One of the benefits of putting together our annual “survey” cover story, “Navigating a New Landscape” (page 8), is that we have the opportunity to conduct original research on consumers and agents here in the West. This information can’t be found anywhere else, so, if you are based in one of the 14 Western states that we survey, it will give you the clearest profile of your customers’ mindset.
Why does this matter? Because in all the research we have conducted over the years, we consistently see important differences between Western consumers and those in other parts of the U.S. Western consumers are more open to experiences that are new and adventurous: 26 percent say they want to try new things (versus 20 percent in the rest of the U.S.); 48 percent prefer something new/exciting (versus 38 percent); and 19 percent like activities that others think are dangerous (compared to 12 percent).
Our surveys also indicate that Western agents have an excellent base of savvy, experienced and motivated customers. Western consumers are more likely to have a passport (68 percent versus 51 percent in the rest of the country); are more likely to have taken an international leisure trip in the last 12 months (28 percent versus 18 percent); and are more likely to associate international travel with success and accomplishment (34 percent versus 19 percent). They also appreciate the value of travel: 72 percent say they prefer to spend their money on enriching experiences such as travel, theater and good restaurants (versus 62 percent).
More of this, and other research can be found on our Web site at TravelAgeWest.com/Research. Take a look, because the more you know, the better you’ll be at crafting an effective sales message to help grow your business. — K.S.