Most Popular Destinations by Group Type

By Mike Stacy Chief Executive Officer, Groople.com | May 19, 2010

There are many elements that go into planning a group getaway; whether it's a group business trip, a family reunion, a friend's getaway or a destination wedding. For each of these groups the questions of where to stay and what to do will vary.

Corporate groups are more interested in the location of their accommodations in relation to where their event is being held. These groups tend to prefer high-end properties with all-inclusive amenities. Family reunions are characterized by the value they provide for all involved as well as access to the gathering location. Family reunions are about quality time with loved ones, so availability to family friendly attractions are of the utmost importance.

Friend's getaways are becoming ever more popular and are the hardest group segment to define. They can range from girls only trips, guys only trips, local community group trips and so on. Many travelers in this segment look for close proximity to nightlife, recreational activities and even enjoy luxury elements of relaxation. When it comes to catering to destination wedding travelers, expectations are much different. It is all about the experience. In most cases the ceremony, reception and honeymoon all take place in the same location. Guests expect that all activities, services and itineraries be pre-planned by the hosting couple.

What is the anatomy of a great destination for a group trip? The answer is simple, the right city for the right group of people. Equally important is the right accommodation and service for the group. Some of the most popular types of traveling groups are Corporate, Family Reunions, Friends Getaways, and Destination Weddings. The following is an exploration into these groups and some of their top destinations.

To start, corporate groups. All corporate groups want the same thing- location, location, location. Corporate group planners want to place their group within walking distance of their meeting / conference / convention. Corporate groups tend to prefer higher-end properties and all-inclusive accommodations are always on the mind of corporate group travel planners. So is access to onsite meeting space and help with team building events. Also, never underestimate the perceived value of a complimentary shuttle service.

Top Corporate Destinations:

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Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.