Understanding the 'Generations' of Travel - Part 1: The Post War Cohort.
By Jeroen Gulickx
Thursday, 10th April 2014
Exclusive Feature: In the recent months I have tried to make every effort to understand how well we actually know people and their behavior and reasons to make certain choices, and in particular leisure travel. 

The reason for the research and data collection is to understand the characteristics and needs based on their age. The management team, who has to make important marketing or branding decisions, can optimize the decision process by using this information. And develop an understanding of how they travel and how we can market and steer the hospitality services best towards these generations.

The reason age is so interesting is because so much is happening decade by decade that causes every generation to have a completely different view on life, on work and above all what gives most pleasure in life, like travel. Is travel still fun or are some happy with the images that pop up on Instagram, and the CNN news notifications on the phone. And what do leisure travelers look for to make a trip a memorable one.

Boston Consulting concludes that all ages have a great impact on the overall economy with regards to travel. 'Young and old travelers are prioritizing life-enhancing experiences over stuff, driving the continued growth of the travel market.'

What the reasons are for this trend or statement are yet to be understood, but in the next 5 articles I will explain, what categories we can put travelers in with regards to General Characteristics, Travel, and suggest a Generation toolbox. I will dig deeper into the generations that are known as, The Post War Cohort, The Baby Boomers, the Generation Jones, Generation X and the Millennial, or often called Generation Y.

This article will be mostly about The Baby Boomers, but before I start there I would like to touch on a generation that was born before them, called the Post-war Cohort. They travel a lot less nowadays, simply because their age limits flexibility and mobility.  Its an admirable generation, as they have set example for much of what's considered industry or innovation nowadays, or

Post-war Cohort

  • Post-war Cohort
  • Born 1928-1942
  • Key words security, comfort, familiar, known activities and environments
Wars and financial crashes
These guys know their stuff; they are well educated and have a wide knowledge, due to the many years of affection to media like radio, television and newspapers.  They use their existing environment as a source for information and trust. They rely on them, not on technology, or advanced systems. Even though the banks have changed opening hours and closed branches everywhere, the Post-Cohorts are the ones that want to feel comfort in the personal clerk.

Yes the postcard does very well, and the radio continues to be a source of reliable information, every hour of the day.

They have been through contradictive times in their lives. Imagine the threat of nuclear weapons, the second world war, the Vietnam war and the numerous civil wars. As well as a large number of economical crashes like the Wall Street crash in 1929, savings and loan crisis in 1990, and the more recent banking crisis in 2008, that left great impact on spending, 

Security is their game, they are resourceful, and have built up a great financial platform, for themselves but also of the entire economy. They have money in the bank, and have saved up for a pension. They had kids earlier than any other generation.

The Post war Cohort is a loyal traveler. They have built trust booking through the same agent they booked through for years. They are not afraid to try new things, but prefer to have the tips from trusted sources like friends.

They don't travel as much any more, but when they do, they are likely to do that with family or to family.

They will have set money aside to live in different places for longer periods in the year to avoid the cold. They travel in style and luxury and appreciate the great things in life. The have the need to feel ‘lucky', so upgrades, welcome cocktails and airport transfers work really well!

We love the Post war Cohort. They are kind, pleasant and easy to associate with. Treat them well, as they set example for many generations to come.

The toolkit
Clearly your Instagram campaign won't work here Use 50's pictures and personalities.

Create personal affect. Make them feel comfortable, and commit them to future travel.

They travel with class and prefer to travel less with rather good and solid airlines and hotels rather than the last minute charter.

Preferred media is traditional advertising through papers and travel brochures.

What's next

The amount of travel for the Post war Cohort will continue to decrease clearly because of age. That's also why I will pay more attention the next generation; the Baby Boomers, which you will find in the article following.

Bruse Mayhew Consulting, Albright&O'Malley, Boston Consulting, Mckinsey Urbanization, Ethics Resource Centre – Research brief

This is strictly an exclusive feature, reprints of this article in any shape or form without prior written approval from 4Hoteliers.com is not permitted.

Jeroen Gulickx is originally from Holland, where he obtained two business degrees. Later in life he also certified as black belt in Six Sigma. He is Managing Director and founder of
Mocinno International, a hospitality consulting company that started in 2005, focused on delivering incremental revenues for hotels, spa's and also hotel suppliers.

Jeroen is well traveled and has extensive experience in the luxury travel segment. The main capabilities vary from streamlining cost and operational models, strategy yielding, business development, and marketing to digital marketing. Mocinno International works with a network of highly experienced, energetic and yet innovative people, based in key locations.

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