The trip Baby Boomers most want to buy is …

It surprises some when I give them the raw statistic that Baby Boomers buy 80% of all leisure travel in the western world. In Australia you can put the value of our older generations’ leisure travel spend at somewhere between $3-5BN in the last 12 months. 

They’re having more fun than ever before, travelling the world and seeking out experiences they haven’t had the opportunity to have in life yet. This generation is living it up, and with more wealth at their fingertips than any other generation (or any generation in history), it is high time they did. 

Baby Boomer travellers are a mixed lot, though. And they can be divided into five groups using the behavioural data that our media allowed us to build…

Some want short, restful trips packed with sunshine, luxury and deck chairs. Others want longer holidays with great “value for money” options, with the sunshine, luxury and deck chairs, too. 

Some want rugged overseas experiences that challenge the mind and body, taking them to places they’ve never been before, on big, heavily-planned adventures. Others want to plan it all themselves, piecing together the perfect trip as their year’s greatest goal, finding a great deal on every piece. And, finally, some want to stay close to home, but still feel a spirit of adventure wherever they go.

If these are the five big groups of Baby Boomers you can talk to and properly connect with, stop and think about your marketing activity and whether it actually does this? Let’s point it out again: This person makes up 80% of the leisure travel market.  

So whywhywhy does the travel advertising industry persist in delivering ads that target “all generations” in one, when there is such a compelling customer here and there is five very distinct types of people to serve. 

And yet, when most companies stop and look at their advertising, they would find it youth centric or “mainstream” in tone. Their ad agencies profess it is a crucial part of their strategy, hoping to catch all segments with their sexy pictures of pretty 20-something couples sun-baking on cruise ships. 

Is this the right move – to overlook a segment with such buying power instead trying to capture the attention of “everyone” with generic marketing. Might you be at risk of capturing the attention of no one in particular instead? 

The headline of our article promised to tell you what Baby Boomers are buying in the $10 million dollars of travel deals moved through Travel at 60 this month. And it is these five things, each of which is packed to the brim with experiences and in contrast with the big Bali holiday. Long cruises, large experience-filled tours, high value package holidays, ready-to-buy and easy-to-take Australian and New Zealand trips and experiential cruises closer to home… 

So, it makes sense that experiences are the voice of Travel at 60. Have you got an experience that 60 year olds should know about? 

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