The boomers are coming. They're healthy, active, restless, and ready to explore their "Bucket List" destinations. And, yes, they have the money to do it.
Recent findings by the Preferred Hotel Group noted that among the 77 million boomers, over 11,000 will celebrate a 65th birthday, and they'll do so overseas. These active seniors consider 65 to be the new 55.
The study found that boomers make up nearly half of active American leisure travelers. Two-thirds have a valid passport, and just as many have celebrated an anniversary or birthday by going on a trip. They also tend to travel as a couple.
Boomers are Internet savvy, too. They're into social media to keep in contact with family and friends. And they research destinations, fares, rates and tours, making many buying decisions online. These are individuals who have traveled on the cheap as college students and young adults and now want to upgrade their travel experience. They no longer want crowded bus trips; they want to take their time, connect with the cultures and traditions of the towns their ancestors may very well have called home. Many of these travelers are epicures who long to indulge in native foods, wines and desserts of the region.
In short, these older travelers want the best of both worlds. They're not afraid to ride a jeep through the rugged Serengeti by day, but expect fine dining and a comfortable bed at night. They want, and expect, adventure and comfort.
If you're in the hospitality industry, you might want to look into the habits and preferences of this new breed of traveler.
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Alex A. Kecskes has written hundreds of published articles on health/fitness, "green" issues, TV/film entertainment, restaurant reviews and many other topics. As a former Andy/Belding/One Show ad agency copywriter, he also writes web content, ads, brochures, sales letters, mailers and scripts for national B2B and B2C clients.