GROUP TRAVEL SURGES AS TROPICAL DESTINATIONS, CRUISES SELL-OUT
LOS ANGELES, CA -- June 9, 2021
Group-based travel is on the rise as tropical locations and cruise lines roll out the welcome mat for party-hungry throngs of music and event enthusiasts locked out of concerts, tours, and get-togethers for nearly 16 months. Countries like Mexico and the Dominican Republic were quick to open up with no need of a PCR test for COVID-19 upon arrival in popular destinations like Cancun and Punta Cana, while Jamaica, having dropped its quarantine requirement, still requires proof of a negative test result, even for those who have been fully vaccinated. The three countries are home to the world's largest concentration of all-inclusive resorts, now beckoning fun-thirsty tourists back to fill the tens of thousands of rooms left empty during much of the pandemic.
"With so many key beach destinations closed for so long, Mexico and the Dominican Republic have measured the demand and taken some calculated risks by broadly opening early," said Jak Severson, Chief Executive Officer of The Experience Resorts, a theme-based music-focused travel company, which is opening its first dedicated event resort in 2022. "We're seeing a confluence of socially-linked cultures colliding with the end of an unprecedented period of 'wait-and-see' that's finally able to happen. We already have interest for specific week-long events more than a year in advance."
Music-based theme weeks have recently been drawing sell-out crowds who pay as much as 00 per room night for the chance to dance on the beach with other like-minded people. Last month, according to its website, "Ember Shores", an Electronic Dance Music event being held in December 2021 sold out more than one thousand rooms at two popular Cancun resorts within the first 72 hours of tickets going on sale.
Cruise lines, once thought to be the last likely travel segment to recover from the pandemic are also selling-out theme cruises like Norwegian's "Outlaw Country Cruise" and the "Kiss Kruise" for fans of the 1970's rock band by the same name. The cruise event "S.S. Never Surrender", which features artists Coheed and Cambria is also sold out but offers a waitlist to determined customers. Lifestyle events as well are wading into the newly welcoming waters, with groups like Vacaya's gay-themed "Iceland Cruise" at capacity this September. CruiseHive reports that "Star Trek: The Cruise and 'The 80's Cruise' that will take place on Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas have (also) sold out". "People are not just ready to travel. They are determined to let their hair down and dance with their friends until they fall over," said Severson. "The genie is out of the bottle. He has his own event and it too will probably sell out soon."