Traveling With A Disability – It CAN Be Done

For many years people who were suffering from disabilities whether minor or more serious might have thought it best to avoid vacations like cruises, for the simple reason that they felt it might be too dangerous or that their specialist needs and requirements for safety and comfort might not be met. Nowadays, it’s pleasing to report that all of that is changing and more and more cruise liners and companies are putting the effort into making sure that people with mobility issues are well catered for and made to feel that they can have a relaxing and enjoyable vacation that is as stress free and pleasant as possible.

It’s important that you take responsibility for your needs, think ahead and forward plan for your trip. You’ll need to consider the type of room you’ll need, whether it will need to have any adaptation made to it and also whether you’ll be allowed to take things like a mobility scooter or wheelchair on board with you. These days most cruise liners will allow both, but they will need to be made aware of this well in advance of you traveling.

Some cruise liners have specially adapted rooms – these can actually be up to fifty percent larger than regular cabins for travelers, to allow for specialist equipment to be placed within or changes to be made at short notice. You may also have to contact a reputable, outside agency – very often these can be recommended by your cruise company, to help with mobility equipment such as shower seats, hoists and handrails, or anything else you might need to make the stay on your cruise liner of choice a memorable and happy one.

Written By Guest Blogger: Sally James


Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: The Collapse Of The RV industry

j0182280 mature market campers and RVs

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – The collapse of the RV industry– According to the Warranty Week, no segment seems to have been harder hit by the recent recession than recreational vehicles with the virtual collapse of the RV (recreational vehicles) industry. The report states the accruals made by manufacturers in the RV industry over the past six years increased in the second quarter of 2005 to $79 million, whereas in the final quarter of 2008 they were barely over $41 million.

The industry’s current problems stem from consumer loss of income, fluctuating interest rates, increase in fuel prices and diminished home equity financings over the last two years.

Despite being among one of the cheapest ways for Americans to vacation, Mark Schone, attributes the industry’s sudden breakdown to recession. In addition the industry has also experienced a unique and painful credit crunch, which makes it difficult to arrange loans for those who still have hopes. The two major RV manufacturers, Country Coach and Monaco Coach are on the verge of bankruptcy (by the way, if your company faces bankruptcy -regardless of industry- my brother’s firm, Equity Partners, may be able to help you).

A study conducted by the University of Michigan’s Survey Research Center outlines the main reason for the growth in the numbers of RVs owned by Americans. RVs had reached record levels in the past couple of years. By the end of the decade, the number of consumers aged 50 to 64 will total 57 million or 38 percent which is higher than in 2000, as noted by Dr. Richard Curtin, director of surveys at the University of Michigan. Today there are around 8.5 million functioning RVs, which has led to a drastic growth of 58% since 1980 and one-in-12 vehicle-owning households in the above age group own at least one RV.

Even though there was a sudden decrease in the value of manufacturers’ sales of RVs in 2001, the RV market has shown immense growth in the following years. In 2004, the sales had increased by 6.7% to reach $11.4 billion, which was higher than the $7.4 billion in 2001.

Since 70% of RV production is located in Indiana and 15% in Oregon and California, these states are currently experiencing wild unemployment. Indiana currently has the highest unemployment rate in the United States.

My parters and I, at TR Mann Consulting, believe is that the industry association needs to make an aggressive advertising move. This recession is actually an opportunity for them to gain market position by positioning themselves as a vacation value. But they need to do so, by making a move to mainstream media . . . something they have been historically reluctant to do.


Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: Mature Market Skiers and The Economy

CB047167 mature market skiers

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – mature market skiers and the economy – I recently went skiing close to home (Deep Creek, Maryland) with my wife and children and couldn’t help but notice the slopes were packed. Long lines everywhere you went. Didn’t seem like the economy was slowing business down at all. Upon closer review, I’d be willing to bet that many families are and will be vacationing closer to home to save money. The other thing I couldn’t help but notice is that the slopes were filled with boomers. In fact, in many instances I saw three generations of skiers from families. This broadening of the market has to be helping ski resorts. I know my parents weren’t skiing at 60. My observation of more mature market skiers definitely echoes what the industry is reporting:

The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) 2008 National Demographic Study states that there are continued gains in visitation among skiers and riders aged 45 and over. Since the winter of 1997-98, the proportion of skiers aged 45 to 54 has increased from 14% to 19.9% in the U.S., says the association. Skiers aged 55 to 64 has doubled from 4.6 percent to 9.2 percent; and the proportion of visitors aged 65 and over has also increased substantially, from 2.4 percent to 3.8 percent. The NSAA press release states, “According to the study, the loyalty and staying power of older participants has been a plus for ski resorts and has been a key driver of the success enjoyed by the industry in recent seasons.” Last season, the industry tallied a record 60.5 million skier visits nationally.

Just imagine how much more business they would be doing if they catered some more to baby boomer needs. I can tell you that ski lifts, as they are designed today, continue to be a major barrier for young and old. I saw more falls in these areas than any other part of the resort. I also think ski boots need a redesign, as they are far heavier than they need to be. And finally, I’d encourage the resorts to consider shorter ski rental periods and rates. Many grandparents would love to go down the bunny hill with their grandkids once or twice but don’t want to spend the day out there . . . and would happily retire to the bar or spa (with their wallets) after a couple of trips down.

By the way, TR Mann Consulting’s client GRAND Magazine, had a wonderful article on the top four ski resorts for grandparents and their grandkids.

Mexico’s Growing Assisted Living Market Targets U.S. Retirees

It appears that Mexico is looking to combine cost advantages and the resort-like experience to compete for U.S.-based mature market and assisted living customers.  As featured in the Dallas Morning News.

By LAURENCE ILIFF / The Dallas Morning News

SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE, Mexico – Laredo native Alice Edwards and her helicopter pilot husband have an active lifestyle in this picturesque town popular among retired Texans.

But the 60-somethings are also the new owners of a townhouse in Mexico’s first assisted-living development aimed at the U.S. market, Cielito Lindo.

Continue reading

Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: Holidays


The mature market is ready to travel! The over 50s go away 37% more often than youngsters – taking an average of eight or nine breaks a year.


Source: CIRCUS



Plus, mature market travelers typically spend 74% more on vacations than the 18-49 year old population segment.


Source: JWT

Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: The 62+ Consumer

Mature market woman beach

Here’s a PowerPoint about the mature market consumer, in particular, seniors 62+. Enjoy.

Mature Market Stat of The Day: Seniors Spend More Money on Travel Than Any Other Age Group

No one spends more money on travel than the mature market.

No one spends more money on travel than the mature market.

The mature market likes to travel more often and at a higher level of luxury than any other market segment. Seniors represent 80% of all luxury travel purchased in the U.S., make up 65% of all cruise passengers and typically spend 74% more on vacations than the 18-49 year old population segment.
Source: Mature Market Facts, 2003