Three Tips for Engaging Baby Boomers
How resorts can meet the needs of this pivotal group of travelers.
Baby boomers are still a booming market for vacation ownership, with a large portion of owners being age 51-71. What’s more, boomers are active travelers: Ninety-nine percent who have taken a leisure vacation in the past two years plan to take at least one this year, according to AARP’s Travel Research: 2017 Travel Trends Darla Zanini, RRP, executive vice president of ARDA International Foundation, shares three tips for resorts looking to retain this key group and keep them top of mind.
Create cultural experiences.
Baby boomers are seeking out experiences that highlight what makes a destination unique. For example, many stated an interest in sharing a meal with a local while on vacation, according to AARP’s research. “Resorts should consistently look for new ways to offer owners a truly memorable experience,” Zanini says. Properties can plan outings to nearby attractions or host community gatherings at on-site bars and restaurants. Timeshare properties have an advantage when it comes to creating these types of activities. “Resorts are a lot like small communities and can offer many opportunities for owners to meet and mingle,” Zanini says.
Equip them with their desired facilities.
Location continues to be the number one reason owners purchase their timeshare; however, amenities matter as well. “Like the millennial generation, baby boomers desire free, fast and reliable Wi-Fi at their resort,” Zanini says. Aside from Internet access, high-tech amenities aren’t a must for boomers. In fact, mobile app check-in is less important to baby boomers in 2017 compared with last year’s study. What ranked high on baby boomers’ wish lists was on-site dining options and organized activities.
“While highly adaptive, the baby boomer generation of owners is the most diverse in terms of communication,” Zanini says. “Communicating with them in their preferred channel is key.” Baby boomers respond well to print and expect important news to arrive on their doorstep, but they also rely on online channels. Zanini recommends asking owners what their preferred method of communication is and following through accordingly. In addition, instead of revolving communication around an annual maintenance bill, reach out regularly and address owners’ vacation plans throughout the year. Personalizing communication according to baby boomers’ wants and needs can help build loyalty and provide the kind of customer service that encourages bookings.
Image credit: iStockphoto