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Stats: Portrait of a Gen-X VacationerApril 18, 2016 By: Joe Pike, Natalie Maneval
Generation X is often called the “Lost Generation” - caught between Baby Boomers, who view using a travel agents as a given, and Millennials, who often turn to social media. Travel Agent spoke with expert agents, many Gen-Xers themselves, for this Special Report on what makes these travelers tick. We've already written about Gen-X versus Millennial travelers -- here's a breakdown of the top stats on this demographic.
Here are some findings gleaned from MMGY Global’s 2015 Portrait of American Travelers that may help you better understand — and sell travel to — your Generation X clients. This demographic has more in common with Millennials than older travelers, yet there are some significant differences.
For example, they are far more likely to have children in their household, less likely to consider a city stay as a vacation choice and are also less likely to use a traditional travel agent. They are projected to be the age group that will spend the least on a vacation, but the good news is that they are planning up that spending significantly — as much as their younger counterparts are expected to do.
Fees or No Fees?
Xers have no problems paying fees, something Stephen Scott, owner and CEO of Travel Hub 365, an independent contractor of First in Service Travel, based in New York City, argues is due to the fact that most of them are parents and simply don’t have the time required to research and price out several vacation options.
“Gen-Xers are likely to pay fees to an agent because they truly see the value in our services as we help them sort through the myriad of choices, options and promotions available,” says Scott. “We save them time that they need back to spend with kids, work or fitness. As one client told me, ‘If you look at the fine print of the online web booking sites, they are adding booking fees too, even though I did the work.’” And Jill Taylor of Jet Set World Travel, Inc. in Chicago agrees.
“We always charge a fee and typically Gen-Xers have no issues paying as they see the value since their time is limited,” says Taylor. “I tell clients that we want to collaborate with them and to take away the stress of the travel planning — but not the fun. Most people want to participate in the planning but want to rely on us to make it seamless.”
On the other hand, Kendra Thornton, president of Royal Travel & Tours, herself an Xer and one who has seen a few trends when it comes to planning travel for this generation, describes these clients as “savvy” travelers who like to do their own research — reading blogs, social media posts, other publications and talk to friends when they are deciding on a trip. She concludes that the motivation behind Gen-X travel stems from a variety of places. They are looking to travel for the girls’ and guys’ getaway, the romance trip with their significant others and the family trips, which are sandwiched into spring breaks and summer vacations.
Stay tuned to www.travelagentcentral.com for the rest of our Gen-X Travelers Special Report.