“Alternative Travel Experiences”
In the winter we catch up on many things…including travel trends (have you all noticed that “trending” is the buzz word darling at the moment?). In an article about the 10 most important trends to follow, this one seemed like the most applicable to our Searsport Shores world:
New Opportunities for alternative travel experiences. Many of the legacy destinations will have to compete with new travel experiences. A new generation will seek combination tourism in which it can mix business with pleasure, short-term vacations, that embrace long weekends, and boutique tourism experiences that are out of the ordinary. Many of the legacy destinations will suffer from the “been-there-done-that” syndrome and will have to offer more conveniences or tourism opportunities if they are to keep their status as premier destinations.
In the past 20 years we have definitely seen vacations get shorter and with internet there is a business component mixed in to a majority of our guests. Long ago we decided that as campgrounds are classified, we definitely wanted to be “boutique”. Boutique in our minds is the opposite of “chains” and “manager-operated” parks. Boutique means that our resources are channeled into maintaining the beach, constantly innovating the gardens and growing the art program. Boutique means that quality is more important than quantity…translation into our world: don’t try to fill the park, instead, cater to those who are looking for exactly what we offer. The prediction that “many of the legacy destinations will suffer” is interesting to me because it accurately describes our guests who choose Searsport over Bar Harbor or Camden. Now the real question is tossed back to you…”Do you interpret this trend the same way as we do? What does “boutique” mean to you?”