Dis­cover the world

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE -

It could fairly be said that the birth of back­pack­ing and ‘‘trav­el­ling’’, in its free­wheel­ing, ad­ven­ture­seek­ing, de­ter­minedly ex­pe­ri­en­tial sense took place in the six­ties. Some­thing about the open-end­ed­ness, bo­hemi­an­ism and free­dom of such a style of travel was firmly in tune with the loos­en­ing of at­ti­tudes in gen­eral dur­ing those years. The six­ties were the hey­day of the baby boomers, of course, the same in­di­vid­u­als who are now ap­proach­ing re­tire­ment and en­ter­ing their golden years. Re­search in the US (www.atme.org ) has in­di­cated that, as we might ex­pect, baby boomers have ex­pec­ta­tions re­lat­ing to travel that dif­fer sig­nif­i­cantly from pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion of re­tirees, ex­pec­ta­tions that tie into their ex­pe­ri­ences of travel in their for­ma­tive, younger years. The re­search, by Travel Mar­ket­ing De­ci­sions, came up with some key points: 1. Boomers con­sider travel a ne­ces­sity, not a lux­ury. 2. Boomers have trav­elled more than their pre­de­ces­sors. As ex­pe­ri­enced trav­ellers, they seek out more ex­otic desti­na­tions or more in-depth ways of ex­pe­ri­enc­ing fa­mil­iar places. 3. Boomers want to have fun. Com­pan­ion­ship, stim­u­la­tion and the cul­tural/so­cial ex­pe­ri­ence make travel fun for boomers. 4. Boomers de­mand im­me­di­ate grat­i­fi­ca­tion. They in­vented the ques­tion, ’’Are we there yet?" and have lit­tle pa­tience for long, un­in­ter­rupted stretches of road time. 5 Boomers are not pas­sive. They want a mea­sure of con­trol in de­sign­ing their travel ex­pe­ri­ence and, once on the road, they want to choose their ac­tiv­i­ties. Boomers also crave the ’’lo­cal, hu­man touch." 6. Boomers strongly per­ceive them­selves as in­di­vid­u­als, and there­fore do not ap­pre­ci­ate the ’’herd­ing" ex­pe­ri­ence of tra­di­tional group travel. 7. Boomers like crea­ture com­forts, de­spite ex­press­ing a de­sire for au­then­tic­ity of ex­pe­ri­ence. Food and accommodation needs to, ’’re­flect the ex­pe­ri­ence of a place with­out be­ing down and dirty." 8. Boomers are scep­ti­cal of in­sti­tu­tions and in­di­vid­u­als. Re­sul­tantly they tend to ac­tively and per­son­ally re­search their travel op­tions be­fore book­ing. Travel com­pa­nies have ob­vi­ously taken many of these mes­sages on board, as we have seen an in­crease in the di­ver­sity of travel op­tions over the past few years, with the no­table ex­pan­sion of small group, lightly struc­tured ad­ven­ture travel to desti­na­tions off the beaten track. What­ever your sup­posed de­mo­graphic in­cli­na­tions, how­ever, and what­ever your per­sonal tastes, the open years of re­tire­ment pro­vide the op­por­tu­nity of ex­tended travel to all who wish to get a taste of for­eign shores. Why not think about a bit of sun, sand and sea this win­ter? It could be just the tonic.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.