Does it pay to create a baby boomer travel niche — to market only to baby boomer travelers?
Brian Luckhurst of homexchange50plus.com believes it does.
I’ve been lucky to “meet” Brian (in a virtual sense) through this blog. Brian and his wife Catriona live in London, England, and started their home exchange website four years ago, as a way to create an online business they could run when they retired. Because there was already a fair amount of competition in the market, they decided to specialize and aim just for baby boomers — the 50-plus crowd.
And they advertised that fact right in their domain name, so that all those searching for 50-plus travel could find it and know immediately that the site was targeted to them. (Members pay a small fee to list their home on the site and view other members’ homes for potential exchange.)
Brian tells me he’s happy that they went that route. “Most of us are apprehensive about having strangers in our homes when we’re gone, so most clients like the idea of exchanging with others who have similar tastes and common interests — and similar ages are part of that,” he explains. “The 50-plus age group also has more time to travel and is more flexible on dates and length of exchanges, and may take several vacations a year. So it seemed an obvious choice for our business.”
Since launching the site in 2009, Brian and Catriona have attracted members from more than 50 countries, including the U.S., Canada, Australia and France. Many members recommend it to their friends, which has enabled the Luckhursts to restrain their advertising budget. One secret to success is keeping their website simple and easy to use — a must when dealing with some older travelers, though a good idea when dealing with any age group.
Niche marketing isn’t for every travel business, but it works very well for some — and baby boomers offer a very broad-based niche indeed.
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!