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AARP: How Boomers are traveling in 2017



By
03 August 2017




AARP has published results of a survey of 928 Baby Boomers age 18+ who say they intend to take one or more leisure trips in 2017 and have in the past 2 years taken at least one 50-mile-plus trip that involved at least a 2-night overnight stay and used an online travel site.

Some interesting findings:

  • Respondents plan to take an average of 5 leisure trips in 2017.
  • 51% expect to travel domestically only, 43% say they hope to travel both domestically and internationally.
  • Most popular domestic destinations:
    • 1.South 38%
    • 2.West 32%
  • Most popular international destinations:
    • 1.Latin America 41%
    • 2.Europe 34%
  • Most popular type of destination: City/town
    • Domestic 57%
    • International 41%
  • 41% will book online, but about 70% will book with a loyalty-program provider
  • Loyalty program enrollment:
    • Airline 82%
    • Hotel 73%
    • Car 40%
  • .Top motivators of travel:
    • 1.Spend time with family and friends 57%
    • 2.Get away from everyday life 39%
    • 3.Relax and rejuvenate 38%
  • Most popular type of trip: Laid back and relaxing
    • International 52%
    • Domestic 62%
  • Distribution of trips by season:
    • Winter 10-14%
    • Spring 26-30%
    • Summer 27-32%
    • Fall 20-21%
    • Holidays 8-12%
  • Online planning resources used:
    • Hotel/air/car sites 38%
    • Review sites 38%
    • OTAs 37%
  • Sites used for booking:
    • Hotel/air/car sites 41%
    • Review sites 6%
    • OTAs 14%
  • Online resources Boomers say they will not use:
    • Mobile apps 70%
    • Open Table 84%
    • Groupon/Living Social 85%
    • Social media 85% (68% say they never use social media while on vacation.)
    • Blogs 87%
  • Most used online planning resources:
    • Review sites: TripAdvisor
    • Booking sites: Trip Advisor, Expedia. Travelocity, Airline site
    • Mobile apps: Google maps
  • Primary mode of domestic transportation:
    • Personal vehicle 46%
    • Air 41%
  • Preferred accommodation style: Hotel/motel
    • Domestic 50%
    • International 41%
  • Preference for Airbnb/VRBO (etc.)
    • Domestic 5%
    • International 3%
  • Only 40% say they set trip budgets up front.
  • Impact of higher airfares: 69% say none.


So: if you've geared your marketing to Millennials because they're the hot demographic, but still want to attract Boomers, you need to make some adjustments. Based on the AARP findings, and depending on your tourism sector, to-do list might include:

  • Make your offerings family-friendly.
  • Have lots of good reviews on popular review sites - Google, TripAdvisor, etc.
  • Be bookable through OTAs and all other relevant online channels.
  • If marketing lodging through Airbnb (etc.), don't depend on that channel alone for acquiring Boomer guests.
  • Don't bother targeting Boomers via mobile apps, blogs or social media.

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David Boggs    - David
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External Article: http://www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp/research/surveys_statistics/life-leisure/2017-travel-trends.pdf



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