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1.Define the term SMERF
The SMERF market is known for encompassing social, military, education, religious, and fraternal organizations; however it has now evolved into SMERF including ethnic associations, events and organizations. This market segment generates room nights through sports tournaments, military reunions, religious conferences, and fraternal conferences and reunions.

2.Characteristics of SMERF
Non profit
Very price- sensitive; low rates
Meet during the slow season and often bring family Members The meeting planners usually volunteer and change each year Range from 50 to 500+ sleeping rooms per night
Vary greatly in their meeting requirements

SocialLocal, regional, and national in scope
Wide variety of interests and purposes
Hold both large and small meetings
MilitaryRapidly growing market
Planners becoming increasingly knowledgeable
EducationFill rooms in summer months
Local, regional, and national meetings
Short in length
Accessibility and value considered important
ReligiousTend to choose family-oriented sites
Price conscious/double occupancy
Meetings last from 3 days to 2 weeks
FraternalNational meetings: summertime
Educational retreats and leadership training institutes
Board and council meetings

3. The Major Market of SMERF
The SMERF is part of a wider trend in the travel market towards more ‘outcome’ based travel – travel for a purpose other than just to see things, and they’re more prepared than ever to travel abroad to achieve their aims. Social travel traverses the fields of sports, special interest, ethnic, talent and dance organizations, with more and more diverse ethnic and professional associations adding to the growth. Examples include women’s groups, volunteer workers and social sports teams travelling domestically or inter-country for tournaments. Military travel hotel planners estimated 32 million soldiers are often on the move usually by military transport, but often by civilian...
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