In the wake of the global pandemic, many travelers were forced to cancel or reschedule their plans. Now, they are coming back in surges. This fierce return to travel has been coined revenge travel.
Below, we’ll take a closer look at what revenge travel is, the underlying causes and effects, and steps outdoor properties can take to prepare for incoming travelers.
What Is Revenge Travel?
Put simply by Forbes, “This travel mindset means that people are more eager to travel and less willing to cancel their vacation plans this year after the coronavirus shutdowns.” In many cases, this is because travelers faced disappointing pandemic-related cancellations of their travel plans, and they are determined to finally make up for this lost time.
Revenge travel has many implications, including HuffPost’s assertion that “there will be a huge increase in travel as it becomes safer and things open back up.”
In order to plan for an increase in travel over the next several years, outdoor properties need to prepare if they want to smoothly handle the surge in campers and boaters.
What Is Causing Revenge Travel?
The pandemic set the stage for revenge travel by causing isolation and fear of missing out, also known as FOMO. People have grown tired of having to stay home and are now ready for a post-pandemic trip.
However, “regular” travel plans may not cut it for this year’s vacation. After missing over a year of travel, individuals are looking to take bigger, more expensive — and often longer — trips than ever before.
Which Areas and Properties Should Be Aware of Revenge Travel?
Since travelers have been waiting for so long, they may crave a more interesting location or be willing to pay more money for a unique experience.
Booking flights has become complicated and many flights have been canceled, so domestic travel by vehicle is likely to increase. People are choosing to drive, so camping trips — and glamping, which is comfortable camping with amenities — will continue to grow in popularity.
Revenge campers may be able to bring more equipment and gear with them in their vehicles than they would on a plane. Plus, many are willing to splurge in order to have a great time, so it's likely that they’ll look for campsites and marinas that are in close proximity to interesting outdoor activities such as:
- Rock climbing.
- Cave exploration.
- Fishing and other water sports.
- Horseback riding.
- Theme parks.
In general, outdoor properties should expect an influx of revenge travelers looking for a great experience that is different — and more exciting — from their pre-pandemic trips.
How Can Outdoor Properties Prepare?
1. Targeted Marketing
Outdoor properties can capitalize on the revenge travel trend through the use of marketing tailored to the prospective needs of revenge travelers. If an outdoor property is in a smaller city, it’s important to reach a wider audience such as through email marketing, developing a social media presence, and enticing visitors on a user-friendly hospitality website.
Younger generations are comfortable with shopping and booking reservations completely online. If an outdoor property website is mobile-friendly, this can make it easier for visitors to view high-quality photographs of the property, find information about the campground or marina, and quickly make their reservation decisions.
2. Updated Amenities, Trained Staff, and Streamlined Operations
Travelers who have been planning a trip for months may have higher expectations than pre-pandemic travelers. Accommodation features such as reliable WiFi, equipment rentals, entertainment, and a warm welcome could drastically improve a guest’s experience. These amenities can be the difference between a traveler taking a trip to cross something off their bucket list and a loyal repeat visitor who tells their friends about the experience.
While having updated amenities and attractive property features is key to engaging guests, outdoor property staff should be prepared to handle requests and provide excellent customer service through continuous education and training.
Since revenge travel is expected to come in waves, travelers may start to rely on self-service features to manage their reservations, such as independent check-in and check-out processes.
Revenge Travel and Business Growth
While today’s guests are focused on having bigger, more exciting adventures, traveler preferences are always changing. New trends are sure to arise, and it’s possible, thanks to revenge travel, that post-pandemic travel will see a more permanent shift to camping and outdoor activities.
Due to the shifting atmosphere of the industry, it’s more important than ever to keep up with travel trends so that outdoor properties can adapt to changing customer expectations and travel goals. When paired with continuous education for staff members and updated amenities and property features, an integrated reservation management system can help streamline operations and give all visitors the best guest experience possible no matter the motives behind the reservations.
Being ready for the increase in revenge travel reservations can help your business grow during these uncertain times.
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