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Introduction to Travel Patterns and Destinations
As well as understanding the reasons for travel patterns, it is important to know the types of trips people take. Many travel patterns have emerged amongst pleasure travellers since tourism began. Today, there are 6 main types of pleasure trip. This unit will explain each type of trip and detail the priorities of tourists that take these vacations. Furthermore, it will explain how common each vacation type is and the benefit each one provides to the tourism industry. The 6 main types of pleasure trip are:
Resort vacations are the most popular type of pleasure trips and account for 80% of all pleasure trips taken worldwide. More than any other type of holiday, resort vacations are focused on a single destination. Tourists that take this type of trip tend to visit places that are well known and have beautiful scenery.
These trips are planned well in advance with two thirds being organised between a year and three months in advance. Travel by plane accounts for almost 30% of the travel to resort destinations. 87% of resort visitors will stay in tourist accommodation while 13% will stay in holiday apartments. The average length of stay is five days and in one out of five cases the trip is part of a package deal. Travel to resort vacations accounts for the greatest use of a rental car (15%). For these holidays, people tend to value the opinion of travel agents over friends.
Resort travellers tend to be less interested in activities than other pleasure travellers. Instead, they are interested in a high standard of food and beverages and quality entertainment.
Touring vacations are trips in which people visit a variety of tourist attractions in different areas. Such trips are not focused on a single destination but rather visit a large number of destinations within a region. These vacations make up 14% of all trip-nights taken in the USA where they are commonly referred to as “road trips”. Touring vacations have no single focus, last an average of eight days and are usually planned one to two months in advance. People often plan these trips themselves and drive to the tourist sites. One out of every five touring vacations is a package deal. Such deals often include bus travel.
The advice of friends is sought for touring locations; however, travel agents and the media are also considered important sources of information. Tourists that take this type of trip are seeking beautiful scenery and lots of activities. They also tend to visit well known tourist destinations. 80% of these tourists will stay in tourist accommodation; the other 20% will stay with friends or relatives.
Outdoor trips are vacations that focus on outdoor activities. Outdoor trips represent 10% of all trips taken. The most common activities on outdoor trips are hunting and fishing. These tourists tend to visit locations that are relatively close to their homes and travel exclusively in road vehicles. 60% of outdoor tourists stay in a camp site or caravan park, others will stay with friends or in motels. These trips tend to be planned less than one month in advance and last three to four days on average. Outdoor tourists tend to rely mostly on the advice of friends in deciding where to travel.
City trips tend to be short, impulsive getaways and are often weekend trips. City travellers like to stay in elegant hotels and eat in fine-dining restaurants. They are also interested in the nightlife offered by bars and nightclubs. City travellers enjoy visiting tourist attractions, such as monuments, as well as museums and cultural attractions.
City trips make up 7% of all pleasure trips. Half of these trips are booked less than one month in advance. 75% of city travellers will stay in hotels with the other 25% staying with friends or relatives.
Visit to theme parks are common amongst parents that would like a pleasure trip that both they and their children will enjoy. Visits to theme parks are common day trips but make up only 3% of overnight pleasure trips. 40% of visits to theme parks are planned less than one month ahead while just over a quarter are planned between one to two months in advance. The average trip lasts four days. 75% of tourists travel to theme parks in the family car, while 10% will travel in a rented car. The remaining 15% travel by bus.
Most families are only willing to stay overnight to visit world class theme parks such as Disney World or Six Flags. Disneyland has accommodation on-site whilst other theme parks offer package deals with partner hotels.
Cruises are the least common type of pleasure trip, accounting for just 1% overall. This figure is due to cruises being expensive, time consuming and requiring a great deal of pre-planning. Cruises appeal to people that would like to visit a great number of tourist locations whilst enjoying a high level of comfort and amenities. Furthermore, unlike touring vacations, each destination on a cruise is a very desirable location.
Almost all cruises are planned more than three months in advance. On average, a cruise lasts six days. Notably, 67% of tourists that are planning a cruise seek the advice of a travel agent over that of a friend.
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