This generation is not the largest demographic group and is often passed by in the business marketing efforts of some industries. Sandwiched in age between two large and influential generations, Baby Boomers and Millennials, Gen Xers are frequently “forgotten” as in one of their nicknames. This is unfortunate, as the so-called “lost” generation is in the prime of their adult earning lives. The majority of Gen Xers are raising families and travel with them for vacations whenever possible. This fact makes them less likely to make spontaneous travel decisions to international destinations, for example, and more likely to drive on a family vacation to a domestic destination.
Because they are largely in their child-rearing years and facing those responsibilities, Generation X tends to be budget conscious as well. Additionally, they travel the least compared to other generations. As a result, they seek the best travel deals and will extensively research to find them, often through online travel agencies. Despite their frugality, Gen Xers do enjoy activities and are willing to set aside a portion of their budget for tours and excursions when they travel. Importantly for hoteliers, a number of research studies have found Generation X spends the most of all generations during their trips.
Generation X looks to social media for travel inspiration, but does so differently than younger generations. Unlike Generations Y and Z, Facebook and Pinterest are the most often used social networks by Gen Xers looking for vacation ideas. Like all generations, they are seeking genuine experiences in their travel. They also prefer the experience be immersive and offer them connection with the destination. Physical activity in some manner, combined with cultural and culinary encounters with the locale are the vacation favorites of Generation X.
Loyalty levels to brands by Gen Xers tend to be rather low since they express loyalty differently. Research has shown the loyalties of this generation are more towards individuals rather than entities. Therefore, other deciding factors drive their booking decisions. Location, convenience of the hotel, price and quality are most important when a Gen Xer books a hotel, with good reviews being of utmost importance to them overall. They also rely heavily on the recommendations of their friends as well.
In part three of this series we will take a look at the travel motivations of the largest generation currently, the Millennials. Otherwise known as Generation Y.