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Published on Thursday, January 11, 2007

Top ten trends in booming baby travel market

The leisure travel industry is about to boom thanks to the Baby Boomers coming of age and having more free time and the desire to travel, according to Lauraday Kelley, CTC, MCC, vice president Education & Training for Vacation.com.  She said:

“With more free time on their hands and the desire to participate in such activities that may have been previously unattainable, the travel industry will see a remarkable growth in the leisure segment over the next 18 years as more and more Boomers have the freedom and time to spend money more freely.”

Ms Kelley made her remarks at this year’s Society for Accessible Travel and Hospitality (SATH) 11th World Congress held at the Miami Airport Hilton.

She said there are 76 million Baby Boomers.

 The generation of Baby Boomers has been defined by sociologists as those born between the years of 1946 and 1964 putting this generation between 42 and 60 years old.  They now make up 28% of the US’s population.

Top ten trends as seen by Ms Kelley:

 

  1. Family vacations will continue to grow at a faster rate than all other forms of leisure travel as parents and grandparents look at travel as a way to reunite families in a high-stress world dominated by demanding work responsibilities.

  2. With baby boomers becoming more anxious to be pampered and entertained in a controlled environment, and cruise lines portraying cruises as destinations not just ships, there will be a tremendous increase in cruise vacations.

  3. Interest in spa vacations will continue to grow as those in the work force look for ways to manage the mounting stress in their lives, and exhibit a growing desire to detox the body and mind.

  4. All inclusive pricing (one price for a bundle of basic services) will grow in popularity beyond cruise lines and all inclusive resorts as more consumers on fixed incomes want greater control over their travel expenses.

  5. The new lifestyle hotel brands such as NYLO and ALOFT will continue to gain both exposure and popularity among the next generation of travelers, as well as the baby boomers who wish to look, act, and feel like the millennium generation.

  6. There will be a tremendous increase in adventure travel with distinctions between those who really want to experience life on the edge and those older Boomers who want to think they are experiencing the edge, but with moderation and comfort.

  7. Religious travel will continue to be a growing trend as a large number of consumers are taking pilgrimages to religious destinations.

  8. The Internet will continue to be an online travel research and planning tool, whereas Internet usage to book reservations will continue to grow at a significantly lower rate than that of the past three years.

  9. Comparison shopping will become even more commonplace as consumers discover and use the latest search engine options to eliminate the maze of misinformation that clutters many Websites.

  10. The travel agent will not become an endangered species. Because of their travel experience and expertise and their personal insight into the best-value deals, whether it is package tours, cruises, hotels, bed and breakfast accommodations, domestic and foreign airlines, special client needs and much more, the retail agent will still be highly sought after.

Report by David Wilkening

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