Women Hit the Road and Travel Industry Responds with New Targeted Marketing Campaigns and Products
Tired of fielding endless rounds of "Are we there yet," more and more women are opting to vacation with other female friends.
Travel planning sites such as "I'm In!" have noted the trend. After a year of seeing plans for "Mancations" which served all-male travel requests, site co-founder Josh Lesnick noticed a shift. "We are seeing a tremendous amount of interest in women's two-and three-day trip itineraries," he says. Activity from groups of moms has doubled since last fall, he added. "Women traveling in groups is the evolution of the Girls Night Out."
Research supports the anecdotes. A poll of American Express travel agents found women are traveling in all female groups more--and opening their wallets wide to do it.
* 68% of agents say women are booking more luxurious single sex vacations than in years past.
* More than a third of agents say women are spending between $2,600 and $5,000 per person when traveling with a group of girl-friends or female relatives.
* 92% of female travelers say they take their girlfriends getaways guilt-free; 64% say they feel liberated by the experience.
Spa, beach and shopping vacations are the most popular, AmEx agents note. But other activities showing gains are golf, skiing, scuba diving and biking.
Trips For Mom Groups
The I'm In! website, which posts sample itineraries for visitors to download, says mom groups are choosing a variety of activities and destinations. The most popular itineraries for mom groups are: Cross Town Pampercation (a New York City girls weekend) Women in Whistler (Mountain biking, heli-hiking and rock climbing in Montana) Camelback Mountain Sanctuary (A three-day retreat in Arizona), Mackinac Mamas (Mackinac Island getaway) and Nothin' But Napa (Calistoga resort and yoga retreat).
Even travel commonly associated with men is attracting more women. The 2006 Adventure Travel Industry Survey finds women comprise the majority of the world's adventure travelers (52%). The average cost of a trip: $2,122, airfare not included.
American Airlines is eager to tap the trend. Its latest online effort is a website dedicated to female travelers. (See "American Unveils Site For Female Travelers," MTW 5/1/07 p. 5) The site features news and information about American travel products, as well as content geared towards the female traveler, such as how to deal with security issues on the road.
Another part of the trend: companies that have always targeted women for travel packages are now able to attract celebrity talent to sweeten their offers. …