Published on Thursday, May 8, 2014
Churches are making a big impact on the group travel market according to research conducted by Going On Faith, a national organization of faith based and religious travel planners.
A survey of the organization's members that plan group travel for their church shows that the average church is running six overnight tours per year with a load factor averaging 36 passengers per tour.
"The religious and church group travel market is quite strong" says Charlie Presley of Going On Faith."Our members fill over 1.8 million hotel rooms every year" adds Presley.
The Church travel planners also have an extended outreach into their communities, and 42% report that they plan travel for groups beyond their church.
While they are internet savvy with 84% admitting that they do research on-line, they also value personal relationships, with 81% surveyed saying that they regularly contact a DMO or CVB at destinations of interest.
Churches that have developed a group travel program are fairly solid, and 68% report that they have been planning travel for 7+ years. Advance planning is an important factor, with 32% of all tours planned at least a full year in advance.
"Church groups are an organized lot, they know that they need time to fill a group tour and for their members to set aside money for an extended vacation. It is common for a group leader to set up a payment schedule" adds Presley.
The research seems to indicate that the travel industry interested in group business should take a look at the religious and church market.
"Why not, the travel planner at the church can organize 30 to 40 people per tour. After all, the members of the church trust the travel leader. It's a win for the travel industry," according to Presley.
The complete Going On Faith travel report is available free of charge at www.gofconference.com.
Move scroll bar (above) left to right for more videos!