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Thanks for checking out our blog, we really appreciate it.

However, our blog has moved to

Sorry that you have to visit another site to find us, but it is worth it...we have all of our 'classic' posts and comments on the new blog, plus a ton of new thoughts and ideas.

Why are we moving? Basically, Blogger failed us and never responded to our emails and requests. A clear example of poor customer service...too bad, we liked Blogger.

Come over and see us on the new blog.

Troy and Mo

Monday, July 21, 2008

Summer Travel Blues...And Deals.

To most Americans, a summer getaway is a crucial component of the life-work compact: they trade 50 weeks of cubicle-bound servitude for two weeks of sun-dappled bliss, and it seems worth it (well, almost).

But halfway through the 2008 season, vacationers (and would-be vacationers) are being squeezed by a confluence of dismal economic realities: fuel prices that have nearly doubled since the start of last year; airlines that have jacked up fares 17 percent since the start of the year; a dollar that stands like a pygmy alongside foreign currencies. >>Full Story

Thoughts// This Tribune story is yet another article about the dismal travel outlook this season. According to research (validated by research from our friends at Destination Analysts), travelers are taking fewer tips or staying home altogether. Even the wealthy are not immune from the situation and are increasingly going online to scrutinizing prices closely. Of course this article is typical of the current media environment and focuses mostly on the negative side of the story. On the flip side, consumers still view the "summer vacation" as a quintessential part of their life and are generally "trading down, not out" according to Peter Yesawich of Y Partnership and other research sources.

Not surprisingly, many DMO's and state tourism agencies are taking advantage of budget conscious consumers shopping online (over 70% in June according to eMarketer - see below) and are offering "summer deals" for travelers. Here's a sampling:

  • Hawaii: The aloha state launched a "limited" $3 million TV, radio, print and online campaign to stimulate summer tourism;

  • Oregon: We relaunched our 365 campaign in regional portal and lifestyle sites; while 365 has been primarily a branding initiative in the past, this time we evolved the campaign to feature special summer deals fromour partners;

Do you have an interesting story to share about how your organization is using the web to offer value packages to spark travel close to home this summer? Share your story and tell us.

(PS: What's with all the Michigan votes on the poll! I say re-count!)


Katie Cook said...

In Austin, we launched a summer promotion based entirely online targeting potential visitors in the Dallas and Houston drive markets. The promo touts Austin as a quick, affordable weekend getaway.
Eight pre-packaged vacations are being offered, featuring themes such as Green Getaways and Family Travel, each serving to showcase the city’s unique attributes.

Each week, travelers can vote on which of three packages they’d most like to experience, and one winner who voted on the most popular package earns a trip to Austin. In addition, non-winners can book participating hotels at a discounted rate.

Mo said...

Hi Katie - Thanks so much for your response! I love the Austin approach - focus on value packages that tell a unique story about the city and engage consumers at the same time.

Katie Cook said...

Thanks Mo! I'm a big fan of this blog and get great ideas from it.
Keep it up.

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