I've been in Dallas at the Shop America Tours Global Summit. Thanks to Rosemary McCormick for inviting me to speak about the drive market, a subject which my loyal readers know that I'm passionate about.
I also spoke about the Girlfriend Getaway market and with my passion about the Executive Girlfriend's Group, you can surmise that to be a hot topic with me as well.
Put yourself in the shoes of a mall developer. You own malls all over the US.
You instinctively know that travelers spend more than local residents and further than international travelers spend more per trip than domestic US travelers. You may not know that Brazilian and Japanese shoppers are some of the most prolific shoppers.
What you may not realize, is that people who drive in their own vehicles (e.g. the core of the drive market) spend more than those who fly.
It is simple really. If you can buy whatever you want and not worry about having to buy an extra suitcase and pay an excess bag charge or worry about stuffing it into your existing luggage and perhaps exceeding the weight limit, then you will spend more with less constraints. This is a good thing.
So what is the best way to attract travelers to your malls?
- Partner with local hotels and particularly the upscale ones with concierge services and a shuttle service
- Add your own shuttle service to service the local hotels and convention centers
- Put together shopping "packages" and partner with Shop America Tours
- Advertise in publications that reach international shoppers (the UK, Germany, Brazil and Japan are great targets)
- Participate in DiscoverAmerica.com, the US site for international travelers coming to the US (a collaboration of the Department of Commerce and the US Travel Association)
If you want to attract the drive market to your mall or to your hotel, I'm happy to help you do a "drive market audit of your property. If you would like to sponsor the syndicated research, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.