Travel and tourism-related business is definitely more than just summer holiday trip packages. If you own one, who are your target customers? How do you consider Baby Boomers as one of your precious target markets?
Straight from a Baby Boomer’s mouth, Rieva Lesonsky, we learn that “this generation loves to travel. The recession may have caused Boomers to cut back on spending in some ways, but when it comes to travel, it’s actually helped spur spending. Why? One takeaway from the recession for Boomers is that we’re putting more emphasis on experiences rather than ‘things’—and we’re willing to pay for great, life-changing experiences like travel.”
Scouring for great ideas, I bring you some suggestions where travel businesses can serve the Baby Boomers’ desire for a more colorful life and pleasure. (Click here to read more.)
5 Travel Business Opportunities Attractive to Baby Boomers:
- Religious Travels
A strong sense of religiosity is a remarkable feature of the older generation. I was able to confirm this observation when I did an exploratory study on aging. This provides an interesting niche for travel and tourism businesses. How? Trips to places with religious significance make good business ideas, for example. Baby Boomers who have traveled to the Holy Land can sell brochures and other related stuff to first-time visitors. They can give personal opinions on where to go, eat and experience the place.
Citing Nancy Shonka Padberg of Navigate Boomer Media, Lesonsky shares that “Trips to Holy Land areas including Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Italy, Portugal and France attract more than 900,000 people over 55 each year.”
As campaigns for green consciousness intensify, more people are enticed to be close to nature.
“Green consciousness isn’t just for younger consumers”, says Lesonsky. As reported by Padberg, the UN World Tourism Organization predicts some 1.6 billion environmentally oriented trips by 2020.
Indeed, these are opportunities to provide for mountaineering, camping and the likes.
- Adventure Tourism
Ask old people if they are old. My best bet is that you’ll get this answer “I am not old.” This was a common answer when I collected narratives from elderly women about self perception of aging. For this reason, travel and tourism business owners should never assume that adventure travel attracts only to young generation after all, age is relative.
Lesonsky asserts, “As I always say, today’s Boomers aren’t yesterday’s grandparents. We’re staying fitter longer and still participating in active sports like biking, running, rock climbing, scuba diving and even triathlons.”
Padberg cites that the Adventure Travel Association reported a racked up figure of $89 billion in 2009 from adventure travels and is projected to peak further in the coming years.
- Boom for Destination Weddings
It’s amazing how many Baby Boomers are willing to spend on destination weddings! Well, this isn’t very surprising if we take a look at those gruesome hours spent searching for soul mates through online dating sites. Special trips arranged somewhere in the tropics for weddings are cool for this generation.
“Boomer weddings are on the upswing, with people age 50-plus accounting for the fastest-growing group of online daters today. With no one to please but themselves, no wonder Boomers are spending their share of the $5 billion spent annually on destination weddings”, reiterates Lesonsky as she cites Padberg.
- Medical Tourism:
The spiraling health care costs are one of the major concerns of the older generations. For this reason, other countries provide attractive destinations to avail health care. According to the Medical Tourism Association , medical travel is a $60 billion industry, reports Padberg.
“With more Boomers looking to cut their skyrocketing healthcare bills, they’re heading overseas to places like Singapore, Thailand, India, Mexico, Costa Rica, Jordan, Turkey and Brazil”, says Lesonsky.
Of course, the suggestions above are not exhaustive.