13 Must-Know Facts About Baby Boomer Travelers
The very first wave of baby boomers will be turning 65 years of age this year and they plan to travel like no other generation has thought possible.
Just take a look at some of the things I learned from Editor Beth Kormanik at Hotel Interactive about a profound demographic shift that is going to occur in 2011:
- Starting Jan. 1, the first Baby Boomers will turn 65 years old, the traditional age of retirement. The generation, defined here as people born from 1946 to 1964, represents 77 million people in the United States. For the next 19 years, about 11,000 Boomers a day will turn 65.
- A recent study called this group the “healthiest, wealthiest and most active senior generation.” and that boomers cited travel on the top of the list of where they want to spend their time and money, and that they still have money to spend on leisure travel despite the global recession.
- Boomers took an average of 3.6 trips in 2009. Two-thirds (67 percent) took a trip of five or more nights, often including a Saturday night, while one-third took a mid-week trip of up to four nights.
- Most boomers (73 percent) traveled at least once with a spouse or other adult, and nearly one-third took their grandchildren on a trip. A quarter of them (25 percent) made a journey alone.
- More than half traveled to visit family or friends, while 38 percent reported taking a family vacation. Another 35 percent took a nature-inspired trip and 18 percent spent time in casinos.
- Their favorite domestic destinations were California (44 percent), Florida (42 percent), and Hawaii (42 percent), followed by Alaska (34 percent); Arizona, Nevada, and Washington, D.C., (each at 28 percent) and Colorado (27 percent).
- Almost 30 percent of the Boomers in the survey took international trips. The top destinations were the Caribbean (33 percent) and Europe (28 percent), followed by Mexico (19 percent) and Canada (18 percent).
- Boomers embrace technology when researching their travel. In fact, 84 percent reported using the Internet to book one or more trips. They visited an average of 3.5 sites for a hotel/resort, 3.6 for an airline, and 2.9 sites for a car rental.
- The survey noted that one exception to the trends in online travel booking is among the wealthiest of Boomers, who prefer one-on-one service from luxury travel experts.
- Boomers are different from past generations in that they are prolific travelers.
- About 68 percent have valid passports, according to the survey, compared to about 30 percent of Americans overall.
- The survey asked Boomers where they would like to travel. Domestically, their wish lists include the Hawaiian Islands (70 percent), the National Parks (67 percent) and Honolulu (63 percent). Also popular are the Florida Keys (56 percent), Las Vegas (51 percent), San Francisco (47 percent), Napa Valley (46 percent), San Diego (45 percent), Washington D.C. (45 percent), Orlando (44 percent), and the Florida Gulf Coast (43 percent). They also expressed interest in visiting Hilton Head (39 percent) and Colonial Williamsburg (37 percent).
- Overseas, Europe remains a top destination (61 percent), with Italy, the UK, Ireland and France the hottest markets. Other popular overseas destinations included the Caribbean (46 percent), Canada (34 percent), and Australia/South Pacific (33 percent). Also cited were Mexico (25 percent), Central America (23 percent), Asia (18 percent), South America (13 percent), the Middle East (9 percent) and Africa (8 percent).
Did you get all that?
The wealthiest generation to ever live is about to roam the planet as no generation has ever done before.
We would be greatly honored if you would roam alongside The Roaming Boomers®.
Here’s how you can begin:
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Like St. Augustine said, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”
Ready. Set. Travel.