Travel tribes come in all shapes and sizes – ages, too! When you’re selling group travel, you have to meet people where they are. In other words, you’re probably not going to market to millennials and boomers in the same way. Every generation has its own unique travel needs. Here are 9 easy ways to market group travel across the ages!
Baby Boomers (57-75 years old)
Baby Boomers make up a whopping 22% of the U.S. population and spent $6,600 on leisure travel in 2019. These guys have time and money to spend on travel. That’s why group travel planners need to be savvy in how they capture the Boomer market.
Emphasize pricing and senior discounts
Baby boomers are notoriously thrifty. That’s why they are retired with disposable incomes while the rest of us are buried in bills!
Play up any senior discounts or partnerships with AARP in your marketing materials. Offer special packages, incentives, or group rates so they know they’re getting a great value.
Keeping your travel a little closer to home eases health and well-being concerns. The idea of being “stuck” in another country without access to familiar medical care can be a deciding booking factor. The recent pandemic has really highlighted that fear for many.
Only 6% of boomers will plan international trips, while 47% will commit to domestic travel. Planning group trips to destinations within driving distance is a no-brainer!
Because many boomers travel throughout the year (88%), it’s a good idea to advertise your trip early. Some of those 4-5 annual departures involve visits with the grandkids – and you don’t want to compete with those!
Spread the word well in advance and get your trip on track.
Generation X (41-56 years old)
Generation Xer’s travel habits are a bit trickier to pigeonhole. They’re not quite techno wizards, but they’re not really sitting down at Triple AAA to plan, either. Gen Xers are in that crazy middle stage of life when jobs and kids rule their limited time.
That’s why you need to be extra vigilant when you market group travel to your middle-aged travel tribes.
Xer trips have to be pretty special. They don’t have a lot of time to get away (see above!) When they do, they want unique, “boutique” type experiences like foodie trips, sports-themed getaways, all-inclusive resorts, or international destinations. In other words, all the things a child of the 70s or 80s probably didn’t get to do on vacation!
When you market to the forgotten generation, think about adventures with a wow factor. Offer experiences targeting friends, family, or even newly-singles.
“Available Online and In-Store”
Remember when this tagline was everywhere? That’s because retailers were marketing to Generation X! Xers run the marketing gamut in terms of getting product information.
If your travel tribe is closer to the boomer generation, consider that 48% listen to the radio, 62% percent still read newspapers and 85% percent watch traditional television.
If they’re on the younger side of the slide, they love digital marketing and social media. 95% of Generation X uses Facebook or do online searches for products.
Your group travel marketing should be a smart mix of both. Make the most of direct mail, email, video marketing, social media, and online search directories like Google or Bing.
A Walk Down Memory Lane
Gen Xers tend to be nostalgic for the “good old days.” When possible, add a throwback to the past as part of your trip offering. Think old tv shows, commercials, music, and more that trigger a longing for days gone by! Oh, to be 16 again…
Millennials (25 – 40 years old)
It seems everyone has an opinion about millennials. However, in travel terms, they’re a cash cow! Millennials consider travel to be part of their maturation and self-discovery process – a rite of passage, if you will.
However, millennials have to balance the desire to ‘go’ with the reality of work. When they do plan a trip, it’s with the intention of disconnecting completely and spending time with other tribe members.
A few things to keep in mind…
Brand is Big
In the 25 – 40-year-old world, brand is big. Branding is the process of establishing yourself as an industry expert while increasing awareness for your product.
One of the best ways to brand is to improve your online presence. Get connected on social media, promote your trip on a dedicated travel platform like Group Experience, network, and always ask for reviews. Share your personal story and passion for travel.
Your distinct personality and brand will ultimately sell the trip to millennials!
Focus on the Group ‘Experience’
Millennials want life-changing, transformative travel experiences. No pressure. But seriously, that’s one of the reasons they love to travel!
Much like Gen Xers, it’s all about unique and unusual destinations or trips. Think about high adventure, tucked-away spaces, or local flavors. If your travelers can take a selfie or capture a moment for Insta, you’ve met your marketing goal.
Track the Trends
This group of 20 and 30 somethings are all about the hottest trends. For example, they might take their travel cues from the latest shows they’re binging (Outlander, anyone?) or even tik tok.
Stay ahead of the curve as much as possible and plan your marketing accordingly.
You want your travel tribe to love your group experience and ultimately sign up for more adventures. These 9 easy ways to market group travel are your road map for success!