(By Street Authority) During uncertain economic times, true value becomes the consumer's guiding mantra. Getting your money's worth on whatever it's spent on is the definition of true value in this sense. Whether it's a great meal at a discount, a good deal on a luxury car or going on a first-class vacation at a fraction of the expected price, true value for one's discretionary income
has become a driving force in consumer culture.
Evidence of the consumer seeking his money's worth is made clear in the success of discount coupon websites like Groupon (Nasdaq: GRPN) and Living Social as well as the proliferation of peer-to-peer deal/auction businesses like eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY). But nowhere is the pursuit of true value followed as strongly as in the leisure/travel business. Limited resources and uncertain economic times force consumers to seek out the most bang for their buck as possible.
And I think I smell an opportunity for investors in this space...
The growth in the cruise line business is proof of this search for true value. Once reserved strictly for the wealthy, cruising has become the go-to vacation choice for the masses. Not only does a cruise vacation offer true value for one's money, it's also a very relaxing way to vacation. Modern cruise ships are truly floating resorts, with all the luxuries and entertainment of land-based vacations. Not to mention the obvious appeal of moving from location to location without the hassle of packing and unpacking your belongings. No longer floating cafeterias and low-end hotel-type accommodations, as was offered at the start of the mass-market cruise boom, today's ships have recruited the world's best chefs and designers to create an experience that is second to none.
The best part of taking a cruise vacation is the price. Generally, cruises are all-inclusive journeys, meaning that meals, entertainment and lodging are included in one price. This amount is often much lower than a comparable land-based vacation due to the economy of scale provided by cruise ships.