Going the Distance

Are you a baby boomer? If so, you are a travel distributor’s best bet to capture a booking!

Over 10% of the 17 million Baby Boomers who research travel online each month will also book online, considerably more than Young Travelers who tend to window-shop, and Seniors who may be uncomfortable purchasing over the web.

The Coolness Quotient: Young Travelers (18-24) are an online agency’s best friend. This group is influenced by the flashy marketing campaigns of online agencies and consequently spend more time on agency sites – especially price focused destinations like CheapTickets and Hotwire. The average 18-24 year old traveler will visit an average of 1.7 online agencies when looking for travel, the highest of any generational segment. Just 19% of these Generation “Y” travelers bypass agencies entirely, compared to 32% of Seniors.

Trust and Value: Seniors (65+) prefer booking directly with airlines and hotels. Seniors overwhelmingly favor booking flights and hotels directly with suppliers that offer low-rate guarantees and other perks. Nearly 80% of the flights booked online by Seniors are done at supplier sites, while the figure drops as low as 72% for 25-34 year olds. Similarly, 68% of hotel bookings made by Seniors are at supplier direct sites, compared to 58% for the 25-34 age group.

Insatiable Appetite for Information: Baby Boomers (45-64) view an average of 36 pages of travel content when researching online. This is 15% more than Young Travelers and 25% more than Seniors. Of the travel content viewed by this group, over 70% takes place on agency, hotel supplier, and airline carrier websites.

Behavior was measured across more than 1,000 online travel websites.