Tourism : Boomers expectations (USA)

The main trends of the Boomers’ trip in 2017 were the subject of an AARP study in the USA. The study shows that almost all will travel for vacations with about half traveling abroad.

Top 2017 Boomer travel trends show that almost all will travel for leisure with about half traveling internationally.

General Travel Insights

Travel in 2017 looks very similar to what was anticipated in 2016

Most Boomers (99%) will take at least one leisure trip in 2017, with an average of five or more trips expected throughout the year.

Most (51%) expect to only travel domestically, but a significant portion are hoping to travel both domestically and internationally (43%).

The majority of travel is anticipated in the Spring and Summer of 2017, and to a lesser degree in the Fall, regardless of destination.

For Boomers, Bucket List trips are the most popular motivation for an international trip, while domestic trips are a combination of Summer vacations, Multi-generational trips, Weekend Getaways, and Holiday travel.

With all the trips anticipated for 2017, it is important to note that most (~85%) have yet to be booked, meaning Boomers are still in the planning or idea phase.

Boomers appear confident about making travel arrangements, as 49% report not finding anything particularly difficult to take care of in regards to their travel plans.

Among those who noted an issue, budgeting challenges top the list.

Boomers are not avid users of online resources for travel planning and booking, especially compared to younger generations. Among those using online resources, the most popular sites include Trip Advisor, Expedia, Travelocity, Yelp, and Google Maps.

That said, 41% will book online at the airline/hotel/car website. This is most likely driven by the fact that most Boomers are members of at least one loyalty program. In fact, 82% are currently members of an airline loyalty program.

More often than not (~70% Always/Mostly), Boomers will book their travel (flight, hotel, car) with their loyalty program provider.

And although many continue to indicate a desire to travel more in 2017 than they did in 2016, a handful of barriers remain in the way; cost (43%), health (34%), and security concerns (28%) top the list.

Trip Specifics

Most Boomers are looking for a laid back and relaxing trip to give them the opportunity to spend quality time with friends and family.

To do so, Boomers are planning to escape to Mexico, the Caribbean, and/or the British Isles (UK, Ireland) for their upcoming international trips. Their domestic trips, although covering a variety of cities, are most often being planned for a Florida or California destination.

Regarding authentic experiences, although Boomers would like to eat a meal with locals (50%), or tour with locals (40% among international travelers), they are not as open to staying with locals, domestically or abroad (18%).

As seen in past research, among Boomers who are still working, approximately 40% do not anticipate taking all of their vacation days. And when they do vacation, 40% feel it is at least somewhat important to stay connected to work while away, which is why many anticipate spending at least 10% of their vacation time working.

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