Why People Vacation
Now that you've examined some information on types of travelers and gathered some demographic facts, let's take a look at why people take vacations. Understanding what the client is looking for can help assess the opportunities on your property for various recreational enterprises.
The major reasons people go on vacation, ranked by survey results, include:
- To build and strengthen relationships. The number one reason for going on vacation is to be together as a family. Families find they have little time to be alone together. They want to get away from the stress of home and work. They look to travel as an opportunity to rekindle relationships. Many also seek social interactions on trips, and view vacations as a time for making new friends.
- To improve health and wellbeing. The vast majority of adults say that a vacation is vital to their family's physical and mental well being. Most travelers who visit California want to refresh and renew themselves by actively participating in outdoor activities.
- To rest and relax. Getting away from work, worry, and effort enables vacationers to refresh and renew. This is the third most common reason why Americans vacation.
- To have an adventure. Many travelers look to vacations for exciting experiences that stir emotions. Adventure, whether dangerous or romantic, provides the heightened sensation that these consumers seek.
- To escape. Many people travel to gain respite from routines, worry, and stress. They are looking for something different: a better climate, prettier scenery, slower pace of life, cleaner air, quieter surroundings or anything else that is missing or deficient in their lives back home.
- For knowledge. Learning and discovery are strong motivators for today's better-educated travelers. People travel to learn or practice a language, study a culture, explore gourmet foods or wines, investigate spirituality, discover something about themselves, or a host of other learning pursuits. They want to see, touch, or feel something unfamiliar.
- To mark a special occasion. Some travelers take vacations to celebrate milestones in their lives: new relationships, marriages, birthdays, or professional achievements. Vacations that mark special occasions are usually taken with loved ones and provide memories that last a lifetime.
- To save money or time. Although going on vacation almost always costs money and time, where one goes on vacation can influence costs. Money and time constrain virtually every vacation decision. By traveling close to home, or taking a short vacation, travelers can save time and money. California residents can be key targets of agritourism ventures.
- To reminisce. Many people travel to relive fond memories. In the case of agritourism, some vacationers, especially older travelers, will choose a farm visit to rekindle memories of the simple, rural lifestyle they remember from childhood. Vacationers pay money for food, lodging, transportation, and souvenirs, but they are really buying a sentimental journey.
This Fact Sheet was adapted by Desmond Jolly, Cooperative Extension agricultural economist and director, UC Small Farm Program, from the Agri-tourism Workgroup and Resources, Oregon Department of Agriculture.
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