What Tomorrow’s Traveler Will Look Like
The demographic that resorts should be targeting over the next decade.
According to a study by Visa included in the World Economic Forum’s The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017, the profile of the average tourist will continue shifting over the next 20 years, though not in the way some might expect. Although travel by millennials is growing, baby boomers typically have more disposable income to vacation with. And even as boomers age, their propensity to travel is still promising. The study found that age is secondary to income among the considerations boomers take in to planning a vacation.
What’s more, some of today’s boomers are tomorrow’s senior citizens, the world’s fastest growing demographic group. According to the same study, by 2025, seniors will account for 22 percent of the population in developed countries. Building a strong market among this segment will be key for resorts during the next decade—great news for timeshare, since boomers remain one of the industry’s strongest owner bases.
So what do boomers want? “Cruises and bus tours are what the market thinks baby boomers want, and we do want those, but that’s not all,” says Liz Dahl, founder of Boomer Travel Patrol, a website covering travel for those over 50. “We want experiences and meaning.” Resorts should especially focus on authentic activities, because those will simultaneously appeal to millennials. “Most of us are in good physical shape, so some like adventure, some like cooking vacations, and many like to travel with their pets,” Dahl says. Both groups want to check off a list of must-dos. Millennials “want those fun trips we also wanted in our youth,” she adds. “Baby boomers are fulfilling their bucket list.”
Timeshare resorts may want to think about what would attract all generations—such as Wi-Fi, pet-friendly accommodations, and green materials. Dahl recommends providing multigenerational experiences. “Baby boomers want to do and see what they can while they can and share it with family and friends,” Dahl says. “They want to explore the world, and they have the time and means to do it.”
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