2010 Trends - Baby Boomers & The Real Deal
According to our experts, there is a clear trend of travelers demanding something more - an authentic experience and a chance to learn and interact with a destination’s culture and it’s people - the real deal, if you will.
Some of our experts also point out that this demand for authentic travel experiences has a lot to do with the trendsetting boomers turning their collective attention and theitowards travel.
A few quotes from our team of experts:-
As the world grows smaller and smaller there are few, if any, undiscovered destinations, yet there is much desire for “authentic” travel experiences. I believe this will result in an expansion in the categories of cultural based tourism, home stays, and volunteer tourism, as travelers satisfy their desire for authentic experiences through interaction with the local peoples and culture. Barbara Weibel, HoleInTheDonut
Travelers are seeking more “authentic” experiences when they travel and experiences where they can be active participants (e.g. cooking class) rather than observers. Priscilla Macy, Global Sojourns
“Baby boomers, with their disposal income, will be a big travel demographic. They (or perhaps I should say “we”) will pay for the experiences, accommodations, and transportation that meet our unique definition of travel.” - Mary Jo Manzanares, PlanetEye Traveler, Traveling with MJ
I think generally we’re all going to slow down when we travel. Slow travel has been talked about for years, but I think we’re going to see more people taking it easier, looking for quality experiences rather than quantity, focusing on fewer destinations. So rather than doing multi-country “if it’s Tuesday it must be Barcelona” type trips, people will spend longer in one or two destinations. I think this is partly an effect of our changing cultures, but also an effect of the global economic crisis. I also see, following on from this, an even greater rise in niche tourism, especially experiential travel, which we’ve already seen grow in recent years. But I think more and more people will travel to learn to do things, like cook a regional cuisine, or learn to dance the tango or play a musical instrument, or join a local olive harvest. I think people are generally looking for more local and authentic, and therefore more meaningful and enriching travel experiences. I think the idea of the “staycation”, which was a result of the economic crisis, will travel, so that increasingly people will travel overseas and rent holiday homes and spend time focusing on discovering that neighborhood or village or region they’re staying in and fully exploring it, getting to know the people, and really attempting to live like locals. I’m actually going to have a go myself (with my husband Terence) at fully exploring all these ways of travelling next year, in a year-long project we’re calling Grantourismo, as I really believe they represent the future of travel. - Lara Dunston, Cool Travel Guide
An increase in environmental consciousness when travelling. - Mark H., Travel-Wonders.com
“In my niche, baby boomer travel, I see increased interest in learning or volunteer experiences combined with travel.” - Donna Hull, My Itchy Travel Feet
In summary, just as they did in the workforce and in shaping popular culture, Baby Boomers are now increasingly becoming trendsetters amongst travelers.
According to our experts, the travel industry is seeing an enhanced demand for authenticity, volunteer tourism and other unique and learning experiences, which they say is at least in part driven by the very specific needs and preferences of Baby Boomers.