Mayan Calendar Inspires Surge in Hotel Bookings, Check Marriott International (NYSE: MAR), Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE) and Priceline.com (NASDAQ: PCLN)
According to a Reuter’s poll, 1 in 10 people believed that the world would end on 12/21/2012 due to the Mayan prophecy, and 1 in 7 think that it will end at some point in their lives. That translates into roughly 1 billion people planning for a day of reckoning. Operating on the assumption that they might be mistaken, investors who take the other side of the coin could cash in nicely. Of course it’s too late to jump in for tomorrow’s much anticipated apocalypse, but no worries, seems there is always another one just around the corner.
Numerous hotels and restaurants were unleashing tongue-in-cheek marketing strategies to take advantage of the dire apocalyptic predictions concerning December 21, 2012. The offers range from end-of-days vacation packets to restaurants designing special menus encouraging customers to indulge one last time. It would have cost you plenty in some cases, so here’s hoping your portfolios are deep and profitable.
From the land of the Maya, Mexican luxury resort, the Rosewood Mayakoba, was offering guests the chance to experience the 2012 Mayan Prophecy for a mere $79,000 per couple. The Ultimate New Beginning package offered guests a spiritual cleansing by a Mayan priest and a helicopter tour of Mayan sites lead by an archeologist. At Marriott International Inc. (NYSE:MAR)’s Cancun resort visitors could have ordered up Mayan inspired spa treatments. Restaurants such as T.G.I.Friday’s featured a ‘Last Friday’ menu that will encourage patrons to eat like it is their last meal.
While thousands of doomsday curious people headed to the Maya Riviera, Expedia Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPE) has seen a 44 percent increase in hotel bookings to the area for dates that include December 21. Cancun hotel bookings are also up noticeably. Expedia also notes that two other countries with Mayan roots, Honduras and El Salvador, have seen a 50 percent increase in bookings year-over-year. Priceline.com Inc (NASDAQ: PCLN) also showed a boost in sales compared to 2011. According to the company, in the last three months, sales have risen 16 percent when compared to a year ago.
Online travel companies say that Americans are still booking tickets and vacations for well after the perspective apocalypse date of December 21. It seems that they are in pretty confident that the end of times isn’t just round the corner. One thing is certain; companies will take advantage of the next end of the world prediction with unique marketing strategies and people will buy into them. Savvy investors could profit nicely.