At Classic Journeys — a company that specializes in walking tours with cultural components around the globe, as well as culinary and family trips — baby boomers are the prime target market.
In fact, according to Classic Journeys co-founder and president Edward Piegza, fully half their guests are aged 60 or older, and, he writes, “their thirst for adventure is alive and well.”
Classic Journeys attracts boomers for all the reasons I’ve been writing about in this blog:
* Itineraries span the globe from Morocco to New Zealand, Turkey to Cambodia, Corsica to Costa Rica, Argentina to Zambia — 33 countries on five continents — helping to slake boomers’ thirst for seeing parts of the world that are off the beaten track. (See my previous post on boomers’ taste for the exotic.)
* Classic Journeys walking trips are adventurous but luxurious and more easy-going than rigorous — ambling through villages, fields, and vineyards, dining on local cuisine and staying in small, atmospheric inns and lodges. Walks may total three to four hours a day, and minivans are nearby if needed.
* The cultural components of the trips are emphasized: “sight-doing” rather than mere “sight-seeing”…seeking the “total vacation package: enlightening doses of history, geography, art and architecture.” (Boomers want to learn about other cultures while they travel — though not necessarily feel like they’re taking a full-scale academic immersion class.)
* Guides are local experts in each region and stay with the group throughout the tour. (Boomers who may be skeptical of group tours will consider taking them if the guides offer expertise they can’t find on their own.)
* Schedules are flexible enough to take advantage of spontaneous opportunities that arise during the tours — being invited into a home, attending a local festival, stopping to sample the wares at a market. Guests can also opt out of some activities if they wish. (Boomers crave flexibility.)
* Groups are small, averaging around 10 people, with a maximum of 18. (Boomers tend to rebel against large group tours.)
* Family trips are suitable for traveling with grand kids. (See my previous post on the popularity of this means of multigenerational bonding.)
* Classic Journeys gives back to the communities they visit, supporting small family businesses and local cultural institutions; visits to small village schools are often a highlight of the tours, with both the company and often the guests making contributions. (See my previous post about the popularity of tours that promote charitable giving.)
* Culinary tours in Italy, France and California tap into another boomer obsession: locally sourced foods and how to cook them.
*Classic Journeys will arrange private tours that appeal to boomers’ desires to be in control of their itineraries while traveling.
None of these signature offerings happens by accident. As with other travel companies that successfully attract boomers to their businesses, Classic Journeys carefully crafts its itineraries, activities, philosophy, and website presence to appeal to affluent travelers aged 50-plus — while still appealing in many ways to younger travelers as well.
Even the name “Classic Journeys” has the ring of sophistication that its target market is looking for.
Classic Journeys has been named a “World’s Best Tour Operator” by Travel + Leisure Magazine and one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by National Geographic Adventure Magazine, which speaks to their competence. But I’m equally impressed by their marketing skills.
Be sure 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.
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