When baby boomers travel, surveys show, they aren’t generally looking for familiar amenities – they’re looking for exotic (or at least different) foods, people and experiences that they can’t find at home.
In other words, the old “ugly American” stereotype of folks who will only eat hamburgers in France or who stare goggle-eyed at someone dressed a bit differently cannot be applied to most boomers. (Thank goodness.)
Furthermore, many baby boomers are sophisticated travelers who have journeyed abroad multiple times in their lives, both on vacation and on business. They long ago developed a taste for Thai food (very possibly in Thailand), have long since done the Eiffel Tower, Tower of London and the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and can speak authoritatively on the relative merits of the Spanish Costa Brava and the French Riviera.
I don’t like the expression “been there, done that,” which implies a kind of cynical world-weariness — I for one never get tired of seeing the Eiffel Tower — but let’s just say that a lot of boomer travelers are now going in search of more far-flung sights, adventures and experiences. Something different.
That’s one reason why fantasy travel – journeying to extravagantly luxurious or unusually exotic resorts and destinations – is catching on fast with boomers.
In Dubai, UAE, boomers can look forward to staying at an underwater hotel, complete with views of tropical fish off a coral reef; another Dubai developer is constructing a life-sized replica of the Taj Mahal. It all fits in with the admittedly weird, but seductive, appeal of a desert state that offers visitors indoor ski slopes, the world’s tallest skyscrapers and the world’s most luxurious hotels.
Destination and other travel marketers don’t have to represent Dubai to emphasize what’s different – or, even better, unique — about your destination or travel product.
If you can pinpoint those differences — prove to them that you do have something unique to offer — you’ll find boomers flocking to you.
Don’t forget to download my free report, “How to Ride the Coming Wave of Boomers,” available here. It’s all about the best ways to market travel to baby boomers — the biggest-spending group of travelers the world has ever seen. It’s also the easiest way to subscribe to my blog, so you won’t miss a posting. Thanks!