Guy updating us from Florida.
In the TUI Marine office in Clearwater we have flip-flop Fridays. I have to say I have yet to take advantage of this, partly because in the air-conditioned office you really could be anywhere, especially with the tinted windows designed to reflect the heat (and, unfortunately, quite a bit of light), meaning it’s not all that warm inside.
One of my chief projects has been to look at ways in which we may better serve the needs of our entire potential customer base – initially by mapping out both the core and further-reaches of the sailing community. Large parts of the sailing community which we do not address directly include swingers and naturists. Following on from Janet’s theme of national stereotyping, I am going to make one – the Brits and Americans are prudes. We pale in comparison to Germany and the Nordic countries with our naturist sailing (or naturist activity of any kind) offering. Neckermann, one of our biggest mainstream competitors in continental Europe (owned by Thomas Cook) even has Freikörperkultur ‘family’ hotels http://urlaubswelt.neckermann.de/Pauschalreise/Golf+von+Almeria/Hotel+Fkk+Club+Vera+Playa/10003.63.3607-0.0.html – TUI is currently nowhere to be seen in this market.
There is an established community in the UK – check out www.british-naturism.org.uk . It’s not just for the older generation, younger people can join too – for 18-30 year olds there is the British Young Naturists. American offerings are more state-based, so you may have to turn to Google to see what’s going on. Meanwhile, I think we have to make sure that we prudish Americans and Brits don’t miss an opportunity. In order to understand our customers better, perhaps we ought to think about introducing naked Fridays?