New generations are coming of age, others are entering retirement, people’s opinions on what makes for a good work-life balance, and what a “good life” and “health” mean, are changing. These changes in society affect marketers in all industries – in the hospitality sector this has led to the emergence of new market segments for the travel industry to communicate with and cater to.
As your consumers change, so should your marketing strategies and your offerings. In this month's digest, we have rounded up a few of the very best articles on emerging market segments you may want to take into account.
A Barclay’s report from 2015 recommends that hospitality brands keep older travellers in mind, and this advice is no less valid in 2017. The massive cohort commonly known as the “baby boomers” are now entering retirement.
"One fifth of UK income in the hospitality and leisure industry is generated from the over 65s; yet, only 5% of businesses operating within the sector consider over 65s to be their most important demographic" – Barclays
Collectively, these 50-70 year olds have amassed a formidable fortune, and as they reach retirement age and begin to have more free time on their hands, they will be spending it in the leisure and hospitality industry. As we wrote a few months ago, “Millennials might have the ‘cred’, but older guests have the cash,” so while there are many other demographics that your hotel could, and should cater to, don’t forget today’s wealthy retirees.
The children of baby boomers are no longer Gameboy-playing high-schoolers; millennials, the largest generation in US history, have joined the marketplace, and as they reach the 17-37-years-old age bracket, many are beginning to accumulate some disposable income. Leah Swartz of Millennial Marketing discusses what hospitality professionals need to know about millennials in the travel sphere.
"Older consumers tend to consider travel a luxury. Millennials on the other hand view travel (especially international travel) as a vital component to their personal growth and life experience." – Millennial Marketing
One of this generation’s concerns is living a life full of experiences, rather than full of things, says Swartz, so if you can cater to millennials in the right way, they are likely to spend this disposable income on travel rather than luxury consumer goods. Even though they are leaving their cash-strapped student years behind them, millennials are still exceptionally thrifty, but they are willing to splurge if they believe the adventure they will have is worth the cost.
Possibly due to the different mindset of the millennial traveller, wellness travel has become increasingly popular in recent years. Millennials have a different outlook on what constitutes “being healthy” from the generations that went before them, with fewer of them defining health as a “lack of illness” and more of them considering healthiness to be an ongoing state and a way of life. Hospitality professionals are noticing this wellness lifestyle being extended into people’s travels.
"Most wellness-minded travelers include activities such as spa visits, one of the most popular wellness activities for travelers, with sightseeing, shopping, dining or business meetings they do on trips." – Skift
However, Skift explains that "secondary" wellness travel may be what consumers are after. Wellness travel isn’t just about yoga retreats and fully equipped wellness centres. Rather, many modern travellers looking for elements of “wellness” incorporated into their travels, in the form of, for example, hotel gyms, outdoor activities and healthy eating, but they want this wellness aspect to be just one of many facets of a memorable travel experience.
Historically, business travellers and leisure travellers have always been two of the main market segments for hospitality marketers to cater to. However, a class of traveller that bridges this gap is beginning to catch the attention of hospitality industry professionals – the “bleisure” traveller, who mixes business and leisure travel.
"Bleisure is the awkward term for squeezing in vacation opportunities while travelling for work, and it's become a pretty common practice around the world" – Harvard Business Review
Ronald Hobson and Catalin Ciobanu from Harvard Business Review took a look at a large amount of data (29 million records) to pick out which types of travellers tend to take bleisure trips. Their findings are condensed into this short video:
You can also read the full article about their findings here: “How Many People Really Combine Work Trips with Vacation?”
Whatever your niche, keeping up to date with emerging market segments can help to keep your business ahead of the pack when it comes to attracting travellers and satisfying their needs.
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