Generational Marketing In Travel.


In today's digital landscape, multiple travel companies are discussing how to market to newer generations using generational marketing. In the current age, as each generation ages, the marketing strategies age with them and never remain stagnant. To be ahead of the curve, travel companies should be tailoring their customer experience to each different cohort of individuals.

Generational marketing is a strategy that uses audience segmentation to target different individuals based on when they were born. There is no 'one fits all' approach to generational marketing within the travel industry as there will always be customers that don't follow the expected trends. However, by looking at several years of data, you can start to build a marketing approach that caters most to the generation you are targeting.

To start, let's outline each generation:

The newest generation is considered to be gen Z or more appropriately nicknamed the 'i-gen'. Gen Z contains individuals born after 1997 up to the present day and are often mistaken for Millennials due to the over-use of the millennial term through media outlets. With that in mind, Millennials and Gen X do share a considerable amount of characteristics since they are considered the most 'connected' generations, and both grew up with easy access to the internet.

Millennials are categorised by being born from 1980 to 1996 and currently makeup 31.5% of the population, being the largest generation now, according to Bloomberg. The most notable difference between Millennials and Gen Z is that Millennials grew up as the current technologies matured, whereas Gen Z was born into a digital age. While Millennials did have personal computers and the first iterations of mobile devices, Gen Z have their own tablets, smartphones and apps.

Following Millennials, the next generation is Gen X, born between 1960 and 1980. This generation differs largely from the Millennials due to being introduced to the digital environment when already mature. These individuals are more likely to remember 'the firsts' for example, first computers, phones and as such.

Finally, the last relevant generation to today's travel market is the Baby Boomers. The Baby Boomers were born between 1946 and 1964. Born at the end of World War Two, this cohort of individuals has a very different relationship to technology compared to other generations.

When considering today's travel market, there are definite strategies used for each generation to feed their individual needs. The most significant change in approach to note is the planning aspect of booking a trip or journey and cost.

Generational Differences

With Gen Z and Millennials being the largest generations currently, it is worth focusing on their travel habits and understanding their needs to be ahead of the curve. Gen Z and Millennials are more inclined to book last-minute getaways, with 48% of Gen Z travellers booking within a month of travel. They also tend to take more trips a year than any other generation with 82% of Millennials travelling within the last year compared to only 72% of the different generations with 80% of trips being international instead of domestic. They also value cost more significantly than other generations, spending less on average over the year than previous generations even though planning more trips. These trips are also shorter, with a focus on finding the best deals for the location. Along the lines of being cost-effective, these individuals are less likely to pay for extra legroom or a higher class seat on a flight.

Gen Z and Millennials are also more likely to book, and research using a mobile device so many travel brands are focusing on marketing on social media platforms. It’s worth noting that, Tom O’Hara, head of coach tour company Busabout states that 45% of Gen Z individuals follow more than ten online influencers but prefer user-generated content over traditional influencer content.

Considered the biggest family travellers would be Generation X, who aline most, if not all, of their trips with the school holiday timetable. 61% of Gen X have children, so it's a massive consideration for them when booking holidays. They are also considered the second biggest spenders, just behind the Baby Boomers.

The most affluent generation is the Baby Boomers who, on average, spend $2000 more on a journey than Millennials. Out of all generations, Baby Boomers are more likely to take domestic trips over international trips. However, when they do go international, they tend to travel to those 'bucket-list' destinations, which accounts for their more significant spend. They are also more concerned with that luxury or long haul trips. The Baby Boomers are the least likely generation to stay in an AirBnB with only 10% saying that they would consider it. They are also the most loyal, with 75% of Boomer’s booking flights through loyalty programs.

How you can target each generation effectively

Each generation has specific needs and wants when considering booking a journey, and as a business, you want to capture these different individuals. Generational marketing allows you to serve the relevant content to each group of individuals and capture their interest, uplifting your ROI. It's worth considering if any of these generations are your primary focus when implementing a generational marketing strategy as you may want to focus on one generation solely.

Millennials and Gen Z both want to feel a part of the business or campaign. Using personalisation tools that include their name on the page would be an excellent first step towards capturing this audience better by in terms of contextual marketing this is old news As stated above, this generation is more likely to be searching for last-minute or less expensive holidays, so displaying these options on your landing page is another successful personalisation strategy alongside using tactics such as location IP recognition for nearest departure airports. It's worth noting that these are also the least loyal generation and are more focused on the best deal rather than the company themselves. Personalisation is something they have grown up with, so they are extremely unlikely to notice basic personalisation attempts.

The family-focused Gen X should be served family options on the landing page of your site. They are also more likely to be a higher spenders, so consider adding more luxury options and up-sell options too. Gen X wants a more effortless purchase experience, so make sure your deals are clearly placed and simple to purchase. As they have a focus on family holidays, they are more interested in the amenities available to them, consider having these listed in the digital experience.

Finally, baby boomers are the long haul, luxury-seeking holidaymakers. Making sure they are exposed to luxury content is a must. They are incredibly loyal to their favourite companies, so if you are targeting new business from this generation, it's worth offering something in return. All of these additions can be added using a successful personalisation strategy that uses generational traits to segment the audience.

Many different CMS' have personalisation features, but Sitecore is the platform of choice here at Sagittarius. When using Sitecore, you can utilise the inbuilt experience profile and experience database to gather data and develop audience profiles and personas. Using profiles, you can collect further data on your customer's behaviours and use this to create a well rounded, automated personalisation strategy.

Need help with your personalisation strategy? Get in contact with the Sitecore experts here at Sagittarius Agency who can help you implement a successful strategy, delivering ROI.

Whatever your business, be it a regional or global brand, the content you produce plays a vital role in your success. You know that… hence you’re reading this.

A well formulated and executed content strategy not only drives more traffic, at the core, it defines what your business is and helps build a strong connection between you and your audiences.

So let's quickly look at why developing a coherent content strategy is important and how setting clear goals and understanding your audience will elevate your online performance. 

What is a Content Strategy?

It's basic right? Content is at the core of how you define the way your business presents itself and an effective strategy should look to ensure that tone of voice, messaging and the core values are surfaced across all channels, from service or product pages on your website, to blog posts, through social media updates blah blah blah.

But let's keep it simple - your content strategy should be a clear roadmap that connects your marketing activities to your business goals. Align to your customer’s wants and needs and engage them at every interaction point and boom, you're in business. 

Who are my Audience?

You likely start all your projects with this chalked on the wall because your business knows “exactly” who its customers are right? Sounds obvious but we often find its not been done forensically enough (not based on data), is too old (more than 12 months ago - forget it) or its a spin off from some brand work that was legitimately aspirational but doesn’t face the reality of who you your business is actually engaging today.

So start (or circle back) with audience research, building out those personas to understand their ambitions, their lifestyle, their pain points or concerns, and crucially their wants and needs - in your context. 

Do I need to tailor content?

As part of your research find out where your audiences spend their time online and how they interact with content: Some may spend time thoroughly researching a product or service, whereas other audiences may want their content to be quick, snappy or easily digestible in the form of a video, infographic or short blog posts.


Ultimately, the key is to produce a strategy that creates the type of content your customers want to see:

  • What are the problems that your product or service will help them solve?

  • Who are they most influenced by?

  • What voices influence their behaviour?

  • What type of content do they consume?

  • Where do they consume content and engage with brands?

Different Content, Different Objectives

 All content is not born equal: When producing your strategy, it is important that the objectives for each individual piece are defined, that these fulfil your marketing objectives and tie to the overarching goals for your business.

There are various content frameworks that exist to aid content development in this way, but one that is popular and effective is Google’s hero, hub and hygiene method: It provides a framework on developing content to achieve different goals and gives guidance on the effort needed to create each type of content.

Hero Content

Hero content is essentially campaign content, it is big splash ideas designed to appeal to a large audience with the aim of telling your brand’s story at scale. 

Ways of measuring hero include the amount of PR mentions or links from authoritative domains plus social interactions and mentions of your brand across all channels. 

Considering the scale of hero campaigns, this content is not regularly produced and is reserved for peak promotional times where it’s important for a business to stand out from their competitors.

Hub Content

Hub content is the stuff that keeps your audience engaged, it expands on the themes of product or service level content, educates users and helps create a connection between themselves and your brand.

Hygiene Content

Hygiene content is the bread and butter of any website, it is the BAU content for products and services, it is SEO focused and targets important keywords at a product, service or guide level.

How do I manage all this?

Content development is only one part of the ongoing work needed when working with an effective content strategy. We call it “feeding the beast” because it really is the fuel in your brand vehicle and once you start you really can’t stop (if it’s delivering results) but that’s where performance measurement comes in.

Your greatest gift in managing the outputs from your hero/hub/hygiene style efforts is to understand If your content is working. To truly deliver results your business must first understand the objectives and goals of each piece of content to effectively measure its success. That as a guiding light from day 1 will let you slow down, speed up, stop or start new content briefs and projects.

Remember - content strategies are not set in stone. They are living breathing things and should adapt and pivot as insights become available and your brand naturally evolves.

If ever you want to chat content and explore new initiatives we’re always here to help.

want to speak to one of our experts?

Naomi Harper
Head of Marketing & Communications
Naomi is the agency's Head of Marketing & Communications with a strong background in Public Relations, events, Marketing and Brand campaigns.

Naomi joined Sagittarius in January 2021 to deliver exceptional external brand experiences, engaging internal communications and to assist with the driving of sales and the developing of relationships with key strategic suppliers.

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