Some quick observations based on the voluminous amount of travel reading we do each week:
An article in the New York Times reports that a leading luxury hotel chain has launched a new marketing ploy to lure affluent customers, suggesting that the quality of their stay should be measured in terms of positive memories. By insisting that “you get your memory’s worth, not just your money’s worth” at their upscale properties, the hotel group’s advertising gurus are hoping to strike emotional gold among potential guests.
At Classic Journeys, we’ve been committed to making memories since we scouted our first walking tours in 1995. Our goal from the get-go has been to provide guests with a better, deeper, richer travel experience than they could create on their own. Having a global team of expert local guides handcraft each and every itinerary in tandem with our “home team” is how we create value. Coupled with our company MO of combining easy-going walks with culture, history and everyday interactions with locals, it’s the stuff that memories are made of.
Meanwhile, the 50+ age demographic featured in an article in Britain’s Daily Mail is showing its spunk. Seizing on the concept of the gap year — beloved by British teenagers prior to attending university — the so-called “gray gappers” are leaving home to explore the world in droves. A study conducted by the Post Office defines a gap year as any holiday lasting two months or longer…definitely an exception rather than the rule for most American adults traveling abroad. Nevertheless, as the Post Office spokeswoman observes, “Age should not be a barrier when it comes to experiencing different cultures and spreading your wings.”
We couldn’t agree more. In fact, Baby Boomer travel has been a staple at Classic Journeys for years. This past January, when the first of some 72 million Boomers hit age 65, we blogged about their admirable energy and thirst for cultural adventure. As quoted in an article that appeared in Travel Weekly, these 50- and 60-somethings are actively looking “to heap more esoteric knowledge onto the stockpile of what they already know.”
Finally, a noted gerontologist, writing in the San Diego Union-Tribune, revealed that of 29,000 older adults surveyed by AARP, 40% indicated that their “top dream” is vacation and travel, beating out even hobbies and interests (15%) and kids, grandkids, families and friends (13%).
To this we add a declaration of our own: the three categories above are anything but mutually exclusive! For proof, look no further than the popularity of our family vacations, which now make up more than 30% of our overall business. With more multi-generational trips departing each year — many of them custom-tailored to include specific activities and interests — it’s clear that parents, kids and grandkids are eager to discover new destinations together.
Has an item in the travel news caught your eye lately? If so, feel free to send it our way at firstname.lastname@example.org.