A recent survey from Deloitte is shedding some light on consumer travel plans and expectations for this summer. Nearly half (45 percent) of respondents expect to take a trip between June 1 and Labor Day, which is relatively flat compared with those who traveled a year ago (46 percent).
“Although industry data show overall levels of leisure travel are still below levels seen prior to the recession, our latest survey indicates that in 2011, consumers are more willing to spend on summer trips than last year,” says Adam Weissenberg, vice-chairman, Deloitte LLP and U.S. tourism, hospitality and leisure sector leader (www.deloitte.com
). “However, with spiking gas prices, airfare costs and hotel rates, as well as ongoing financial concerns, summer vacationers may tweak their travel plans.”
One way that hotels can differentiate from their competition is through catering to what matters more to leisure travelers. For instance, those who belong to hotel loyalty programs reveal that they most value complementary services and amenities, such as flexible check-in and check-out times, says Deloitte. And when it comes to the overall role of technology among travelers, 39 percent revealed that free wireless Internet access is among their top amenities.
Playing into these findings, Marriott (www.marriott.com
) announced in early May that it is adding value to its loyalty program by offering all Marriott Reward members, no matter what level of the program that they have achieved, complementary in-room high-speed Internet access at JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Renaissance Hotels and Courtyard by Marriott hotels in the Asia Pacific.
Asia Pacific is the fastest growing region for Marriott Rewards, says Simon Cooper, president and managing director, Asia Pacific, Marriott International. “You can’t put a price on staying connected. So we don’t.”
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