement.”  And leisure travelers with children in the household were more likely than those without children to agree that “rewarding performance” is an appropriate reason for taking a vacation.

The Anatomy of ‘Celebration Vacations’
“Celebration vacations” are most likely to be planned around and include the special event being celebrated: two thirds (68%) of respondents who took such a vacation stated the event they celebrated actually took place during the vacation.  Given their apparent significance, it’s not surprising to note that one out of five (18%) leisure travelers stated, compared to “typical vacations,” their “celebration vacations” included more people in the traveling party, one out of five (20%) said their length of stay was longer, one out of four (25%) planned the vacations much further in advance and fully four out of ten (40%) spent more on such vacations.

And their motivations for taking such vacations were a direct result of a desire to spend more “family time” on vacation: approximately three-fourths did so to reconnect with family (77%), a comparable percentage did so to mark a special moment for someone (76%) or create a special memory for someone (75%).

Asked how influential specific vacation attributes were when selecting a destination for a family-oriented “celebration vacation,” more than over eight in ten leisure travelers mentioned the following:

•    Activities that adults and children can experience together
•    Cost of getting there
•    Variety of activities for everyone in the vacation party
•    Cost of staying there
•    Activities available for the kids

Destination Preferences
When asked about the destinations they would most like to visit with children on a “celebration vacation,” respondents cited the Disney theme parks (40% combined), Hawaii (18%), Florida {other than Walt Disney World Resort} (13%), Europe (13%), and the Caribbean (12%).  Interestingly, respondents without children in their household mentioned Walt Disney World Resort as the preferred destination for a “celebration vacation” with a comparable frequency to those with children (33% versus 27% respectively).  The same was true among respondents over 55 years of age versus those between 21 and 34 years of age (34% versus 29% respectively).

Theme parks were mentioned as a preferred venue for “celebration vacations” that included children, as demonstrated evidenced by respondents’ reply to a question about how likely they were to visit specific destinations on a vacation that included the celebration of a special occasion:

Walt Disney World Resort (Orlando) – 69%
Universal Studios (Orlando) – 54%
SeaWorld (Orlando) – 54%
Disneyland Resort (Anaheim) – 45%
Sea World (San Diego) – 40%
Busch Gardens (Tampa) – 37%
Universal Studios (Hollywood) – 36%
Busch Gardens (Williamsburg) – 29%

And when asked about the activities in which they were most likely to participate on a “celebration vacation” that included children respondents cited, among other things, “enjoy a special meal” (54%), “buy souvenirs” and “do more photography/video” (43%), stay in nicer accommodations (31%), “dine in fancier restaurants” (25%), “stay longer” (22%) and “travel farther” (21%). 

The data for this survey were obtained during the month of June, 2008, in an online poll of 4,596 adults.  The results are representative of all U.S. adults who are active travelers (took at least one overnight trip during the previous 12 months).  All estimates are subject to an error interval of +/- 1.8% at the 95% level of confidence.

For more information contact Noel Perkins at noel.perkins@ypartnership.com or 407/875-1111.

Ypartnership is America’s leading marketing, advertising and public relations agency serving travel, leisure and entertainment clients and co-author of the widely-acclaimed National Travel Monitor™ with Yankelovich, Inc. Headquartered in Orlando, the agency maintains additional offices in New York, Los Angeles, Honolulu, Vancouver, Mexico City and London.

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