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Wooing zoomers: marketing to the mature traveler

Simon Hudson (College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, USA)

Marketing Intelligence & Planning

ISSN: 0263-4503

Article publication date: 22 June 2010

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to highlight consumer trends relating to the baby boomer generation and identify the relevant marketing communications required to connect with these travelers.

Design/methodology/approach

This study involved a thorough review of recently published marketing research and new reports dedicated to the baby boomer generation and the travel industry.

Findings

Traveling boomers are looking for a memorable experience rather than a holiday, seeking authenticity, spiritual and mental enlightenment, nostalgia, convenience and spontaneity, all packaged in a safe, customized, healthy, green wrapping and delivered with great customer service. To connect with these boomers, marketers should emphasize youth, use nostalgia, show how to improve boomers' lives, provide detailed information, promote the experience, and use a variety of media.

Research limitations/implications

The literature on marketing to baby boomers is fragmented and sometimes contradictory. This could be because the boomer market is not homogenous. Further research is needed to understand the different segments of the boomer market. Recognizing the differences among these segments and understanding their motivations and desires, can help tourism marketers craft products, strategies and messages that will resonate with this generation.

Practical implications

The key to securing and retaining this growing lucrative segment is better understanding of how they behave, their buying motivations and their needs as they get older. This paper has moved one step forward in this understanding by identifying the key psychographic nuances of the traveling boomer and suggesting how to connect with them.

Originality/value

This is an original contribution in that it is one of the first academic papers to address the traveling baby boomer. It will be of significant value to those marketing tourism services in the twenty‐first century.

Keywords

Citation

Hudson, S. (2010), "Wooing zoomers: marketing to the mature traveler", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 28 No. 4, pp. 444-461. https://doi.org/10.1108/02634501011053568

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited