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Which Resort Will Be the First to Take the Marketing Lead from Cruises?

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While there are plenty of things to chide the Cruise Industry for these days, I can’t help but wonder if there’s one thing they got right.

The spark for this concept actually came from this guy, Dan Ariely, and a concept he calls the “Pain of Paying”.

The idea is this: the more connected our consumption is to how we pay for it, the more painful it is. Ariely uses the example of paying for a meal all at once, or paying for it bite-by-bite. The meal may cost the same overall, but we’ll enjoy the meal much less if we have to pay every time we chew and swallow.

Cruise, Inc.
What Cruises do is pretty simple: you pay for everything all at once and then have free reign over the ship during your stay. In other words, the pain of paying is lower because you pay once and that’s it. No more transactions.

As Ariely points out, even though it makes economic sense to pay as you get off the boat, paying 3-months in advance increases your satisfaction.

Resorts, Inc.
Applying this resorts immediately highlights some issues where this principles of “Pain of Paying” may come into play.

While guests may buy everything before them come, they often buy it separately – booking lodging, then lift tickets, then rentals, then lessons, etc. Every time they pay, they experience pain and incrementally decrease their overall satisfaction.

Then, once at the resort, if they want to go tubing – more pain. When they dine out – more pain. When they grab a coffee – more pain.

All Inclusive Ski Vacation
Perhaps this exists, but what if a resort offered an all-inclusive vacation. For $1,000 a week per person, you get lodging, a dining credit, morning coffee credit, unlimited skiing, unlimited tubing, unlimited everything plus free rentals and lessons (“free” so those that don’t need to rent/learn don’t feel like they’re paying for it).

Would that work? Maybe. And it may help on levels beyond the pain of paying. Planning a vacation can be tricky. If a resort offered a package with everything, not only would that simplify the process, they’d also keep money spent on things like rentals in the resort while instantly tying all activities and revenues to the guest in the DB.

About Gregg & SlopeFillers
I've had more first-time visitors lately, so adding a quick "about" section. I started SlopeFillers in 2010 with the simple goal of sharing great resort marketing strategies. Today I run marketing for resort ecommerce and CRM provider Inntopia, my home mountain is the lovely Nordic Valley, and my favorite marketing campaign remains the Ski Utah TV show that sold me on skiing as a kid in the 90s.

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