If you’ve noticed that your trips attract more women than men, you’re not alone: Church travel planners routinely tell us that getting men to come on their tours can be a challenge. It doesn’t have to be, though. Here are five simple tips for making your travel program more appealing to men.
1) Change your image.
They say that perception is reality, and if you’re having a hard time convincing men to come on group trips, you may have a perception problem.
There’s a common perception in the tourism world that group travel is primarily geared toward older women, and that perception might be influencing the decisions of men in your congregation not to join your trips. To be fair, this perception isn’t totally your fault; group tours have long been designed to appeal to women, and as a result, some men aren’t attracted to this type of travel.
No matter who created the perception, the responsibility of changing it is all yours. In order to get more men to come on your trips, you need to convince them that they will enjoy traveling in groups. So consider asking men who have traveled with you before to recruit their friends or even to share a testimonial about their positive travel experiences in church or in Sunday school.
It might also be helpful to review your itineraries or other promotional materials and make sure they have a gender-neutral appearance and are free of any language that might be off-putting to men.
2) Ask what they want.
James wrote in the New Testament that “you have not because you ask not,” and this principle applies to your travel community. If you’re struggling to figure out what men want in travel, one of your first steps should be to ask them.
Approach men who have traveled with you before and ask them what they enjoyed and what they didn’t enjoy about the trip and what they would like to do more of. If they have traveled only once, ask them why they haven’t come along since. Was there something about the experience that made them feel unwelcome?
Next, find some men in your church who have not traveled with you, and ask them why they haven’t. Some may not have the time, and others may not have the money; others simply haven’t had the desire. They’re the ones whose minds you might be able to change. Find out from them what has deterred them from group trips in the past, and ask them what sorts of destinations, attractions or activities might entice them to come along in the future.
Use this input to help build trips that more men will enjoy.