Most Popular Destinations by Group Type

By Mike Stacy Chief Executive Officer, Groople.com | May 19, 2010

There are many elements that go into planning a group getaway; whether it's a group business trip, a family reunion, a friend's getaway or a destination wedding. For each of these groups the questions of where to stay and what to do will vary.

Corporate groups are more interested in the location of their accommodations in relation to where their event is being held. These groups tend to prefer high-end properties with all-inclusive amenities. Family reunions are characterized by the value they provide for all involved as well as access to the gathering location. Family reunions are about quality time with loved ones, so availability to family friendly attractions are of the utmost importance.

Friend's getaways are becoming ever more popular and are the hardest group segment to define. They can range from girls only trips, guys only trips, local community group trips and so on. Many travelers in this segment look for close proximity to nightlife, recreational activities and even enjoy luxury elements of relaxation. When it comes to catering to destination wedding travelers, expectations are much different. It is all about the experience. In most cases the ceremony, reception and honeymoon all take place in the same location. Guests expect that all activities, services and itineraries be pre-planned by the hosting couple.

What is the anatomy of a great destination for a group trip? The answer is simple, the right city for the right group of people. Equally important is the right accommodation and service for the group. Some of the most popular types of traveling groups are Corporate, Family Reunions, Friends Getaways, and Destination Weddings. The following is an exploration into these groups and some of their top destinations.

To start, corporate groups. All corporate groups want the same thing- location, location, location. Corporate group planners want to place their group within walking distance of their meeting / conference / convention. Corporate groups tend to prefer higher-end properties and all-inclusive accommodations are always on the mind of corporate group travel planners. So is access to onsite meeting space and help with team building events. Also, never underestimate the perceived value of a complimentary shuttle service.

Top Corporate Destinations:

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In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.