Leisure and Family Travel Market Returns in Record Numbers
May 2002 (Newstream) — Responding to its dramatic 25% upward shift in leisure and family travel, Wyndham announced today that it has enhanced its pioneering Wyndham Family Retreat program, the first national resort initiative to encourage families to spend time together while on vacation rather than in separate resort programs, creating an even more enriching vacation experience for this growing market segment.
The Yesawich Pepperdine & Brown Travel Monitor recently noted that though family travel had been a developing trend since before September 11, it has become even more important due to the shifting of consumers' priorities and making family their leading concern. 45% of all travelers are more likely to take a vacation with families since last fall. While the travel industry is still recovering from the effects of our nation's volatile economy, the leisure and family travel market has returned in record numbers, in fact, it was the first market segment to return after September 11 and has now surpassed its 2001 booking levels, said Andrew Jordan, Wyndham's senior vice president of marketing. We expect this trend to continue to a point where leisure travel will completely change to attract the family market.
In May 2000, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts led the industry when it introduced Wyndham Family Retreat, a revolutionary highly interactive program created and launched in response to research, which at the time indicated that in order to spend quality time together, families felt they needed to get away in order to reconnect. That need is even more evident today according to the Yesawich Travel Monitor, which indicated that 79% of families wish they could spend more time together as a group.
Families are looking for vacations that can help them fill a void in their everyday lives. To make up for the lack of spending time together, to talk, and get to know each other even better, added Jordan. Wyndham Family Retreat facilitates this exact need.
Wyndham Family Retreat's popular core activities, Cooking with the Chef, where the hotel chef invites kids to prepare a special meal for their parents; and the Campfire Celebration, featuring storytelling that emphasizes the local culture, local food preparation, and group games and traditions, will remain. In addition to this core program, Wyndham Family Retreat will now offer experiences focused on resort- and island-specific activities designed to show off the culture, geography and history of each resort's locale. Every property will offer something distinct, and all activities will be highly interactive, educational and fun, ensuring families have the adequate time and tools necessary to bond.
A sampling of activities includes, parent-child golf and tennis lessons where both technique and etiquette are instructed at the Wyndham Rose Hall Resort & Country Club in Montego Bay, Jamaica; iguana-feeding events and a tour of a thermo-electric plant to demonstrate how water is desalinized at the Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort & Spa in St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.; horseback riding and rainforest walks at the Wyndham El Conquistador Resort in Puerto Rico; and a trip to a butterfly farm at the Wyndham Aruba Beach Resort & Casino. The Wyndham Peaks Resort & Golden Door Spa in Telluride, Colo. offers snow-shoeing, excursions, family ski lessons; and parent-child spa education.
Wyndham has seized this opportunity to market special leisure programs, like Wyndham Family Retreat that go beyond 'family-friendly' and offer highly interactive parent-child activities, added Jordan. This program provides our leisure customers with value-added amenities and special rates, especially suited to families, that when combined with today's discounted airfares, car rentals and other industry bargains, make this an ideal time for families to get away and spend quality time together for a fraction of what family resort vacations used to cost.
Back by popular demand, several Wyndham properties have reintroduced the Kids Klub promotion, which grants a 50% discount on an adjoining room for children up to age 17 traveling with parents. The Kids Klub promotion is available to families staying at the chain's Aruba, St. Lucia and Jamaica resorts.
The Wyndham Aruba Beach Resort & Casino offers a weekly parent/child trip to a local butterfly farm and the all-inclusive Wyndham Morgan Bay Resort, on the lush tropical island of St. Lucia, is known for its themed family dinners, such as Pirate's Night. Both properties offer weekly Cooking with the Chef and Campfire Celebration events for the entire family. Rates at the Aruba property start at $169 per person, per night, based on double occupancy, for a three-night stay through Dec. 22, 2002, including daily breakfast buffet, unlimited premium alcoholic beverages, taxes and service charges. Children ages five-17 stay for just $9.95 per day. Rates at Morgan Bay start at $175 per person, per night, based on double occupancy, through Dec. 22, 2002. Children ages 12 and under stay free when sharing room with parents. Rate includes: accommodations; all meals; unlimited wine and bar drinks (excluding champagne); Round the Island tour; fitness center usage, including aerobics, use of Jacuzzi, steam and swimming pool; day and evening tennis, table tennis, volleyball, badminton and croquet; kayaking, windsurfing, water skiing, Sunfish and Hobie Cat sailing, snorkel equipment, pedal boats, banana boat rides, and daily activity program; nightly live entertainment; round trip airport transfers, taxes and gratuities.
Originally an 18th century sugar plantation, the 488-room Wyndham Rose Hall Resort & Country Club in Montego Bay, Jamaica, offers an onsite water theme park (Sugar Mills Falls), an interactive game center especially for teens (The Teen Zone), a Kids Klub for ages four-12, and an array of interactive and highly participatory parent-child activities as part of the resort's Wyndham Family Retreat program. Activities include a once a week Campfire Celebration, Parents & Pee-Wee's PJ Party, and a Dive-In Movie Theater at Sugar Mill Falls, where movies and munchies are served poolside with floating tubes replacing cars at this 21st century version of a drive in movie theater. Parent-child golf and tennis lessons are also popular where both technique and etiquette are served up by the resident pro. Another hit is the resort's weekly Talent Show, where guests of all ages perform their talent of choice, sometimes with a celebrity judge. The resort is offering its special Kids On Us promotion from July 1 through Dec. 21, 2002, enabling kids 12 and under to stay, eat and play FREE in parents' room on all standard Island Gold All-inclusive room bookings made before Aug. 31, 2002 (minimum three-night stay). All-inclusive rates start at $345 per room, per night, and include: all meals in any one of the resort's restaurants with preferred seating; beverages, including all brands and wine by the glass (liquor or wine/champagne by the bottle is not included); nightly entertainment; non-motorized water sports including kayaking, snorkeling, windsurfing, sailing; daily activities program; use of the Kids Klub and Teen Zone activities centers; taxes and gratuities.
Puerto Rico's 918-room Wyndham El Conquistador Resort & Country Club gives families their own private island, Palomino Island, just three miles off the coast and features more than 100 acres of secluded beaches and bays with clear waters all around. Guest activities are ongoing on the island, and include kayaking, snorkeling, sand sculpting, nature walks, arts & crafts, scavenger hunts, mini-Olympics, relay races, soccer, kickball and many more. Also available, horseback riding at the Palomino Ranch is available three times daily to riders of all ages and abilities. Guests enjoy a one-hour, 4.2-mile trail ride where they experience the wild life habitat of giant iguanas, mountain goats and jackrabbits.
This resort is offering its Four for FREE family package through Dec. 20, 2002, with rates from $99 per person, per night, based on double occupancy. Families on the Four For FREE package receive their 5th night free, complimentary room category upgrade, free breakfast daily for two adults and free adult transportation. Children under 12 are free in the same room with their parents.
Wyndham El San Juan Hotel & Casino, located in Puerto Rico, is also offering a Four for FREE package, featuring a free 5th night, complimentary room category upgrade, free children's activities program and complimentary admission to the health club. Rates start at $198 per room, per night, through Nov. 22, 2002, and at $350 per room, per night, Nov. 23 through Dec. 23, 2002, excluding taxes and resort fees.
The Wyndham Palace Resort & Spa in the Walt Disney World® Resort in Orlando, Fla., is situated in the heart of America's #1 family destination. Located within walking distance of DOWNTOWN DISNEY® and near all the area's most magical theme parks, together with its Official Hotel of WALT DISNEY WORLD benefits, make the resort a favorite among parents and kids alike.
Among the benefits offered to Palace guests are complimentary continuous transportation to all WALT DISNEY WORLD theme parks, advance restaurant reservations at Epcot® and Disney-MGM Studios, guaranteed access to the Disney theme parks (transportation by bus ensures entry, even when parking lots are full), and the ability to purchase Disney theme park tickets on resort grounds.
The 1,014-room Wyndham Palace also features newly renovated suites, ideal for families. Suites were recently updated with new bedding, draperies, carpeting and paint, and are equipped with a refrigerator and microwave. Resort amenities include a European-style spa named best in Orlando, beauty salon, fitness center, private lap pool; three swimming pools; three complimentary lighted tennis courts; volleyball court; whirlpool; sauna; eight restaurants and lounges; 24-hour room service; in-room babysitting service; updated kids game room and playground; boutique and Disney gift shop. Promotional rates start at $139 per room, per night, including breakfast for two, through Dec. 20, 2002, based on availability.
Key West's 311-room Wyndham Casa Marina Resort and its sister property the Wyndham Reach Resort feature a free Saturday night Campfire Celebration giving parents the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with their children. The property is offering an educational three and five-night Key West Family Adventure package from May 1 through Oct. 15, 2002. Rates for a family of four (two adults and two children) are $599 for the three-night package and $899 for the five-night package. Included are: Accommodations, taxes and gratuities; breakfast daily for two adults and two children (under age 12); tour on the Conch Tour Train or ride on the Old Town Trolley, admission to the Harry S. Truman Little White House, visit to the Key West Aquarium, visit to the Shipwreck Historeum, tour of the Hemingway House and tour of the Flagler Station.