It takes people 43 hours to hit their peak ‘holiday feeling’ when taking a trip, new research claims.
But the positive effect is short lived, with the average traveller losing the holiday feeling less than four days after returning home.
As a result Tui is exploring the findings to assess how to help people heighten the holiday feeling on resort, as well as before and after they go on holiday.
One potential idea is installing ‘holiday feeling’ photo booths in resorts so holidymakers can capture an image of them at ‘peak time’ and then re-live the moment at home.
This follows study results from the University College London’s Affective Brain Lab which showed half of those asked said looking at photographs from holidays helped prolong the feeling.
Tui is also developing a new product to be introduced later this year which will help to extend the holiday feeling back in the UK. Details are being kept under wraps.
One in four of the holiday feeling triggers revealed in the research relate to planning and anticipation (23%) – with booking the holiday, putting your out of office on, and checking in for your flight, among the top 30 elements.
A third of people start researching their next holiday less than three weeks after returning from the last trip, and nearly a quarter (22%) book their next holiday less than a month after returning home.
TV personality John Barrowman has been enlisted by the operator to appear in a short film showing holidaymakers what the holiday feeling is during a stay at the Tui Sensatori Dominican Republic.
Tui UK and Ireland chief marketing officer Katie McAlister said: “When our guests book a holiday with us we want to make the whole experience as enjoyable and stress-free as possible, from the moment they book, to the moment they see the beach.
“We all know, and have felt, the holiday feeling – that feeling of utter joy, excitement, anticipation and relaxation – and this research provides fascinating insights that will help us ensure our guests enjoy theirs to the max.
“For example, understanding its’ life cycle will inform our pre and after travel communications and we will be creating something new soon that will quite literally ‘bottle the holiday feeling’ in a bid to make it last for even longer.”
Dr Tali Sharot director of UCL’s ABL, who conducted a qualitative study of guests in the Dominican Republic, added: “It’s interesting to see that a significant number of the key triggers that ignite positive holiday feelings happen before we even set foot on the plane.
“Planning a trip can spark the feeling of anticipation and joy which activate the brain’s ‘reward centre’ – the striatum.
“This part of our brain receives input from dopamine neurons, providing us with a feeling of intense pleasure. In other words, just thinking about going on holiday – or planning your next holiday when you return home – will activate the reward system in your brain.”
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