Alcone Marketing Group – Consumer Lab

The Consumer Lab is the consumer insights and brand strategy group at Alcone Marketing Group, a consumer activation company.

Glamping – camping, but not quite roughing it

Green Traveler – Glamping – Glamping – camping, but not quite roughing it – NYTimes.com

IF the eco-friendly idea of falling asleep under the stars and roasting marshmallows around a campfire appeals to you, but the reality of pitching a tent and sleeping on bumpy ground does not, glamping, the new term being used for upscale — or glamorous — camping, could be your ideal green vacation.

Filed under: eco-friendly, travel, trends

Postcards From the Hedge: Faking a Vacation at Home

Postcards From the Hedge: Faking a Vacation at Home – WSJ.com

Cost-Conscious ‘Staycationers’ Simulate the Travel Experience; A Tent in the Living Room

Filed under: economy, travel, trends

Rand McNally: Some Road Travel Affected By High Gas Prices

Three-quarters of Americans said they are at least somewhat likely to
take a road trip this year. Nearly a third said they were very likely to take a
road trip. However, two-thirds of U.S. adults who planned to take a road trip
this summer have altered their plans. More than half will shorten their trip’s
duration or distance. However, only 10% will cancel their trips altogether.

~A

MediaPost Publications – Rand McNally: Some Road Travel Affected By High Gas Prices – 05/27/2008
As gas prices increased into Memorial Day weekend–the traditional start of the summer travel season–consumers admit those rising prices are having an effect on their summer travel plans, although perhaps not as much as one might expect.


“In recent years, we’ve seen rising fuel prices and airline-related
concerns prompt travelers to take shorter trips,” said Rand McNally
editorial director Laurie Borman, in a statement. “Even so, the
American tradition of the summer road trip remains strong, with
three-quarters of adults at least somewhat likely to take a summer road
trip in 2008.”

Filed under: auto, Consumer, travel

Health care businesses take off at airports

Pharmacies and walk-in health clinics are opening at more airports in
the USA, hoping to capture a sizable portion of travelers and airport
employees who want access to basic primary health care and to fill
their prescriptions at the last minute.

~A

Health care businesses take off at airports – USATODAY.com
Reluctant to deal with the hassles of airport security, sales executive Michael D’Souza generally packs the syringes he needs for his daily medication in a bag that he checks when he travels.

The strategy backfired for the Toronto resident recently when he needed the medication while he was stuck during a four-hour delay at Newark Liberty. D’Souza found new needles when an airport customer service rep told him about a pharmacy that opened late last year in Terminal C.

Filed under: Consumer, health, travel

Hotels Go to the Dogs

In a bid to attract pet owners, hotels have been welcoming animals. That may be bad news for people with allergies.

~A

Hotels Go to the Dogs – WSJ.com
People who don’t like pets like them even less at $400 a night.

In a bid to attract pet owners, hotels have been welcoming pets in greater numbers in recent years. Nearly half of U.S. hotels accept pets, according to the American Hotel and Lodging Association’s 2006 annual survey, up from about 30% 10 years ago. Many now offer elaborate pet-friendly perks, from “canine cocktail hours” at the Hotel Indigo chain to “rover relaxation massages” at Peninsula Hotels.

Filed under: Consumer, dogs, pets, travel, trends

Air Travelers Increasingly Dislike Having To Fly, Study Finds

Mintel finds that 39% of respondents from the
highest-income households are most likely to agree that air travel is
not fun. It should be a grave concern for the airlines that their most
coveted customer group is not particularly fond of air travel or
appreciative of the value it provides.

~A


MediaPost Publications – Air Travelers Increasingly Dislike Having To Fly, Study Finds – 12/19/2007
DELAYS, PILOT SHORTAGES, AND SECURITY issues may be the horsemen of the airline industry’s apocalyptic struggle to stay viable in recent years. Indeed, while the total number of passengers between 2002 and 2007 increased 20% to almost 665 million passengers, per Chicago-based market research firm Mintel, growth has leveled off since 2005 because consumers don’t like to fly. In its November survey, the firm says about 7 of 10 adult respondents have taken a domestic trip of any type of over 100 miles in the last year, but only a quarter of adult respondents took that trip by commercial flight. That number increases dramatically with income, with over half of respondents from households earning $150,000 or more taking a round-trip flight in the past year.

The firm says respondents with household incomes over $150,000 are almost twice as likely to take a plane trip, and also take more trips per year. If there’s good news in the fact that the number of households with incomes above $100,000 has increased nearly 40% between 1999 and 2004, per Mintel, those households are less likely to enjoy the experience of flight.

Filed under: Consumer, travel

The 53 Places to Go in 2008

The New York Times has compiled a list of places that are a “must see” for 2008. Has your favorite secret vacation spot made the list?

~A

The 53 Places to Go in 2008 – New York Times

1 LAOS
Vietnam and Cambodia
are so 2007. Now, Laos is shaping up to be Indochina’s next hot spot.
Ancient sites like the Wat Phou temple complex and the capital city of Vientiane are drawing culture seekers. Luxury teak houseboats are cruising down the Mekong. And global nomads are heading to Luang Prabang to sample the Laotian tasting menu at 3 Nagas (www.3nagas.com) or hang out by the infinity pool at the seriously upscale Résidence Phou Vao (www.residencephouvao.com).

Filed under: experiential, travel

Setting a New Course

Fewer than one in 10 American drivers currently use satellite navigation
systems, but that ratio is set to rise sharply. Fueled by sharp price declines,
unit sales of global positioning satellite (GPS) devices grew by 235% last year,
according to NPD Group.

~A

Can Garmin Maintain GPS Lead? | Newsweek Enterprise: Global Business | Newsweek.com
It is precisely 3,068 miles from the North Pole to the giant warehouse at the intersection of South Ridgeview and 151st Street in Olathe, Kansas. Inside, workers are betting that a gift-carrying sleigh will be making many stops in the town next month en route to millions of American chimneys. Stacked to its 30-foot ceiling with shrink-wrapped pallets of consumer electronics, the warehouse belongs to Garmin Ltd., the country’s leading seller of devices that use global positioning satellite (GPS) technology. GPS was once an obscure niche appealing to the military, boaters and pilots, but lately GPS devices have begun migrating onto millions of dashboards. And lest there be any doubt Garmin believes this journey is just beginning, look next door. There, cranes are constructing a new warehouse that’s even bigger.

Filed under: Consumer, Mobile, travel, trends

Boomers Look to Word of Mouth for Vacation Tips: Report

The survey of 30,000 consumers aged 42 and older found that among baby boomers
(ages 42-60), recommendations from friends and family were cited 96% of the time
as the most-used source of travel information. Among “matures” (age 60 and up),
that figure was 88%. Fifty-seven percent of boomers and 44% of matures also
cited those familiar sources as the ones they most valued for travel
recommendations. Consumers with household incomes of $75,000 or more exert
particular influence in affecting others’ vacation plans.


~A

Boomers Look to Word of Mouth for Vacation Tips: Report
Baby boomers planning vacation travel rely heavily on word of mouth and show little brand loyalty, according to a new study from Focalyst, a joint venture of AARP Service and the Kantar Group research firm.

The survey of 30,000 consumers aged 42 and older found that among baby boomers (ages 42-60), recommendations from friends and family were cited 96% of the time as the most-used source of travel information. Among “matures” (age 60 and up), that figure was 88%. Fifty-seven percent of boomers and 44% of matures also cited those familiar sources as the ones they most valued for travel recommendations. Consumers with household incomes of $75,000 or more exert particular influence in affecting others’ vacation plans.

Filed under: Baby Boomers, Consumer, travel, trends, WOM

Vacations Get Shorter, but Turn Up More Often

As it turns out, a labor survey shows that more full-time workers are taking individual days off instead of full weeks. Some of the reasoning behind this is chalked up to shorter trips being cheaper, and shorter trips are easier to coordinate for busy parents. But, some of it is attributed to employee motivation by an eagerness to keep up with their jobs.

Labor economists say that the trend toward shorter vacations is more
commonly found at white-collar jobs where workers have specific
knowledge that cannot be easily duplicated by co-workers filling in.
Such workers may also have an easier time slipping away for more
frequent brief breaks because they can remain in touch with their
offices via cellphones, BlackBerrys and laptop computers.

~A

Vacations Get Shorter, but Turn Up More Often – New York Times
For years, Michele Clarke had trouble putting work aside and getting away with her husband and two young daughters for a rest. The last two-week vacation they took was in 2001, and Ms. Clarke, a corporate marketing consultant at Brainerd Communicators in Manhattan, worked through most of it on a laptop that her husband jokingly nicknamed “the beast.”

But for Mother’s Day last year, Ms. Clarke, 43, piled her family into
their minivan for a four-day jaunt to Newport, R.I. The food and sights
were great, Ms. Clarke said, and when she got back to the office, she
did not face a crushing buildup of work deferred.

“If it’s only a day or two, there’s no reason to obsess about it,”
she said. “And the four- or five-day chunk is enough to feel refreshed.”

Now
hooked on quick getaways, Ms. Clarke went with her family this year on
two four-day weekends to Cape Cod — for Easter and again in June — and
to a Sesame Street theme park in Pennsylvania in July. In the coming
weeks, they plan a four-day trip to Philadelphia to see a King Tut
exhibit and the Liberty Bell, and later, a five-day trip to Cape Cod,
where Ms. Clarke has relatives, and Maine and New Hampshire

Filed under: Consumer, travel, trends

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