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Generation’s travel preferences – understand your guests vol.1

Brand Strategy

This article shows you how to shape your offer according to the travel preferences of each generation actively traveling. 

I have worked with a lot of new business owners who struggled with targeting the right people. They don’t see the point of narrowing it down, and if they do see the reason for doing so, they don’t know where to begin.

They constantly forget that the target audience is more than just their demographics. 

Understanding someone’s identity extends beyond their age and marital status. When I work with my clients on their brand strategy, I encourage them to think outside the box and dig deeper.

Nevertheless, dividing people into generations can also provide valuable insight into customer preferences, especially at the beginning. So let’s not completely toss away the idea of including generation characteristics into your brand strategy.

Why knowing your guests’ needs is so important

We all have different reasons for starting our own businesses. Perhaps it has something to do with your personal life? Your experience and skills that you gained along the way pushed you to grow a travel/hospitality brand? For me, it was my roots and family history.

Often, as we are so focused on our own motivations, we tend to overlook those who should benefit from our service – our guests.

But successful brands know that comprehending their audiences is crucial. Understanding their struggles, motivations, and pain points help them to attract the right clients.

Knowing your clients can influence their decision-making process, loyalty, and overall satisfaction with your service.

70% of the customer journey is influenced by how the customer feels they are being treated, and 86% of buyers are willing to spend more on brands that provide a positive customer experience.

However, to make this happen, you should know your customers and what their problems are. You can gain knowledge from communication, surveys, e-mail, and face-to-face interactions with customers. However, you can also educate yourself in advance when building your brand strategy.

Data and travel preferences

In most cases, I work with new businesses at the very beginning of their journey. As a result, they don’t have enough information about their potential clients. They rely on their gut feeling and assumptions. There’s no need for me to tell you that it’s a pretty risky strategy.

So where should you begin learning about the travel preferences of your potential guests?

You can do this by digging into statistics and numbers. Studies and reports can provide you with useful data that you can use as a starting point for more research. After that, you can compare them with your assumptions and adjust your strategy accordingly.

You will gain a better understanding of various customer segments and discover your market niche by learning about different generations. It is easier to build a brand strategy if you understand some general facts, even though every person is unique.

Read more: Customer experience trends for travel/hospitality brands

is it good to believe the metrics?

Checking the travel preferences of each generation is a great way to get a general idea of how people make their choices, what tools they use, and why and with whom they travel.

However, age does not determine everything. When people have less traditional lifestyles and often do not follow the same rules as they did in the past, it’s crucial to look beyond demographics.

In contrast, reading about generations can provide you with some important trends and predictions that will allow you to plan long-term moves.

Baby Boomers’ travel preferences

The Baby Boomer generation was born just after the war (1946-1964). As a result of high birth rates in the subsequent years after the war, this was the largest demographic group.

In 1946, there were 3 million babies born in the US, and the trend continues for the next 20 years.

Baby Boomers are known for their strong values. Many of them are considered conservative and traditional. These people are devoted to their beliefs.

Why is it important to include Boomers in your travel business strategy

They are still the largest demographic group that ever existed and are still active travelers. The number of seniors in the United States is estimated at 73 million. Despite the fact that not all of their travel they spend around 157 billion dollars on trips.

Baby Boomers have more money than Millenials and Generation Z. that they like to spend on pleasures, connecting with family and friends, luxury offers, and wellness. This is what makes BB an ideal target group.

What is a general characteristic of Baby Boomers?

The baby boomers are known for their strong, universal values. They believe in hard work and relationships.

People who were born after the Second World War saw massive changes in the world, a lot of tensions, conflicts, and revolutions. However, the exact influences vary from country to country. History and events shaped Baby Boomers differently in the US, Western Europe, and Eastern Europe. Even so, we must admit that our grandparents and parents had to deal with some profound changes.

The technological changes they witnessed made them more resourceful. They had to adapt to these changes and be proactive.

In spite of all the technological advancements such as the Internet, mobile phones, artificial intelligence, and all the transformations in human connections, they still place the most value on family.

Travel preferences of baby boomers

This oldest generation group travels to connect with family and friends, take care of their health, relax, and get away from everyday life.

55% of Baby Boomers use their smartphones to plan their next trip. The stereotype that they are uninformed about technology is untrue.

As they are wealthier than their younger colleagues, they are willing to spend more on premium experiences. About 88% of luxury travel is done by Baby Boomers.

Statistics can vary from country to country, but US citizens are overwhelmingly interested in domestic travel and European travel.

Many of them are also traveling solo. This is due to their marital status. Baby Boomers are often divorced or widowed, but that doesn’t keep them from enjoying what the tourism industry has to offer.

Biggest challenges Baby Boomers have to face while traveling

When you are trying to grow a travel/hospitality brand and create long-term relationships with your customers, you must pay attention to their needs and challenges.

Baby Boomers are often challenged by their physical limitations as the oldest traveling generation. A person’s age-related health issues, such as diabetes, heart problems, or limitations on mobility, can play a significant role in the choice of a trip. It may even prevent them from traveling at all.

Most Baby Boomers had to learn how to use technology, but many of the tools that are easier for their children and grandchildren can be challenging. For example, a website dedicated to older users should be simple and easy to use. While younger customers can easily navigate complicated interfaces, Boomers may feel lost, incompetent, and frustrated.

The financial capacity of Boomers can also be an issue. Even though older consumers buy most premium services there is still a large group of people without this privilege. It is important to decide how to position your brand and which groups you wish to serve.

Read more: How to deliver the best customer experience to your guests

Generation X and their weltschmerz

Those born between 1960 and 1980 are currently between the ages of 40 and 60.

Generation X has become known as a generation that doesn’t know what to do with its life. The generation is lost in the trends, searching for a sense of purpose.

While targeting Xers, be sure to take into account geodemographics, as this age group will have different characteristics depending on the location.

The stereotype of Gen X portrays people rejecting role models and not adhering to rules. Gen Xers don’t see the purpose of the rat race. On the other hand, we have a strong image of Xers as corporate workers, prisoners of consumption, and capitalism.

What is a general characteristic of Generation X

The generation of big social changes, often dealing with existential crises, is described as cynical and disaffected. As teenagers, they were heavily influenced by their peers. As a result of low adult supervision, they are often pictured in empty houses and influenced by negative role models.

But what are Xers like as adults?

Many people in this age group are independent, pragmatic, and resourceful, according to a 2014 study. Early studies also found that most of these people felt good about their lives and were generally happy.

They are also very entrepreneurial since many of the big, famous brands were created by Gen Xers. On the other hand, very young people, so-called Generation Z, blame their elders for consumerism and climate change.

Generation X travel preferences

Generation X seems to spend less than other generations. This may be due to their work and family commitments. The generation born between the 1960s and 1980s spends only 13% of its budget on travel.

Their main reason for traveling is to relax and meet their families. Nearly half of all their trips involve sightseeing.

Where do Xers find information about where to go and where to stay? Despite being quite connected and familiar with social media, they still rely on their family and friends the most.

In addition, they often use popular online travel agencies to book their trips and search for the best prices. They also look for inspiration on Facebook and Pinterest, which makes them different from their younger colleagues.

How to attract Generation X

Because of their commitments, Generation X does not travel as often as other generations. It doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to persuade them to visit often.

If we pay close attention to statistics and data, we can clearly see that brands offering family-friendly options and easy booking systems are very appealing to Xers.

Choosing the right touchpoints can also be beneficial. By being present on popular OTAs, using Facebook and Pinterest to showcase your business, and taking care of good reviews, you can achieve success.

Since this generation relies on their friends and families, you can also offer a loyalty program that rewards those who recommend your brand.

Do you look for support in building brand strategy? Schedule a consultation or send me an email.

Sources: Expedia Media Solutions, Skift, Forbes, Condor Ferries, CBI

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Hi, I'm Magda

Hi, I'm Magda

Brand Specialist

I believe small brands have the power to change the world. I want to provide all the tools they need to feel empowered, no matter what their budget is. After all, every brand deserves equal chances to become recognizable.

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