Many baby boomers who came of age in the 1960s and 1970s and were nurtured in the anti-war, civil rights and environmental movements have retained a good deal of their youthful idealism throughout their lives.
Surveys, including my own research, have shown that boomers in general are more likely to choose a particular tour operator if that operator gives something back to the localities they visit — whether to schools or health clinics in Nepal, conservation efforts in Kenya, environmental clean-up in Ecuador or other causes or charities.
Ken Burgener and Linda Warschauer, who run Carefree Birding birding cruises out of their Florida office, make it a practice to donate all the money they would otherwise make in profit from shore excursions during their cruises to various birding-related causes in port.
In Roatan, Honduras, for example, they donated the money collected after meeting their expenses to a birding station project. In Costa Rica, they gave the money to one of their guides there, to further his researches into the green macaw.
“Our passengers — who are mostly age 50 and up — love it when they hear the money is going to local causes,” Warschauer says.
And while Carefree Birding isn’t doing this to improve its bottom line, the practical effect is that such donations are also good for business.
Baby boomers tend to reward companies that they trust with their loyalty, and giving back to local communities and causes around the world helps build that trust. It’s a win-win-win for the communities, the customers and your business as well.
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