Marketing to Women: The Ultimate Travel Agents

June 2, 2012 § 4 Comments

“Traveling to the end of the road”

This is the season of travel – travel for family, travel for work and travel for vacation.  By the first of July, I will have traveled coast to coast, flown to Europe, stayed in five hotels, navigated six airlines, rented cars, traveled on buses and trains, dined in a myriad of restaurants and swigged down countless cups of coffee.  In this midst of all this travel, I wondered if I was unique.

According to Vibrant Nation’s Boomer Women 50+ and Travel Survey conducted last year, I’m not so unique among boomer women.

• By late January, 89 % already had trips planned for 2011. A 10% increase from last year’s findings.

• 70 % are planned to travel more in 2011 than they did in 2010.

• 58% take a vacation in late winter/spring

• 57% plan these trips to a beach or somewhere warm, or international

• 36% spend $2500-5000 per extended trip

• Nearly half said the internet was the most important travel publication

Travel Dominated by Women Decision Makers

According to The Gutsy Traveler, women– young, old, single, married, widowed and gutsy are fueling an explosive growth in travel industry. Estimates are that women will spend some $125 billion on travel in the next year.  The Travel Industry Association estimates that 32 million single American women traveled at least once last year – and a lot of them were Boomers.  Based on research from Nielsen Net Ratings/WashingtonPost.com and Newsweek.com, more than 80% of working women who purchased travel products or services offline in the past month researched their purchases online beforehand.

• 80% of all travel decisions are made by women, regardless of who they travel with, or who pays, or where they go.

• 75% of those who take cultural, adventure or nature trips are women.

• 87% of women say they go for the beautiful scenery, compared with 72% of men, according to Market Researcher Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell.

• There has been a 230% increase in the number of women-only travel companies in past six years.

Best Women Travel Fact

Gotta love this:  The average adventure traveler is not a 28-year old male, but a 47-year-old female. And she wears a size 12 dress.

Why Women Travel

Okay, so this is blindingly obvious but it should be included here.  Based on research from the Meredith Corporation‘s study of women and travel conducted by the Roper Organization in 2005, the major reasons women travel for leisure are to:

- Relax
– Reconnect with family and friends
– Escape, and enjoy a break from routine
– Gain a sense of freedom (from work, laundry, family responsibilities)
– Experience adventure and see new places
– Spend quality time with their husband or significant other

Boomer women also love to travel with their family.  According to the U.S. Travel Industry Association, it has been estimated that at least 5 million family vacations a year in the United States span three generations.  My last vacation included my two grown children and the “grand dog”.  Research points out that boomers are  healthier, more affluent, living longer than past generations, more educated, and more accustomed to traveling.

And the reason we make the travel decisions is that we love to plan travel.  We love everything about it – dreaming about a new adventure, finding the perfect hotel, and negotiating the best fares.

What are our Travel Tools?

Here are just a few of the travel tools we use.  By the way,  as of June 2012, Trip Advisor was the most popular travel website.

  • Online Travel Sites
  • Booking Sites
  • Magazines
  • Review Sites like Trip Advisor
  • Deal sites like Jetsetter, SniqueAway, Tablet, TravelZoo, Living Social and more
  • Restaurant sites like Open Table
  • Hotel Programs
  • Airline Sites, Apps
  • Blogs
  • Social Media
  • Advertising

Women and travel is a trend that is here to stay – boomer women, girlfriends, families – all devoting time to making memories and having rich experiences.  So much more satisfying than a designer handbag.

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