Now, it's 'workation'

Working vacation

If you're glad that the media craze of "staycation" has faded and that leisure travel is rebounding, brace yourself for the "workation."

Actually, you should prepare your operation for the reality that huge numbers of your guests bring work with them.

A survey done by Regus, a firm that caters to business travelers, offers sobering stats for us who market leisure:

  • Half of Americans will work on vacation.
  • Three-quarters will stay connected to the office while on vacation.
  • Two-thirds will check and reply to email.
  • Almost a third will attend virtual meetings.

"The important thing is to minimize the inconvenience by working as efficiently as we can," said Regus Americas CEO Guillermo Rotman.

That admonition was aimed at vacationers, but it contains a lesson for the vacation provider, too. If you recognize your guests' reality and make their work time easier, they'll be more likely to return.

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Don't keep secrets from your guests

Tell your customers your secrets

If you've ever worked in a theme park, you know there are tactics that maximize guests' enjoyment.

Among them are heading for the back of the park when the gates open and working forward through the day or hitting the rides during the tradition lunch period when others crowd the restaurants.

Travel writer Fyllis Hockman offers a nice list for parks, but her article really could be a thought-starter for us in all sectors of the travel industry.

Do you have tips to share with your guests to help them enjoy your business or in your destination? You know you do. Why not share?

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A case of strange bedfellows? Perhaps not

Two tourism bureaus in southern Illinois have taken a walk down the proverbial aisle and gotten married.

As of July 1, the Tourism Bureau Southwestern Illinois and the Southeastern Illinois CVB came together as ILLINOISouth.

The new entity serves 19 counties and covers 9,000 square miles. That's more turf than New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware or Rhode Island, but the population is sparse.

"The strong similarity between the Southeastern counties and the rural areas of Southwestern Illinois creates a good opportunity for cost-effective niche marketing," said Jo Kathmann, head of ILLINOISouth.

No doubt, neighboring rivals in other states will study how this union fares.

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Montana invades Washington after tourism office closure!

Seattle

A New York Times reporter said virtually as much while describing how the state of Washington shuttered its tourism office and became the only state in the country without a tourism office or money to promote itself to visitors.

Yikes! Perhaps nobody out there heard about Colorado's experiment in closing its tourism office in 1993, which was the biggest flop since "Ishtar," "Waterworld" or "Gigli."

The move has stirred lots of comment, even from people far outside the travel and tourism industry, such as the real estate exec who blogged that Washington "effectively blew any chance of competing in the tourism market place."

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July 2011

Tax me, please

Many Seattle hoteliers feel the pinch of reduced marketing and are lobbying for a "tourism improvement district" and a $2-per-night room tax to promote leisure travel.

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Jobs, jobs, jobs!

Twelve thousand of the 57,000 private-sector U.S. jobs created in June were in the travel industry. That's more than 20 percent from our industry. Travel has created 75,000 jobs since Jan. 1, according to a research exec at the U.S. Travel Association.

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Weak dollar, strong tourism

Is it possible that the weak American dollar is giving a boost to domestic tourism? A TIME Magazine columnist says that's the case, calling the current situation "the upside of an (economic) downside." It's a good read – if you like economic stories written in layman's terms.

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6 times to drop the smartphone

Here's a message from a social media editor at a national company who understands the times it is best to "put the smartphone down and back away." Number 2 on her list is in a business meeting.

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