This year, my two partners and I launched the boutique travel company Unquote Travel. We created Unquote Travel to help other travelers experience the world through well-designed itineraries, insightful tour leaders, and meaningful encounters with locals after more than 15 years of travel. We share the same vision; travel in a method that gives you better experiences. We will be passing on tourist traps in favor of sites of cultural interest. We will be using public transport when possible, showing you how independent travelers navigate. We’ll stay at small hostels and family-run guesthouses and eat where the locals eat. Our pace of travel will be slower than a typical group which will allow us to gain a deeper understanding of each place. Our travel leaders have years of independent travel experience and will be sharing their tricks of the trade. Since our launch back in 2016, we’ve been taking travelers to Mongolia, Colombia, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, and Peru, and there are so many exciting tours are on the way. It’s hard work but the reward is unmeasurably great.
As a 2/3 American-owned company, our top target audience is Americans followed by Asians. While it’s challenging to compete with other travel companies in the industry, I can’t help but think that the future of the company (and the travel industry) is bright. There’s always a lot of interest whenever we finish one of our tours and many already ‘promised’ to come back to travel with us. Professional studies done by various organizations also backup the trend.
Based on the report released by the travel insurance company Allianz, Americans are spending more on summer vacations this year, topping $100 billion for the first time. Report of the eighth annual Allianz Travel Insurance Vacation Confidence Index by Allianz Global Assistance says this is the first time in the survey’s eight-year history that vacation spending has surpassed the $100 billion mark and represents a 12.5 percent increase over last year.
“Americans are feeling better about the economy and have loosened their purse strings for summer 2017,” said Daniel Durazo, director of communications at Allianz Global Assistance USA. “We’re happy to see that for the first time in the eight year history of the Vacation Confidence Index, vacation spending will hit an impressive $100 billion. This new milestone is great news for the travel industry.”
The survey, which tracks Americans’ confidence that they will be able to take a summer vacation, revealed that more than four in ten (44 percent, up one point since last year) are confident they’ll take a summer vacation (34 percent very/10 percent somewhat), and half (51 percent, up a point) are confident about the prospect of a vacation at some point in 2017. Four in ten (40 percent) aren’t confident about taking a vacation, while one in ten (nine percent) have already taken one.
While Americans are slightly more confident they’ll take a vacation this year, some are questioning its overall importance. Down a significant six points since last year, the survey found that 59 percent of Americans say that taking an annual vacation is important to them (32 percent very/27 percent somewhat), and one in four (23 percent) say that annual vacations are not at all important to them.
Now, all we have to do at Unquote Travel is to get in touch with the 44% of Americans who are planning to take the summer vacation!
At Unquote Travel, we require all travelers to have travel insurance. Personally, I’ve never traveled without a proper form of insurance since I took my first international flight in 2004. A lot of people have asked me if they ‘need travel insurance’ and the answer is always yes. Thankfully, I didn’t have to claim anything (and hopefully I can keep it that way) but it always provides me with peace of mind.
But one time, my travel insurance came to the rescue when rain got into my less than one-year-old Macbook Pro. They didn’t get me a new laptop but provided me some compensation that helped me getting a brand new laptop. Also, I’d like to think that my family can benefit from the insurance if anything might happen.
“With the vacation spend breaking $100 billion, travel insurance is a must-have,” the report says. “The right travel insurance policy can protect a consumer’s pre-paid travel expenses when they have to cancel their trip due to certain unexpected situations, such as a covered illness or injury, and it may also provide reimbursements for things like medical emergencies, delayed travel, and lost or delayed baggage.”
#The Vacation Confidence Index has been conducted each summer since 2010 by national polling firm Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of Allianz Global Assistance USA. A vacation is defined as a leisure trip of at least a week to a place that is 100 miles or more from home.
#This post is sponsored by Allianz Global Assistance (AGA Service Company) and I have received financial compensation.