There is no universally accepted definition of the term resort. To others, a resort is a small cottage operation. Similarly, others argue that it is a big hotel with an extensive recreation, dining, and entertainment and meeting facilities. For this paper, resorts are basically in the hospitality business and the creation of memorable and pleasurable experiences for their customers. This paper is devoted to highlighting what the resort consumer will be looking for in the coming decades. Also, it discusses how the concept of resort vacation will evolve and what resort developers must do to integrate the expectations of its future guests.
The coming decades will typically be a reinvention of the resort industry. By tradition, resorts for a long time have been seasonal. They have been dependent on weather. This is the reason why ski resorts made abnormal profits during cold weather. Equally, beach resorts actually performed best only when it was hot. The resort consumer in the coming decades will however look for resorts that have year round operations. In fact, more and more of resort consumers prefer attending the recreational facilities throughout the year and not just during a particular time of the year. It therefore implies that resort developers must eliminate weather and seasonality by designing resorts to attract resort consumers all year round.
The coming decade resort consumers will actually look for shorter but more frequent trips, hassle free arrangements, travel closer to home as well as all inclusive pricing with plenty of activities. Consumers will require resorts to offer more inclusive packages that provide perceived value. In fact, the coming decade resort customers will demand meal plans and themed experiences like culinary packages. This implies that developers will have to design the resorts according to the preferences of the consumers. Such factors as perceived value will therefore have to be factored in. The coming decade resort consumers will desire convenience. They will be extremely busy in their overall daily lives. Therefore, resort developers will have to provide packaged activities. They will as well be forced to provide friendly information to customers to meet the convenience need.
Similarly, the coming decade resort consumer will want resorts to be their teachers. Currently, resorts provide to simply meet and play. In the coming decade, resort consumers will prefer those resorts which provide learning and conference centers. Basically, resort consumers expect resorts to play the role of a teacher. They will demand that resorts introduce them to the region. As well, the resorts will have to be in a position to help them learn about the resort’s history, its values and its environment. In fact, they will require resorts to be basically a leisure product which is simply balanced, that provides learning, economic development besides environmental preservation. Therefore, resort developers will be forced to make use of simulators simply to add the virtual reality. They will effectively use technology to add the teacher effect in resorts. They will be required to design resorts such that all information that pertains to learning, economic development and environmental preservation tips are available. They will definitely design simulators to teach the customers (Coy and Haralson 2005).
Equally, the coming decade resort consumer will prefer indoor recreational facilities. Due to climatic changes, future customer will prefer recreational facilities indoors. Even though swimming is an outdoor recreation activity, during sunny day, it is ideal indoors. Stormy weather while in vacation has been an issue. The coming decade resort consumer will prefer an indoor water-park. Many consumers will not prefer trip cancellation due to weather changes. It therefore implies that future resort developers will have to design both indoor and outdoor combination basically by using an advanced technology.
Coy, J. and Haralson, B. Predictions on Future Resort Development. 2005. Web. 12th October, 2012.