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The Group Travel Leader Small Market Meetings Going on Faith

Appealing to ‘trailing edge’ boomers

Mike Sullivan

Baby boomers focus on their lifestyles, which means they are busy and always on the go. They believe that travel broadens one’s horizons, and they love to travel. They are perfect for your bank’s travel program if you create programs that are action oriented, “sight-doing” versus “sight-seeing,” where they are able to participate in the travel experience to the fullest.

Let’s look at the latter part of boomer nation: trailing edge boomers in their late 40s to mid-50s. They are the second half of the baby boomer generation, and the group is quite large, making up more than half of the total boomer population, the 76 million or so born between 1946 and 1964. They have enormous pull and clout for your bank and your travel program.

They are at a point in their lives where they are experiencing rising earnings, a time when households historically have their highest annual earnings. Many are married with children. Many are part of a two-income family. Some are caregivers for their parents.

So far, they have spent time in their working lives accumulating things, and now, many want to accumulate “experiences.” They are prime prospects and customers for your bank and your travel program.

When they make a decision on a travel destination, they are prone to expect the highest level of personal service. If your tours deliver it, they will keep coming back. And they will pass the word to friends, family, associates and neighbors.

They don’t see travel as a luxury but rather as a necessity. As the economy improves, boomers in general will again begin to respond to your travel offerings in greater numbers.

Travel is therapeutic for them and fun. The successful travel experience has to be social and sensory in its nature, and it has to be easy and convenient to sign up. They want to feel what they haven’t felt before.

Just make sure your bank travel programs fit their lifestyle values. Their core motivational values are built around attractiveness, pragmatism and sensory stimulation. At this stage of their lives, what drives them is material possessions and status.

They want to experience the adventures they have missed because they were so busy working. They see themselves as active, even vibrant individuals. Boomers have longer life expectancies, and they want to take advantage of this “longevity bonus.”

Most of the trailing edge boomers are not retired but are still involved in their careers. That means that most of their traveling is done in shorter durations — a week or so.

Now, they have more money than ever before. They are not afraid of spending money, but they do look for quality, unique experiences that are physically or mentally challenging.

They make loyal customers because they appreciate reliability and quality from you and the bank.

Contact me for my free copy of “10 Tips for Selling to Boomers” at, by phone at 704-554-7863 or at

Michael P. Sullivan is the president of 50-Plus Communications Consulting, 2911 Wamath Drive, Charlotte, NC. He consults and trains staff at banks, investment firms and health care organizations.