Photo Courtesy of Matthew Bennett on Unsplash
As we move forward in the year it’s important to look at the different travel trends that are dominating the hospitality world but most importantly, it’s important to pay attention to the age subdivision within said trends.
Dominating the headlines for the past couple of years has been millennial travel trends and we can see why, according to AARP 74% of employed Millennials with paid time off expect to bring work along on a trip. They have become a generation that has blurred the lines when it comes to business and pleasure trips and made it into “bleasure.” In turn this has heavily impacted the way they look for their accommodations for an upcoming trip regardless of the reason behind it.
However, the relevance of this specific piece of information is how it compares to Baby Boomers. Known as just “Boomers” they are the generation that while not the largest consumer group still represents a large portion of travel audiences. According to that same AARP study 56% of Boomers would also bring work along on a trip.
While Millennials are in the middle of their professional and personal life Boomers are looking at retirement in the next couple of years which shifts priorities. As the Boomers make up approximately 26% fo the U.S. population they represent an increasingly popular travel group.
The AARP discerns that 49% of Boomers plan their travels in order to relax and rejuvenate. This means the pressure is one for those who are looking to provide these travelers with a comfortable and stress-free experience for their accommodations. With a budget of almost $6,400 (AARP) Boomers also expect to take four to five leisure trips this year. Making this year vital for those in the hospitality world looking to target these guests.
Boomers are slightly more likely to prefer domestic travel (53 percent) to international destinations (47 percent), AARP found.
That being said, like Millennials; the Boomers are looking for the local experience to be the focal point of their travels and we can’t say that we blame them. Going to cities old or new should always be an engaging representation of the culture within the city. Boomers being an older guest will look for comfort but will also know the value of strong communities and location-specific entertainment.
While high travel frequency and travel budget are both important things in the industry, it has been found that only 10% of Boomers will choose a VRBO or Airbnb type of accommodation versus a 62% that will prefer hotels. Why hotels? The amenities and services offered are an appeal to this generation because of the familiarity that it offers them during their stay. However, those who did rent private homes or apartments were highly influenced by large kitchens or washer and dryer in unit.
Baby Boomers are slowly working their way up to one of the most prominent guests in the travel and hospitality world and companies in the alternative accommodations industry must start to understand the differences in their audience’s age. More importantly its vital to understand that this generation represents a market that isn’t commonly targeted but that is filled with opportunity.
There might be some speed bumps along the way but we know the alternative accommodations world has a lot to offer and we look forward to tailoring to the needs of all our guests, from Millennials to the Boomers.
To view the Baby Boomer Travel Trends Infographic please click here: babyboomer2