There’s been much ado about Millennials (born early 1980s through early 2000s) lately — and for good reason; as the largest generation in the U.S., tech-savvy Millennials have essentially driven the recent evolution of hospitality (think online presence, mobile apps, social media, and personalized experiences). However, in our warranted efforts to please the young’uns, we must be careful not to neglect those without smartphones permanently attached to their thumbs.
Born between 1946 and 1964, Baby Boomers represent a quarter of the U.S. population and are now in their travel prime. According to AARP researchpublished late last year, the 50+ age group spends more than $120 billion a year on leisure travel, and, on average, are expected to take four to five trips in 2015.
Baby Boomers represent a very large and very relevant group of travelers that are beginning to explode into hotels across the globe. Let’s get to know them a little better…
Spanning 18 years, the Baby Boomer generation consists of those at their peak earning years, those approaching retirement and those already enjoying their early retirement days. Many have the money, time and a strong desire to travel — music to a hotelier’s ears.
Baby Boomers grew up in an era that emphasized growth and learning, and it doesn’t stop with retirement. With their working life behind (or almost behind) them and kids now flown the nest, a Boomer’s life has, in a sense, just begun again. The 50+ age group is healthier and more active than ever, and, already experienced travelers, they seek new and genuine experiences for personal growth.
Baby Boomers are technically proficient too. While they’re not tech-dependent like Millennials, Boomers aren’t new to the Internet or social media. They appreciate the convenience of online and mobile services but are just as (if not more) comfortable interacting with businesses face to face or by phone and greatly value personalized attention.
To sum it up, Baby Boomers are independent, experienced, and looking for some fun. Now in their travel prime, they’re packing their bags and have money to spend. Sounds like the perfect guest!
Targeting Baby Boomers
Much of what you are doing already to target Millennials will also appeal to Baby Boomers — like quality website content, online bookings, free Wi-Fi and an emphasis on the stay experience. However, a central focus on Millennials may also alienate older generations, so it’s important to find a balance that works for your property. For example, both Millennials and Baby Boomers value personalized and attentive service, but while Millennials like to control their stay through technology like self-check-in and other mobile apps, supplemented by human hospitality, Baby Boomers prefer it the other way around. Even with the best self-service mobile apps, well-trained, customer-focused human staff are essential.
When targeting Baby Boomers, here are some tips to keep in mind…