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Travel Is Booming With Boomers

Adults over 50 now account for up to 80 percent of luxury travel spending in America at over $150 billion a year. On average, older adults will take 4 trips per year, they rank travel as their number one leisure activity and boomer women spend nine out of every ten-vacation dollars.

The top types of travel for boomers include:

  • Ecotourism
  • Adventure
  • Medical Tourism
  • Multigenerational
  • Bucket List
  • Passions
  • Spiritual

Surprised? You shouldn’t be. If you follow along with our blog, or you’ve read our book Dot Boom, then undoubtedly you’ve heard us talk about the core needs we all share as human beings. Abraham Maslow called these the hierarchy of needs.

Maslow Hierarchy of Needs


According to Maslow, as we fulfill one level of core needs, we focus on the next higher level of needs.

We can’t help it. We are physiologically driven to fulfill these needs. And, as we age, we generally move up the pyramid until most mature adults are focusing on self-actualization and we achieve moments of self-actualization through transformational, or peek, experiences.

If you accept this theory of human development as we do at Immersion Active, then the emphasis on travel and the top types of travel for boomers make perfect sense. Older adults are seeking to fulfill their needs for peek experiences through their travels.

So how can marketers leverage this insight to connect with consumers?

According to statistics from the she-conomy blog, written by Stephanie Holland of Holland and Holland Advertising, nine out of ten women say advertisers don’t understand them.

Here are three simple rules to connect with this underlying drive and thus this lucrative market:

  1. Marketing needs to tell a story that the consumers can insert themselves into (called conditional positioning) so they can envision how your travel product will fulfill their needs.
  2. Make an emotional connection and evoke the senses to trigger physiological responses the consumer just can’t ignore.
  3. Once this emotional connection is made, feed the mature consumers’ desire for details and facts, making sure to fulfill both their right and left brain’s needs.

Following these rules make it easy to tap into the booming leisure travel market. For more insights on the Boomer Traveler or any of our audience segments, visit our resources page.

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