Generation X, born between 1965 and 1980, is often overlooked by group travel planners. All the buzz for marketing group tours seems to focus on Baby Boomer or Millennial generations. Both generations have the advantage of being larger in size than Gen X. Boomers who are closing in on or enjoying retirement have more time for travel. Millennials prioritize travel above other life milestones such as buying a home, owning a car or even paying off debt. So why is now the time for travel planners to focus on Generation X?
The current workforce is strongly influenced by Gen Xers, 83 percent of that generation work full or part time. The oldest Gen Xers will continue to work at least 10 more years while the youngest of the group may still be working 30 more years. Generationally speaking, Gen X currently has the most buying power and financial freedom. Even though this group was hit hard by the 2007–2009 recession, they have regained financial footing. Now is the time for this group to spend money on travel — and they do; Gen Xers spend an average of $627 during each day of travel.
Time is precious to this generation. Travel planners need to demonstrate they deliver time-saving, stress-free planning to Gen Xers. Right now, Generation X members are in a unique stage of their lives. They are sandwiched between the Boomer and Millennial generations. 61 percent have family members living with them, and vacation often means a multigenerational adventure. Group travel planners should make sure to market destinations that accommodate all ages that are traveling together. Large brands, like Disney and Universal Studios, and cruise companies cater to multigenerational travel, as Gen Xers’ travel decisions are often influenced by children or grandchildren, who in turn are influenced by advertisements.
Generation Xers are experiencing major life celebrations – 40th and 50th birthdays, as well as milestone wedding anniversaries. This is the time of their lives when they can build on trips they may have taken with their families or in college and do the things they couldn’t previously afford. There is an increase in girls’ and guys’ weekends and couples traveling together.
Finally, travel planners wanting to reach Generation X need to invest in digital marketing. Generation X is the most connected generation! Gen Xers use social media 40 minutes more each week than Millennials. They are also more likely than millennials to spend more time on every type of device — phone, computer or tablet.
Group Tour poll: Which generation uses your planning services the most? How are you reaching them? Send your responses to me at firstname.lastname@example.org today.