(PRWEB) July 3, 2006
The traditional family vacation is shifting ever so gradually. In the past two summers Canadian resort owners have noticed that the summer family bookings are coming later in the seasonal reservation cycle. In addition, some resorts are not even being filled during the two peak summer months. As surprising as it may seem, resort owners might not be doing anything wrong. Rather, demographics are dictating changes in the nature of vacations and holiday travel plans.
Statistics indicate that Canada has the most entrenched baby boom generation by percentage of any country in the world. Since most boomers are approaching or thinking about retirement and they tend to be well-off with plenty of disposable income, with their children in the process of leaving the nest for university, work or raising their own families, it makes sense that the travel patterns of baby boomers has changed dramatically. Unfortunately, many vacation resorts have not sought out ways to tap into the changing marketplace and target baby boomers -- these are the one's that are conducting the most amount of travel, but seek out different requirements than the traditional family vacationers.
Although many Ontario vacation resorts have been caught unaware and scratching their heads as to what is happening to their business, a shift in the Canadian resort market is being made from family travel to adult only vacations, and thankfully a few resorts have caught onto this trend and are setting the stage for a different kind of travel experience for those that prefer an adult vacation experience.
Empty nesters tend to be discerning when choosing a Canadian vacation spot. Because they have been through the child rearing years, they generally try to avoid screaming children while on vacation, and they want a full-service resort experience including such things as spa services and fine dining. This opens up a whole new niche market and not just for the large, full-service properties sporting golf courses and multiple dining rooms. The baby boomer generation is also value-conscious and seeks out properties that provide excellent service at a fair price and generally they don't pay "rack rates".
For this reason, a small sector of Canadian resorts have used the shift in demographics to seek out un-tapped markets in the travel industry that will focus highly on what baby boomers desire in an Ontario vacation -- adult vacation getaways.
One such resort that seems to have figured out this trend that is just in its earliest stages is Heather Lodge (http://www.heatherlodge.com) in the Haliburton Highlands of Ontario. Heather Lodge has a rich historic tradition in the Haliburton area, and it has spent the past two years up-scaling their property and gearing up for an increase in adult baby boomer and senior travel. Like most resorts they offer a beautiful waterfront view, but there are some things that distinguish them from many other resorts.
Heather Lodge has reached out to meet the baby boomers lifestyle requirements by offering suites with fireplaces. In addition, they accommodate busy lifestyles with booking by the night -- even throughout the summer when weekly business is the norm in the Haliburton Highlands. While motel units, as opposed to waterfront resorts, are available by the night during July and August in Haliburton, availability of high-quality nightly reservations such as those found at Heather Lodge are typically not available.
Another service that the baby boomer population is seeking at adult vacation resorts is home cooked meals. Heather Lodge has capitalized on this desire by offering delicious home cooked meals served in their dining room that overlooks the lake. In addition, a personal touch is offered as the innkeepers serve these well-prepared meals.
Last but not least, the baby boomer market seeks out exceptional service that is personable and genuine. This is the magic formula that appeals to the boomers hard-wired sense of value, quality, and integrity that most have come to expect in a holiday location. Customers will return again and again for this kind of old-world service and attention to detail.
The one thing that resonates is that baby boomer generation is full of communicators -- when they find something they like, the word gets spread quickly. Connie Meiling who takes great pride in the resorts transition says, "A great deal of our business comes from word of mouth. This is a labor of love and we just keep working away at it, making it better and better."
As the demographics continue to change, it is expected that more Canadian vacation properties will come to realize the growing market for adult only vacation packages. In the meantime, Heather Lodge has done a remarkable job of setting the benchmark for other resort properties in the Ontario region as a high caliber adult only vacation destination.
Heather Lodge, an adult-only vacation facility with five acres of waterfront and abundant trees, is a target destination for youthful and senior guests that seek privacy and personalized service. For more information, please call 705-489-3257 or visit http://www.heatherlodge.com.