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Travel News

Tourism operators pulling down the shutters for Australia – without realizing

Written by editor

Forget Gen X and Gen Y.

Forget Gen X and Gen Y. It could be the baby boomers generation throwing the tourism industry a lifeline yet the largest wedge in the Australian population pie is stereotyped and over-simplified by Australian business, and tourism operators and destinations are turning away baby boomer business, without realizing it.

In a first-of-its-kind summit the tourism industry will explore the latest, post-GFC research and focus group data on this massive and critical demographic. The inaugural Baby Boomer Tourism Summit will be held on May 25 at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney.

Researching heavy-weights including the Productive Aging Center, Canberra, Roy Morgan Research and futurist Ross Honeywill join corporates such as American Express and Carnival Australia to examine the realities of life for 45 to 64 year old Australians – reputed to control half of the nation’s wealth.

“This is a ray of sunlight for a very beleaguered tourism industry,” says summit convenor Mr. Leigh Kealton.

“This line up of speakers will open the eyes of the tourism industry and flag the hot buttons and triggers for Baby Boomers as well as pointing out the turn-offs that many operators and destinations simply don’t understand are costing them business.”

“Baby boomers were the original backpackers, so they have a sense of adventure and yet they’re aware they won’t always have their health. So despite their superannuation being kicked around by the financial crisis, they are still highly motivated to travel and to live life.”

Yet advertising research has shown the baby boomers feel overshadowed by younger generations when it comes to products and services, and no-one is interested in courting them or their money.

The yawning gap between this sentiment and crisis being faced by the tourism industry has given rise to the summit.

“Destinations, travel agents and operators need to start planning urgently to cater for the interests and requirements of the traveling baby boomer. There is a massive wave of them starting to hit retirement age but the industry is yet to understand baby boomers and the implications of them aging.

“The grey nomad market still has enormous untapped potential but it’s not all baby boomers are interested in. The key is to understand your potential client – which is exactly what we hope the industry will learn from the Summit.”

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