Aspire and AAA Worldwide Travel performed research on the girlfriend getaway market and uncovered that this once emerging trend has developed into a $6-billion dollar segment.
Though girlfriend getaways represent 4 percent of the U.S. travel industry sales, most hotels aren't in on it. Of the 1,529 women interviewed, we uncovered many interesting facts:
- 60 percent of those taking girlfriend getaways are between the ages of 35 and 45;
- 88 percent have children less than 18 years old; and
- 72 percent are married.
The primary reasons for getting away is to bond with friends and leave their responsibilities at home to "refuel." Dr. John Gray, the author of "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" and his latest book "When Men and Women Collide" indicated there actually is a physiological component that reacts in women when they get away and bond:
"Oxytocin is the bonding hormone, and research shows that oxytocin is the primary hormone in a woman's body that is responsible for helping her cope with stress effectively. Friendships between women appear to stimulate oxytocin to greater levels as women tend to nurture each other when they get together, particularly on girlfriend getaways."
Here are a few tips on capturing this new blue ocean:
1. Understand that girlfriends go shopping for their girlfriend getaway options, and the Internet is the first place women go to shop. Have a girlfriend getaway tab that promotes special services, amenities, getaway tips and packages.
2. Keep everything easy, from reservations to on-site coordination.
3. Girlfriend getaways are about bonding—not necessarily activity. Promote property areas as spots to catch up and talk.
4. If you have rooms with sitting areas, suites or even connecting rooms, be sure to leverage this. Girlfriends want to be on the same floor, and the closer the better.
5. Offer a "we hold your lounge chairs pool side" service so regardless of when we hit the pool (a major bonding spot), we have chairs together. If you have cabanas, offer them as a package option.
6. Girlfriends like options, so be sure to share added value components like manicures, pedicures, facials, gift cards, personal shoppers, makeover specialists, etc.
7. Promote concierges to help girlfriends so they don't have to organize activities.
8. Girlfriends love amenities, such as:
- Champagne to celebrate their getaway upon arrival
- Special discounts or gift certificates for area shopping
- Easy transportation service that ensures safety
- Complimentary makeovers by your nearby department store
- Lush robes to sit and relax in
- Yoga or meditation classes
- Relaxing CD with aromatherapy
9. Girlfriends need hangers. We love free pressing services, and if someone can shine our shoes, we may just bring a few extras because we don't have time to get them done at home.
10. Packages are great for girlfriends as long as they are flexible. Girlfriend getaways are about relaxation. Create a "make-your-own package" and find that girlfriends will spend more.
Women want to get away—you don't have to be a fancy destination to attract this growing market. To learn more about this Blue Ocean Strategy, contact Renie Cavallari and Aspire Marketing | Marketing Consulting Services.