A Trip to Remember
The travel industry is no stranger to hard times. Memories of a recession and "staycations" are still fresh in the minds of every travel, hotel and resort professional, not to mention those looking to sell promotional items to the travel market. On the bright side, things are picking up. In fact, the travel industry is expected to outpace the growth of the economy, a claim backed by encouraging statistics.
"Despite the disruptions caused by the government shutdown, the travel industry added 16,000 jobs in October and contributed to more than 6 percent of October's total non-farm employment gains," stated David Huether, senior vice president for research and economics at the U.S. Travel Association, in a recent release. He went on to say the travel industry now has recovered 95 percent of the jobs lost during the recession. Compare that to the rest of the economy, which only recovered 82 percent of lost jobs to date.
And exactly how much has travel spending recovered since the widespread collapse hit? Try more than $100 billion.
The U.S. Travel Association reported direct spending on leisure travel by domestic and international travelers reached $597 billion in 2012 (up $107.3 billion from 2009). Numbers on the business travel side, including expenditures on meetings, events and incentive programs, totaled $259 billion in 2012 (up $44.3 billion from 2009).
There's no time like the present for distributors to get back in the game. From luggage tags and plastic key cards to spa gifts and edible treats, the options are endless. For those feeling overwhelmed, we asked a few suppliers to break down their favorite travel products. Read on for inspiration to take your clients to their chosen destination.
How they work: Table Shapes can be created to the shape of a client's logo, design, building, vehicle or any other featured design. They are often displayed on tables, bars, desks or countertops. (Courtesy of Ron Rosencrans, CAS, president, ProRose Inc., Stamford, Conn.)
Why are they effective: Table Shapes are great conversation starters. Rosencrans explained that their unique design, coupled with dynamic graphics, attract attention at the point of sale. Inserts can be changed to reflect relevant messages and timely specials.
Free sales tip: "A custom shape display featuring a cruise line, a city skyline, a place of interest or a resorts theme would be a great promotion to distribute to travel agents and vacation planners," Rosencrans recommended. "Think how many times a travel advisor will mention the property or location [when] they are staring at a Table Shapes in full color on their desk or in their office."
Elise Hacking Carr is editor-in-chief/content director for Print+Promo magazine.