WINTER 2015 | VOL. 40 NO. 4
We Need a Vacation
Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of articles come across my computer screen about an uptick in business travel and, not coincidentally, people foregoing vacation time. I’ve even read that some companies are mandating that employees take time off. And in this issue’s story about family travel, we cite a study saying U.S. workers are using fewer vacation days than they have in the last 40 years.
Paradoxically, this makes our leisure travel-themed issue of Travel Goods Showcase more important than ever.
Vacations used to be a familiar, seasonal ritual. I remember how during the week between Christmas and New Year’s, my mother and father would pack our family into the car and head north to New York City; At Easter, we’d jump on an airplane and head south to Florida or the Caribbean. We always went someplace on school breaks and it was like this for everyone. “Where’d you go?” was almost a standard greeting that first day back to school.
Nowadays, vacation has become a rarity. It also means when someone takes a vacation, it’s an event. And for us, it’s a good opportunity because there’s a holiday mindset, especially when it comes to shopping. It’s like people’s wariness, as consumers, goes on vacation as well. How else can you explain the tons of pricey souvenirs people bring home from Disneyland, all those fridge magnets and decorated shot glasses from cruise ships and Las Vegas?
This isn’t to say our industry should be selling tchotchkes and trinkets. But it means vacationers may be more receptive when you show off travel solutions like packing organizers, travel-specific clothing and compact convenience items. This is especially true for backpack/briefcase convertibles, or rolling backpacks that can help travelers add a vacation component to their business trips, as described in our family travel feature. It’s a chance to have a positive impact on the way people travel, and really brand yourself as a travel resource.
In the early days of this association, we were all about the container. Our annual trade show was even known as “the luggage show.” But that’s no longer true, and hasn’t been for years. As travel has evolved, our industry has evolved along with it; it’s gotten to the point now that travel accessories are the fastest-growing segment in the product mix at The International Travel Goods Show.
As another year comes to a close, I would like to thank you for your support of the Travel Goods Association (now in its 78th year), The International Travel Goods Show (our 69th is just months away), and this magazine which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2015. In an industry that runs on relationships, our strength as an association depends on you. I hope we can count on your continued support; I know you can count on ours.
Whether near or far, vacation or business (or a little bit of both), happy travels this holiday season and best wishes from all of us at TGA. We’ll see you in ’16!