How to sell group tours to a younger generation

by Stacey Bowman 19. April 2012 00:34



My husband and I are in our early 30s and have a small child. We are not your normal group tour type, but we could be part of an untapped market. Most couples our age are working, raising a family and seriously strapped for time. Planning a long couples weekend or a family vacation can be difficult. I’m a member of a generation that says yes with a click of a button, and I’d rather not have a phone conversation.  So how do you find me?

I know you are going to roll your eyes, but it’s through social marketing.  Facebook, blogs, e-newsletters, digital editions, texting, tweets and so on are your most powerful resources. Yes, I’ve said, “I’m so over Facebook” before, but I still check it every day: when I’m stuck in traffic, waiting on the doctor, in line for coffee, pretending to watch a documentary with my husband — should I go on?

Maybe I’m not updating my personal status that much anymore, but I’m still looking, and if you’ve got something I like, I’ll click on your link. And isn’t getting someone to your site half the battle? And if you do not support mobile devices or do not have a professional-looking website, I will leave your site in a heartbeat. Sorry, but it’s true.

Now that you’ve found me, how do you sell me on a group tour? First, you need to remember who I am. You can’t sell me on a 14-day trip to Italy, no matter how amazing the price. I don’t have the time, period. Sell me on a four-day weekend, where I don’t mind asking the grandparents to watch the baby. Give me a seven-day family trip to Disneyland or the Smoky Mountains that is affordable and flexible, and watch me blast it out to all my friends, who will put their families on that trip, too.

Here are a couple of things to remember about this generation: We are looking at the cost just like everyone else, and we will compare prices online if we think we can do better. We may not go on a bus, but in 10 different SUVs or minivans.

Name badges — really? Most of us have been to all-inclusive resorts; we’ll do wristbands, but name badges — ugh. Give us options. We will spend money on spas, outdoor adventure and so on, all so we can post a picture online to impress our friends who didn’t go on the tour.

Oh, and I forgot the best part: We 30-year-olds have parents, parents who are in that sought-after group called boomers. Treat their kids right, and you just might end up selling that 14-day trip to Italy after all.

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