What’s Fueling the Values-Driven Travel Trend?

American spending and buying is undergoing a profound change according to recent studies of consumerism in the U.S. Where a person travels is no longer a reflection of status, but a reflection of that person's values. Travelers look for ways to connect their travel with people and cultures, and often hope to make a contribution to society while traveling. It's all part of a new values-driven consumerism that according to a survey led by social theorist John Gersema, is carried over to consumer purchases made in all industries.  The survey, conducted over the past 21 years, also shows a long-term behavioral shift. It looks like Americans are returning to the values-driven consumption of our society prior to the years of indulgent spending started in the 80's.

The Great Recession and September 11th rearranged our Priorities

Most travel industry professionals feel value-driven travel was triggered with the events of September 11th and accelerated by the Great Recession. Americans reevaluated what was really important to them and family reemerged at the top of the list.  Multigenerational travel is booming. Americans look at family travel as a way to strengthen the connection with those they care for, as well as an opportunity to celebrate and remember life’s special events. 

Timeshare Ahead of the Trend

Timeshare is perfectly set up to satisfy the multigenerational travel trend. Timeshare provides the ultimate setting for families to connect through travel. Resorts typically have accommodations that offer plenty of space for families to stay together in a comfortable home setting. They also offer a multitude of activities that families can participate in together, and specific recreational areas set up for special celebrations.

Authentic Travel

The term experiential or authentic travel is a term currently being used to describe an emerging trend in travel. Travelers want to get in touch with the local experience. They want a unique and authentic experience that allows interaction with the people and culture of the area they are visiting. As Joshua Bush, CEO of Park Avenue Travel in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, puts it, "the global recession in 2007 and 2008 made people realize it’s not all about collecting things and material wealth, it's about experience."
Companies specializing in authentic or experiential travel say it is not the same as green travel. Their clients want to concentrate on what they can do for a village or an individual rather than saving the whole planet. People want to not only interact with the local culture, they also want to do something to give back to that culture. Projects involving sustainability, education, and health and wellness are popular.

Should timeshare get behind Authentic Travel?

Though the timeshare industry has been heavily involved in green travel, authentic travel really hasn’t been something we have heard much about. One resort that gives its owners and guests an opportunity to experience a bit of authentic travel is Royal Resorts, a timeshare company with resorts throughout Mexico. The company has a Sea Turtle Protection program that rescues and releases baby sea turtles, and protects their nests. Owners and guests staying at the resort during the season from August to November can watch the release of the turtles. A true authentic experience would give owners and guests the opportunity to actually participate in the protection and release of the turtles, and afford direct interaction with the people of the area.
Should timeshare get involved in providing authentic travel experiences for owners and guests? Do you know of any timeshare resorts that are doing it now? Give us your comments at www.timeshare-info.org 

2 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    The timeshare industry should keep up with the current travel trends. Though many resorts offer a number of activities, it's always good to add new experiences for owners and guests. Though many people prefer to just relax on vacation, others may wish to make their vacation an opportunity to explore more philanthropic and/or educational areas.

  2. Timeshare has to become more current to be more relevant to the younger generation if we want to keep them involved.

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