Like a Virgin
In a recent study by Virgin Atlantic of UK on British workers’ holiday habits, travel agents are most likely to travel to a vacation in the Caribbean. With sun, shopping, and great food sighted as the key drivers for these “travel experts” decision as well as their travel industry discounts. The report goes on, “our jobs can often dictate where we holiday as budgets, interests and level of relaxation required are all influenced by what we do for a living,” said a spokesman for Virgin Atlantic.
I guess what surprised me is that with all of the incredible places, all of the nooks and crannies in the world, that the people with the most access to travel options picked, pretty much, the same place that “regular folk” choose to travel to too.
That got us thinking about where our US based travel agents would go, especially on friends and family trips, so we did a (very) informal poll. I picked up the phone and dialed.
Most travel agents we got in person said they are most likely to use their FAM (familiarization) trip perks and where those were the best is where they were most likely to go. So we dug a little deeper. Hotels, cruise lines and airlines all offer lots of free incentives and Interline discounts so that travel agents will go, and then recommend the destinations and services to clients. So in the US as well, the most popular vacations for travel agents are destinations in warm locations with beautiful water like Mexico, Hawaii, Caribbean, and Florida.
However, if our travel agents travel with their friends on a trip together they will have to pay extra. If traveling together (and why wouldn’t you want to?), they choose to travel with friends mostly to New York to see the latest musicals, shows and enjoy the museums and food. No surprise either that if the travel agents are in search of some extra excitement it’s Vegas as a top destination as there are always plenty of specials, deals, and extras to entice agents to sin city.
If traveling with family, the travel agents we talked with are likely to go to Washington DC for the history and experiential education the city offers. Or they take the different generations to Yosemite, Yellowstone, or the Grand Canyon to get away from their phones and computers and commune with their kids in the beauty of our National Parks.
Bottom line is that travel agents make very similar travel buying choices about destinations as we see the majority of folks make here on Triporama. The only real difference was that seasonality was not mentioned as much as a factor as with our users. But just like us, cost, time off of work, and extra perks affect buying habits of travel.
Not Like a Virgin
So you can kind of interpret our survey results in two ways. Either, we are all money motivated when traveling or, the way I choose to view the data, some times the most popular places are so popular because they are just plain awesome for traveling to together and we all love and agree on going there. I guess ultimately a very informal survey of travel agents won’t reveal any deep secrets.
So we will just have to all go travel everywhere in the world together to find out for ourselves.