Cel­e­brat­ing the Road

Travel is a gift that can change your world

Business Traveler (USA) - - TALKING POINT -

In the Well, Duh! Depart­ment, the worl­drenowned mar­ket re­search firm of JD Power has re­cently an­nounced a com­pletely pre­dictable dis­cov­ery: Trav­el­ers spend more money in des­ti­na­tions they like than they do in des­ti­na­tions they don’t like. Ac­cord­ing to the 2016 Des­ti­na­tion Ex­pe­ri­ence Sat­is­fac­tion Study, “a great travel ex­pe­ri­ence drives higher spend­ing.”

The study polled more than 26,000 trav­el­ers to de­ter­mine their over­all sat­is­fac­tion with their vis­its – whether for busi­ness or leisure – to the top 50 US travel des­ti­na­tions. The study looked at six fac­tors: ac­tiv­i­ties; cost and fees; food and bev­er­age; in­fra­struc­ture; lodg­ing; and travel/ar­rival. The re­search found that for a typ­i­cal 3 to 4 day trip, vis­i­tors spent $1,169 on a trip on av­er­age. How­ever, vis­i­tors who rated their sat­is­fac­tion a 10 out of 10 spent over $1,400, or 24 per­cent more than av­er­age for the same 3 to 4 days.

Now these find­ings hardly come as a sur­prise to those of us who travel reg­u­larly, both at home and abroad. When we feel good about our ex­pe­ri­ence dur­ing our jour­ney, we tend to take some­thing of that ex­pe­ri­ence home with us. We see the sights, we taste the food, we meet the peo­ple. And some­how that all be­comes a part of our iden­tity. As the Power re­port puts it,“Vis­i­tors of­ten view cities as more than just a place to visit, they de­velop a strong emo­tional con­nec­tion.”

The JD Power re­search also un­cov­ered an­other nugget that’s only a lit­tle more sur­pris­ing: Those who travel for busi­ness en­joy their trip slightly more than those who travel for leisure. When the cost of the trip is taken into con­sid­er­a­tion, this makes sense be­cause busi­ness trav­el­ers typ­i­cally don’t bear all the ex­pense them­selves.

But be­yond that, sat­is­fac­tion around travel and ar­rival is also higher among busi­ness trav­el­ers. The re­searchers spec­u­late that this may be be­cause busi­ness trav­el­ers have“learned to adapt to the travel process much bet­ter than less ex­pe­ri­enced trav­el­ers.” That’s an­other way of say­ing we’re just a lit­tle more adept at gam­ing the sys­tem. The study also looked at the role that food, en­ter­tain­ment and lodg­ing plays in cre­at­ing vis­i­tor sat­is­fac­tion. But the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. The re­port keeps com­ing back to the love af­fair that a trav­eler forms with a des­ti­na­tion – and how that in­duces us to spend more money there. For your hum­ble ed­i­tor, when­ever I’m trav­el­ing in a city I love it’s a cel­e­bra­tion of sorts, rather like the up­com­ing hol­i­day sea­son. I seem to be swept up in a glad­ness of heart that makes down-to-earth bud­get lim­its sound like‘bah, hum­bug.’Thus I’m more in­clined to open up my wal­let, take out the credit card and mash the num­bers‘til they’re flat. It’s the kind of be­hav­ior I’d be far less likely to in­dulge in af­ter I get home, when the hol­i­days are past and the bills come due. But that’s OK, be­cause travel – like a hol­i­day – is spe­cial. As Rick Gar­lick, global travel and hos­pi­tal­ity prac­tice lead at JD Power, ob­serves,“While vis­i­tors spend more when they have a great ex­pe­ri­ence, they’re also more sat­is­fied with the value they re­ceive for their ex­pen­di­ture.” So when that next out-of-town as­sign­ment lands on your desk, re­mem­ber, it can be more than a busi­ness trip.You can make it a cel­e­bra­tion. In other words, do what it takes to turn your trav­els – which are tran­sient – into ex­pe­ri­ences – which will be part of you for­ever. What­ever the ef­fort, it’s worth it. Be­cause what it of­fers is a rare and pre­cious gift. BT

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.