Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Future Resort Redux (p6) - Targeting Youth

Follow the Trend

Many nudists acknowledge a declining trend in youth at traditional nudist campgrounds.  Although there is a lot of speculation for why that might be, there is one hypothesis which pertains to this series.

The National Wildlife Federation, citing several studies, presents this conclusion:
"In the last two decades, childhood has moved indoors. The average American boy or girl spends just four to seven minutes in unstructured outdoor play each day, and more than seven hours each day in front of an electronic screen."

Youth don't go outside as much anymore.  (And when they do, I'd bet most of that play time is in urban playgrounds.)  As they grow up, they'll gravitate to the city and prefer to be inside buildings.  I don't think many have a desire to "escape to nature," especially since many find nature uncomfortable and maybe even a little scary.  Why would they want to travel hours away from the city to spend the weekend at a nudist campground?  This goes for kids, teenagers, college students, and young adults.  The younger generation just isn't interested in nature anymore.

By having an urban nudist venue, you'll implicitly target the youth.  When given the choice, I'm confident that many young adults would prefer a smaller local urban venue over a distant large rustic venue.  As time goes on, more and more will choose the urban one.

Additionally, according to the CIA World Factbook, about 82% of the total population in the US live in an urban environment and it's increasing by 1.2% annually.  Everyone goes to the city -- either by moving there or traveling there regularly.  It only makes sense that most businesses would prefer being in the city.  That's where the customers are.


Leverage Nudist Culture

In the USA, it's rare to find a hostel.  In Europe and Australia, they're quite common.  Backpackers are often young Europeans or anyone else who wants to take a year off from school or work and travel.  As the name implies, they travel with little more than a backpack full of necessities.

Hostels cater to this group by offering up a bed.  From my own experience, backpackers pay between $10 and $20 at a hostel.  In return, they get a bunk bed and sometimes a pillow and blanket.  The rooms are shared among many different people (mixed gender).  They typically aren't even locked.  They're dirty and often things are broke, but they're cheap.  And many backpackers love meeting new friends through the random room assignments.

The reason hostels aren't popular in the US, I believe, is due to trust.  We're a culture of locking doors and protecting our space with guns.  We Americans don't trust anyone.  Sharing a room with a bunch of strangers seems absurd.

Nudist culture is different.  At hotel parties, we don't always close/lock doors.  We trust leaving our stuff on a table while we make a trip to the room.  Everyone becomes a friend.  It's difficult to be a thief when everyone is naked, trusting, and friendly.  In addition, I'm willing to bet a nudist hostel area would remain cleaner than the textile hostels I've been to.  Offering chores to reduce cost is always a good idea.

I suggest including some hostel-style rooms in any urban nudist venue.  I believe cash-strapped nudists (especially the youth) would jump at the chance for a $10-$20 bed for the night, sharing a room with a new group of friends.  Most nudists don't care if they have a big comfy bed, a door that locks, or the seclusion they get with their own room.  Give them the option of their own fancy hotel-style room (at a price), or a cheap hostel-style bed.  Nudist culture makes a choice like this possible in the US, and I suggest we make use of it.

1 comment:

William Koehler said...

hi i have just read your story and i would like to say that i am younger then 18 and always am fascinated about nudism. when i get old enough i will eventual become a nudist my self and my partner. i love the idea around nudism and i can under stand why my teens aren't nudist it's because they don't know enough about it to try it. they would try anything to do it.