“Holiday Personality Syndrome” – Yes, It’s a Thing.

By Ben Martin

On the final day of my holiday, I succumbed to what marketeers call ‘pester power’ – the helpless parental capitulation to the unceasing nagging of your children to participate in some zany activity.

Resisting is futile, especially when they gang up on you, as my four offspring often do.

In all honesty, I thought it might be fun to be towed behind a speed boat on an inflatable raft, but my family’s exciting escapade was part of a larger scientific phenomenon – Holiday Personality Syndrome, the decision to do something whilst on holiday that one would normally never even contemplate.

The trend of adventure travel increased 65 percent over the past few years.  And research shows that 44 percent of people are willing to try something on holiday that they wouldn’t normally do, from swimming in the moonlight, to whitewater rafting to trekking into the Arctic Circle to becoming a human catapult (see link below).

Given this apparent rise in daredevilry, there’s a challenge for hotel operators, resort designers and architects to take a risk and broaden the range of amenities they offer to include options that might previously have been considered non-aligned to brand standards, too dangerous and difficult to deliver, or simply too ridiculous to even contemplate.

Having paid through the nose for the whitewater experience with my family, and recognizing the fun that my children were having, I felt strangely conflicted between wanting the pain of the ride to stop and getting value for my money (out of principle, as much as anything).

Sure enough, it took about a week for the muscles in my arms to recover from clinging to the safety straps that kept me from being thrown out of the raft at 30 miles per hour.

But we had a good time and I learned that it’s OK to try things that might normally be considered unthinkable. After all, it’s good to ‘live a little’, right?

Ben Martin

Ben Martin is the lead for Real Estate Consulting for HKS, responsible for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Ben has 23-years’ experience in consulting focusing on a mix of integrated mixed-use projects, resort development, marinas and waterfronts, branded residential schemes, visitor attractions, hotels and golf studies.