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The Expert in Baby Boomer Travel

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Hotel bathtub -- luxury or menace for boomers?

Hotel bathtub — luxury or menace for boomers?

One of my pet travel peeves for a while has been hotel bathrooms with high-walled bathtubs that are treacherous to climb into and out of — just to take a shower. The dangers of slipping on a wet surface — either within the tub or the bathroom floor after the shower — are always looming.

In fact, most hotel room accidents are related to bathtubs.

Yes, I admit it — I’m getting older and not as flexible as I once was. Which is true of many baby boomers — a huge number of whom are traveling these days. (The problems for seniors are even worse.)

And it all seems so unnecessary, if all one wants to do is take a shower. When I’m traveling, I seldom have time to take a bath, nor do I wish to. At home, I only take showers, and besides, how clean are those hotel bathtubs, anyway?

It turns out I’m not alone. According to one hotel consultant, only two percent of those who stay in non-resort hotel rooms actually use their tubs — mostly families with small children. And obviously some rooms need to have tubs to accommodate families and anyone else who prefers a bath.

But surveys of business travelers show they overwhelmingly prefer taking showers while traveling. And my guess is that many, if not most, baby boomers would love to see those treacherous bathtubs disappear.

In response, a number of hotel chains — including Marriott, Hilton and Holiday Inn — have been cutting way back on the number of tubs in their rooms and instead offering spacious showers. Newly built Marriotts, for instance, now have a ratio of 75 percent shower stalls to 25 percent tubs.

That seems about right to me. Both shower-takers and bath-lovers should be accommodated. And whatever your preference, it’s a good idea to call ahead to check availability of either option.

But I’m glad hoteliers are responding to their customers’ preferences in this regard — just as I’m glad they’re making hotel lobbies more friendly to laptop use and as social gathering areas.  I know I’ll be patronizing hotels that do everything possible to maximize both safety and comfort for guests — that’s just sensible marketing.

Now if they would just do something about those pesky unwrappable wrappings on those little bathroom soaps…

 

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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According to government and private surveys:

  • Leading-edge baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1955) and seniors account for four out of every five dollars spent on luxury travel today.
  • Roughly half the consumer spending money in the U.S.--more than $2 trillion--is in the hands of leading-edge baby boomers and seniors.
  • Baby boomers (born 1946-1964) travel more than any other age group.
  • When asked what they would most like to spend their money on, baby boomers answered “travel” more than any other category, including improving their health or finances.

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