The RealEstateChannel has released its latest study, Portrait of American Travelers, completed in part to measure the effects of the economic downturn on leisure travel. The results show that one out of four leisure travelers in America, with an annual household income over $50,000, took at least one overnight leisure trip/vacation in their local area (within a 50-mile drive radius of their home) in the previous 12 months. This trip was an alternative to vacationing in a destination that would have required traveling a greater distance.
The incidence is more pronounced among younger travelers (Millennials and GenXers) than older travelers, yet equally evident across all households regardless of annual household income.
By age group:
37% of Millennials (18-30)
31% of GenXers (31-44)
21% of Boomers (45-63)
15% of Matures (64+)
26% of $50-$124,000
26% of $125,000+
32% by families with children at home
21% by families with no children at home
As reported by RealEstateChannel.com, "These data suggest the phenomenon is more than a fanciful term that captured the imagination of journalists eager to report on yet another manifestation of the impact of the poor economy on the travel industry. On the contrary, 'staycations' appear to be real and represent a discernible, short-term shift in consumers' leisure travel behavior, if only for last year.
"It is important to understand, however, that the typical leisure traveler takes an average of four leisure trips annually, so one should not come to the erroneous conclusion that 'staycations' have necessarily replaced all well-established patterns of leisure travel. But the implication for travel service marketers is clear: local and regional origin markets retain considerable potential for generating incremental business in the year ahead, and this potential is likely to remain robust through the duration of 2010 and well into 2011."
The findings of the study represent good news to Hawaii, and residents here. We live with such beauty on an every day basis, it could become commonplace and taken for granted. But the challenges of the recession have brought a different perspective on the leisure opportunities in our state. While I haven't seen any figures, I would guess visitor count is up at Hanauma Bay, perhaps parasailing in Mauanlua Bay, and golf at the Hawaii Kai golf course. We often look offshore for our economic stimulus, but it seems we may find some in our own backyard.
Hawaii Kai is such a special place to live, and now you can find spectacular properties for sale for a fraction of their value a few years ago. Contact me for a copy of my free Relocation Package and see for yourself.
Barbara Abe, Realtor