At Pilch & Barnet, we love travel and we love marketing. But we also love being helpful. So this holiday season, we thought we’d provide you with a list of interesting holiday fun facts you can discuss at the dinner table, in lieu of politics, religion, climate change, or you know, anything else that could start a fistfight.
Did you know…
- A traditional Christmas dinner in Japan is Kentucky Fried Chicken? It is, of course, the result of a clever marketing campaign designed to promote the restaurant when it opened there in 1970.
- Another fun marketing ploy – Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer! He came to life in a promotional booklet given out to kids visiting Santa at Montgomery Ward in 1939! (Bonus fun fact – the author considered Rollo and Reginald as names before settling on Rudolph!)
- One of the first commercially sold artificial Christmas trees was made from toilet brush bristles – it was less flammable and better to hold heavy decorations than its predecessors – trees made from twine or goose feathers dyed green. (Extra points if you mention that Romans are currently angry over the city’s official Christmas tree looking like a sickly toilet brush that happened to cost $57K.)
- Jingle Bells is actually a Thanksgiving song. The songwriter wrote it for a Thanksgiving performance of a Sunday School class in 1850, but it was so popular, they brought it back for Christmas. (Bonus if you throw in that it’s really about one-horse open-sleigh street races held in Massachusetts and was written in a bar!)
- A Charlie Brown Christmas cost just $76,000 to produce back in 1965 (the modern day equivalent of $590K). Compare that to the 2015 Peanuts Movie which cost $99 MILLION.
- And if all else fails, bring in Alexa. The Amazon device can play Christmas music, recite “The Night Before Christmas” in its entirety, play Christmas sounds and give you even more fun holiday trivia to keep your gathering, above all else, civil.
In our last Travel Trends report, we discussed what Millennials* valued in their travel experiences. Now, Forbes has an article explaining why we should care. Though they might not earn as much as their Gen X and Baby Boomer counterparts, Millennials seem to care more about traveling than any cohort before them. The average traveler (across all generations) intends to spend less on travel in 2018 than they did in 2017—Millennials being the exception. The average spend for a Millennial vacation is $1312 per trip in 2017, which is up 8% from last year, and each Millennial averaged 3.5 vacations in 2017. Of those surveyed, 35% want to take more vacations in the coming year. One reason why they might be willing to take more vacations: peace of mind. Whether it’s to suppress guilt for taking time off, or to keep their inbox more organized, Millennials are more likely to work during their vacations as opposed to checking out completely. 74% of employed Millennials expect to bring work along on a trip, compared to 65% of Gen Xers and 56% of Boomers.
* the tech-savvy generation of burgeoning consumers born somewhere between 1980 and 1995, more or less.
March in Wisconsin Looks Hot
Hot for family travel, that is. This year, most Wisconsin public schools (including the UW system) are on spring break March 24 through April 1, which is Easter Sunday. Local travel experts predict that the combination of school recess on top of a high-travel holiday will result in an unusual peak in hotel room bookings across the state at the end of quarter 1.
Air Turbulence and Domestic Destinations
In a recent U.S. Travel Association report, five out of six adults say that air travel has become more of a hassle. Reasons given include more airline fees and overall cost. Case-in-point: nearly all major airline carriers introduced new basic economy fares which prohibit carry-on baggage in the overhead bins (so you’ll get charged unless your bag fits under the seat in front of you), a move which has angered many unsuspecting travelers. According to Conde Nast Traveler, “airlines have been more forthcoming about the drawbacks of these fares, essentially admitting that basic economy is an inferior product largely designed to encourage customers to upgrade to the next-highest fare.”
This might be part of why 49% of all respondents in a recent AARP travel survey expect to travel only domestically in 2018. Of those travelers, only 13% of those domestic trips have been booked already, and most of those trips are classified as summer vacations, multi-generational travel (aka a whole-family trip) or weekend getaways. Finally, Airbnb reports that the Midwest, moreso than any other U.S. region, is seeing an increase in bookings, at least for the first half of 2018.