Travel to most of us is a frivolous escape or serious avocation. But make no mistake: To corporate America, it’s big business.
Travelers are among the most highly tracked and studied consumer group out there. Why? Because their spending is a $12 million industry in Minnesota alone (just think about the money at stake for a Caribbean island or a beach community in Bali). And it’s bellwether spending, meaning changes in travel spending — and who is doing that spending — speaks to confidence in the economy.
The latest snapshot comes from trip insurer Travel Guard’s Pulse Poll of travel agents. It confirms that baby boomers are having the most fun, and spending the most on it.
Among 83 percent of the agencies polled, boomers (50 and older, for the purposes of this poll) accounted for at least half of their client lists.
And those are lucrative client lists, with almost 60 percent saying boomer clients saying their boomers take two trips a year, with 15 percent at three or more times a year.
That’s adding up, because those clients aren’t on tight budgets, fixed income or not. Almost half say their average boomer client pays $5,000-$10,000 per week for two people. Another 14 percent said their average boomer bill is more than $10,000 a week per couple.
Boomers seem to be looking for vacations in which most of the details are handled by someone else. Cruises top the list of vacations booked for boomers, according to 39 percent of agents polled. Small-group tours account for 25 percent.