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The European market potential for Baby Boomer tourism

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European Baby Boomers are a large, wealthy consumer group. They think of themselves as ‘ageless travellers’ who like to explore and see the best sites. There are large populations of Baby Boomers in Germany, the UK and France. Retired Baby Boomers are the largest segment in the Baby Boomer market. European Baby Boomers are conscious of sustainability and want to know that the tour operators they travel with are responsible businesses. They are more willing to pay for sustainable travel products than other consumer groups.

1. Product description

Baby Boomers, also referred to as ‘Boomers’, were born between 1946 and 1964, and they are aged between 60 and 78 today. This generation emerged after the Second World War when birth rates around the world spiked. By 2025, Baby Boomers aged between 61 and 79 will make up 20% of Europe’s population; every Baby Boomer will be older than 65 by 2029.

Baby Boomers define themselves by their professional accomplishments. They grew up working hard, being self-reliant and competing to achieve their dreams. They have strong family values and prioritise bonds with others.

Figure 1: Defining characteristics of major generations

Defining characteristics of major generations

Source: Medium, 2018

Today, Baby Boomers are keen travellers. They can travel at any time of the year, which means there are plenty of opportunities for local tour operators to attract visitors out of season. They are clear about where they want to go and what they want to do, and they look for luxury and bucket list trips. They have high expectations and often use technology to help them research and make travel decisions.

Table 1: Examples of providers and holidays attractive to Baby Boomers

ProviderHolidays for 60+
Explore – Singles holidays for the over 60s

Jordan Discovery. A 9-day trip to the top sites in Jordan. To help Baby Boomers decide whether the trip is for them, the operator provides clear information. For instance, the operator mentions that the trip is conducted at a fast pace, and there are some long bus journeys.

Intrepid – Over 60s tours and holidays

Premium Vietnam. An 8-day trip to discover Vietnam’s highlights and traditions. The Premium range is particularly well-suited for Baby Boomers because it includes the best accommodation, the most comfortable transport and exclusive experiences led by experienced team leaders. 

Southern Star Tours – Small group tours for over 60s travellers

Japan Cherry Blossom. A ten-day tour. All tours are fully escorted by a driver and hostess. Baby Boomer guests are collected from their homes (within a 20-kilometre radius of the departure point). 

Newmarket Holidays – Over 60s holidayIndia – Tigers and the Taj Mahal. A one-day trip exploring northern India’s great cities. The operator offers a high level of care for its over-60s customers. Itineraries are carefully curated with high-quality accommodation, expert guides and flexibility for joining in as much or as little according to personal preference. 
Lapa Rios Ecolodge

Award-winning luxury rainforest ecolodge, Costa Rica. Lapa Rios preserves 1,000 acres of rainforest and assists in local community development. Baby Boomers who value sustainability can experience the rainforest and tropical marine tours in luxury. 

Insight Safari Holidays – African safari for seniors 60+

This operator offers tailor-made holidays for the 60+ segment to safari destinations in Africa, including South Africa, Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. They support senior travellers with issues such as health conditions, limited mobility and different levels of fitness. Trips prioritise relaxation and full immersion in the destination. 

Solos – Singles holidays for over-60s

Uzbekistan, Silk Road DiscoveryAn 11-day trip to visit the magnificent architecture, powerful history and ancient sites of Uzbekistan. As a singles holiday, emphasis is placed on ‘joining with other singles’ and ‘meeting like-minded people’, which is important for single Baby Boomers.


Source: Acorn Tourism Consulting, 2024

End market segmentation and consumer behaviour

Baby Boomers can be divided into 2 types: younger and older. They can also be segmented by those who still work and those who have retired. Further segmentation should also consider the effects of ageing, such as those who are now single. Other factors include remote working, where Baby Boomers who still work can travel for longer periods.

Table 2: Baby Boomer travel types

Baby Boomer travel typeCharacteristicsMarket Information
Retired Baby Boomers

The biggest Baby Boomer segment. They are cash and time rich. They can travel multiple times a year, look for quality trips and are more likely to choose high-end options than other Baby Boomers.

41% of Baby Boomers said that spending their hard-earned cash on travelling during retirement was worthwhile.
Working Baby BoomersThey are often in senior positions. Some WFH (work from home) and can combine travel with working remotely, allowing them to travel longer. Europe’s retirement age varies between countries, from 62 (Slovakia) and 68 (Sweden) Many Baby Boomers work past retirement age. Working Baby Boomers will eventually become a minority segment.
Solo Baby BoomersMany Baby Boomers travel solo. They value interacting and meeting with local people and other travellers while travelling. Joining with other solo travellers is important. Many are budget conscious.Most solo Baby Boomers travellers are women. 52% of solo travellers are interested in escorted local tours, and 40% have taken a solo trip in the last year.
Women Baby BoomersWomen Baby Boomers are concerned with safety and are interested in the lives of women in the places they travel to. This group is becoming noticeably more adventurous.It is a fast growing segment in travel and related to solo travel. 

Skip-Gen is short for ‘skipping a generation’, where the grandparents take the grandchildren on holiday while the children’s parents remain at home to work. 

10% of European Baby Boomers take holidays centred on family.

Gap Year BoomersMost will be retired, although some still working are able to work remotely. They will stay in one destination, from a week to more than a month. Comfort and ways to conserve travel budgets are important.20% of Baby Boomers plan to go away for 9 months to a year.

Source: Acorn Tourism Consulting, 2024

A study by Expedia identified the following key characteristics of Baby Boomer travellers.

  • European Baby Boomers travel 3.1 times a year on average. 48% of Baby Boomers went on a sightseeing holiday versus 45% of Gen Z and Gen Y, and 43% of Gen X. 53% of Baby Boomers are likely to take relaxing holidays.
  • 39% of Baby Boomers like to take holidays to visit family. As these trips have special meaning, Baby Boomer family groups look for quality, either through the experience, accommodation, entertainment or food and drink. Similarly, although only 18% of Baby Boomers went on romantic getaways, they were quality holidays because of their special meaning.
  • Baby Boomers take the longest trips, travelling for 10.5 days on average. 54% of Baby Boomers planned their holiday using an OTA (online travel agency). 20% also used destination websites. The least-used channels for Baby Boomers are blogs (4%) and social media (3%). Baby Boomers are decisive when planning holidays. 41% know where they want to travel to, and 51% know what they want to do when they start to plan their trip.
  • 59% of European Baby Boomers choose hotels as their primary source of holiday lodging. Although this is lower than Gen Y (65%) and Gen X (62%), Baby Boomers spend more on their hotel stays. They spend 31% of their budget on hotels and 17% of their budget on food.

Despite their wealth, 79% of Baby Boomers agreed that looking for the best deals and value for money was important. As 23% prefer to travel close to home, this indicates that 77% of Baby Boomers like to travel long or medium haul.

Table 3: Attitudes of Baby Boomers towards travel

Travel attitude % agree
I look for the best deals and most value for my money.79%
I’ll go anywhere that allows me to explore the outdoors and be active.69%
I often opt for locations that are off the beaten path and/or recommendations from locals.65%
I prefer to go to museums and historical sites. Art and culture fills my travel itinerary.64%
You only live once so taking risks and crossing things off my bucket list is important.46%
Every holiday is family-oriented and has a specific focus on what will keep my family entertained and happy.45%
I prefer all-inclusive holidays where I don’t have to worry about a thing.44%
I’m all about taking naps on the beach, spa treatments and all-day relaxation.38%
I plan all my travel around where and what I eat and drink.23%
I don’t like travelling far, as long as I’m not at work I’m on holiday.23%

Source: Expedia, 2017

Similarly, when Baby Boomers were asked to choose which holiday consideration would be most important, experiences, activities, lowest price, travelling with friends and luxury all ranked highly.

Table 4: Holiday considerations for Baby Boomers ranked by importance

1Activities I will do on my trip
2The cultural experience
3A once in a lifetime experience
4Feeling pampered during my holiday
5Outdoor activities
6Deals and/or special offers
= 7Lowest price
= 7A place where I can holiday with my friends
8Going somewhere where I can take memorable pictures
9My food experience
10Recommendations from family and friends
11Going somewhere unique that will produce photos

Source: Expedia, 2017


  • Offer good deals and unique experiences to attract Baby Boomers. Despite their relative wealth and disposable income, Baby Boomers still want to know they get value for money.
  • Make sure information is included in your marketing that lets solo Baby Boomers know when and how they can meet people and be sociable on their trips.
  • Train your staff to deliver high standards of service. Always be aware of the high value that Baby Boomers place on service when interacting with them.
  • Your specialist expertise and unique proposition must be prominent in your marketing. Baby Boomers have developed their interests over a lifetime and are impressed by high levels of knowledge and skill. They want to know that they will gain something extra from their travels.

Accessible tourism on the European market

Accessible tourism is the ongoing endeavour to ensure that tourist destinations, products and services are accessible to everyone, regardless of physical limitations, disabilities or age. It applies to both publicly and privately owned tourist locations. The improvements not only benefit those with permanent physical disabilities but also parents with small children, elderly travellers, people with temporary injuries and their travel companions. Disabled tourists may travel individually, in groups, with their families or with carers. 

Accessibility and Baby Boomers

Many Baby Boomers are advanced in years and have accessibility needs. Baby Boomers do not want these accessibility needs to limit their travel ambitions. Remember they like to think of themselves as ‘ageless travellers’, so they look favourably on holidays that take their requirements into account. They seek good, clear information but do not want it to cause them any embarrassment.


  • Read the CBI study, The European market potential for accessible tourism, and Entering the European market for accessible tourism products, for practical and useful advice to make your tours accessible.
  • Train your staff how to communicate with and behave towards Baby Boomers with accessibility requirements.
  • Consult with your customers and rely on their experience. Being open with Baby Boomer customers shows that you have a high service mentality and provides opportunities to find out about possible health and accessibility requirements.
  • Provide for individuals with accessibility requirements, such as walking poles for soft trekking. Make sure the facilities and toilets in the accommodation are easy to access.

2. What makes Europe an interesting market for baby boomer tourism?

Europe is an interesting market for Baby Boomer tourism because it has a large market of Baby Boomers. It is growing in importance because Europe’s population is getting older. Between 2013 and 2023, the proportion of Europeans over 65 grew by 3%. In January 2023, the population in the European Union (EU) was estimated at 448.8 million, with more than one-fifth (21.3%) of the total population being aged 65 or older

Consistently low birth rates and higher life expectancy in Europe are leading to a much older population. As a result, the proportion of people under 65 in the EU is shrinking while the share of those aged 65+ will continue increasing. The EU estimates that people aged 65+ will account for 32.5% of the EU population by 2100.

In terms of spending power, it is important to note that 22% European Baby Boomers are amongst the top 25% of the wealthiest people. They have less debt than other generations and are less affected by the current cost of living crisis. This enables Baby Boomers to spend on premium travel experiences. These include luxury cruises, all-inclusive tours and quality accommodation. As Baby Boomers continue to age, their needs will change. This also involves increased requirements regarding health and mobility.


  • Offer a personalised service. Baby Boomers like to be looked after from beginning to end, so make sure you ask your guests about their requirements.
  • Be aware that there are different segments in the Baby Boomers market. Remember they might be retired or still working, solo travellers, or prefer to travel as a FIT (fully independent traveller) or in a group.
  • Offer products that allow Baby Boomers to engage with the location. They will visit local restaurants, enjoy local experiences and are concerned about sustainability. They like to know that they can contribute to local communities and the environment. 

3. Which European countries offer the most opportunities for baby boomer tourism?

The European countries that offer the most opportunities for the Baby Boomer market are Germany, UK, France, Italy, Spain and Poland. This is based on the size of the Baby Boomer population, the percent share of Baby Boomers versus the total population, and the wealth of Baby Boomers in those countries.

Table 5: Top 20 European source markets for Baby Boomers, 2023

RankSource MarketBaby Boomers aged 60 to 79 % Share Baby Boomers vs. Total Population

Source: EuroStat, ONS (UK), 2023


Germany has the largest number of Baby Boomers in Europe at 15.6 million. However, only 18.5% of Germany’s population are Baby Boomers. 

German Baby Boomers are sophisticated. A recent study showed that 34% of German Baby Boomers were affluent and 18.1% of their total wealth was available for spending19% of internet users in Germany are Baby Boomers, the second highest in Europe after the Netherlands.

Germans of all ages love to travel. 75% (53.1 million) of the German population went on at least one holiday in 2022. It was a record year for holiday expenditure by German tourists, who spent 80.1 billion EUR. Of 67.1 million holidays, 73% were abroad. The top developing country destinations for all German residents in 2019 (pre-pandemic) were Turkey, Egypt, Thailand, Morocco, South Africa and Mexico.

Source: UNWTO, 2023

Thailand is the third most popular destination outside of Europe for Germans. More than a quarter of tourists (26.5%) who travelled there were aged 55 or older in 2019. Other examples include India, where, out of all German tourists who visited in 2018, 10.2% were Baby Boomers. Similarly, in 2022, 4.5% of all German tourists to Tanzania were Baby Boomers.

German Baby Boomers are particularly keen on beach and leisure activities (64%), but cost and affordability are key factors they consider when planning a holiday. Most of them use travel company websites to plan and research (79%), and they mostly travel as couples (52%).

Table 6: Travel Characteristics of German Baby Boomers, aged 55–64, 2023

Most important factors when planning an international trip 

Cost and affordability: 60%

Breakfast included in hotel: 36%

Experiencing local culture and history: 28%

Top activities while travelling

Beach and leisure activities: 64%

Cultural and gastronomic activities: 48%

Shopping: 36%

Leading sources of information when learning about new destinations

Websites of travel companies: 79%

Tripadvisor: 27%

YouTube: 19%

Who they travel with most often 

As a couple: 52%

Family: 36%

Preferred accommodation when travelling for leisure

3 or 4 stars: 46%

Budget: 29%

4 or 5 stars: 21%

Source: TGM Global Travel Survey 2023

The United Kingdom (UK)

The UK has Europe’s second largest population of Baby Boomers, with almost 13 million. They make up 19.3% of the population. Many Baby Boomers from the UK are wealthy. Assessing the level of wealth and disposable income of the 65+ age group is useful to understand how this group spend money. Total wealth is defined as a combination of property, cars and physical things (assets), private pensions, and savings/investments.

In the chart below, you can see how UK citizens get more wealthy as they age. They have accumulated houses, savings and investments. In the 65+ segment, more than one quarter (27%) had total wealth of more than 1 million GBP in 2020. It is also interesting to note that more than one third (36%) of the 55 to 64 age group have more wealth than the 65+.

Source: ONS, 2018-2020

Disposable income is another good way to assess how much money a person has to spend on things like travel. In 2022, the average disposable income for retired households grew 7% compared to 2% for all other households. 38% of over 50s planned to travel more than in 2019. 61% planned to spend more than 3,000 GBP on overseas travel and 12% more than 10,000 GBP. 80% of those aged 65+ have access to the internet and 20% booked their holidays online. 61% of UK 65–75 year olds use Facebook and 54% YouTube.

Source: UNWTO, 2023

The top developing country destinations for all UK citizens in 2019 were Turkey, India, Mexico and Morocco. British Baby Boomers enjoy visiting long-haul destinations. 28% of all UK tourists who visited Thailand in 2019 were aged 55 or over. Similarly, in 2018, 14.6% out of more than 1 million UK visitors to India were Baby Boomers, and in 2022 5.2% of all UK visitors to Tanzania were Baby Boomers, up from 4.3% in 2019. 

Cost and affordability are the most important factors for British Baby Boomers when planning international trips (54%). They are motivated by beach and leisure (77%) and cultural and gastronomic activities (69%), and mostly use websites of travel companies to learn about new destinations (74%).

Table 7: Travel Characteristics of British Baby Boomers, aged 55–64, 2023

Most important factors when planning an international trip 

Cost and affordability: 54%

Centrally located accommodations: 39%

Adult only resorts/accommodations/cruises: 39%

Top activities while travelling

Beach and leisure activities: 77%

Cultural and gastronomic activities: 69%

Shopping: 62%

Leading sources of information when learning about new destinations

Websites of travel companies: 74%

Tripadvisor: 70%

YouTube: 14%

Who they travel with most often

Family: 46%

As a couple: 39%

Friends: 15%

Preferred accommodation when travelling for leisure

3 or 4 stars: 46%

4 or 5 stars: 39%

Villa, condominium or home: 15%

Source: TGM Global Travel Survey 2023


France has Europe’s third biggest Baby Boomers population at 11.8 million. However, Baby Boomers account for 17.4% of France’s total population. 32.2% of French Baby Boomers have high levels of wealth but lower levels of disposable income. Of their wealth, 8.5% is available as spending money.

A third of France’s population will be over 60 years old by 2060, 10 million more people than in 2007. They have high purchasing power because of France’s strong economy and high savings account interest rates so they can enjoy a retirement that includes holidays. Only 6.3% of French residents aged 55 and over live in low-income households, compared to 24% of Gen Y. The preferred developing destinations for all French tourists in 2019 were Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey and Thailand.

Source: UNWTO, 2023

‘Cultural and gastronomic’ is the most popular sector of activities for French Baby Boomers by a long way (86%), followed by beach and leisure (64%). A key factor they plan for is having free time to relax (57%) and to take in local culture and history 43%. Where Germans and British Baby Boomers consider affordability important, it is not as important for French Baby Boomers, which makes them an interesting demographic. 

Table 8: Travel Characteristics of French Baby Boomers, aged 55–64, 2023

Most important factors when planning an international trip 

Free time to relax: 57%

Experiencing local culture and history: 43%

All-inclusive experiences: 43%

Top activities while travelling

Cultural and gastronomic activities: 86%

Beach and leisure: 64%

Photography: 35%

Leading sources of information when learning about new destinations

Websites of travel companies: 69%

Travel blogs: 29%

Tripadvisor: 28%

Who they travel with most often

As a couple: 58%

Family: 28%

Preferred accommodation when travelling for leisure

3 to 4 stars: 47%

Budget: 38%

Source: TGM Global Travel Survey 2023


Italy has 11.1 million Baby Boomers, which makes up a relatively large proportion of Italy’s total population (18.8%). This means the marketing RoI is potentially better here than for Germany and France. 30.7% of Italian Baby Boomers are wealthy, and they have 9.6% of their wealth available as spending money. By 2045, Italians aged over 65 will account for 34% of the total population. Only 16% of Italian internet users are Baby Boomers. Facebook is Italian Baby Boomers’ most-used social media platform.

Italian Baby Boomers have a youthful outlook and see ageing as a time to enjoy and for different activities. Their higher spending power allows them to afford things they could not when they were younger. Cost is also important to them, but they prefer quality over price and look for products that are good value for money. They want to travel and look for new adventures. Italian Baby Boomers are loyal customers who expect high-quality service. They like to socialise and care about ethical issues and the reputation of brands.

The top developing country destinations for Italian residents in 2019 were Egypt, Turkey, Morocco and Thailand. There is evidence to suggest that older Italian consumer segments are travelling to and spending more at all types of destinations. In 2022, 6% of Italian visitors to Tanzania were Baby Boomers, up from 2019 when only 2% were Baby Boomers. In addition, of Italian tourists who visited India in 2018, 10.5% were Baby Boomers, up from 2017 when 9.7% were Baby Boomers.

Source: UNWTO, 2023

Cost and affordability are important to Italian Baby Boomers (50%) along with the ability to incorporate tours into their holidays (36%). Their top preferred activities are cultural and gastronomic (64%), beach and leisure (58%) and shopping (57%).

Table 9: Travel Characteristics of Italian Baby Boomers, aged 55–64, 2023

Most important factors when planning an international trip 

Cost and affordability: 50%

Incorporating excursions, tours and activities: 36%

Free time to relax: 36%

Centrally located accommodations: 36%

Top activities while travelling

Cultural and gastronomic activities: 64%

Beach and leisure activities: 58%

Shopping: 57%

Leading sources of information when learning about new destinations

Websites of travel companies: 54%

Tripadvisor: 52%

Travel blogs: 36%

Who they travel with most often

Family: 42%

As a couple: 36%

Friends: 14%

Preferred accommodation when travelling for leisure

3 to 4 stars: 39%

Budget: 30%

Source: TGM Global Travel Survey 2023


Spain has a Baby Boomer population of just over 8 million (16.8% of the total population). A third (33%) of all Spanish Baby Boomers are wealthy, and 34% are middle income. In 2019, the average income of Spanish households was 39,500 EUR, where the head of the family was aged between 46 and 64. Between 2001 and 2019, households with a head of the family aged over 65 saw their income improve by 37%.

In 2008, only 7% of Spanish senior citizens used the internet. By 2018, this had risen to 47% with the increase even more significant amongst women. Spanish Baby Boomers mostly use WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. Before 2018, Facebook was the most used social media channel for Spanish Baby Boomers, but WhatsApp is the most popular now. Instagram is also growing in popularity.

Source: UNWTO, 2023

The top developing country destinations for Spanish citizens in 2019 were Morocco, Mexico, Turkey and Thailand. Colombia and Chile are also popular destination as they are Spanish speaking. Spanish residents are travelling more, and this is especially reflected in the older generations. In 2017, 7.4% of Spanish visitors to India were Baby Boomers; by the next year, 7.5% were Baby Boomers. Similarly in Tanzania, the proportion of Spanish Baby Boomer visitors is growing. In 2019, only 0.9% of all Spanish visitors to Tanzania were Baby Boomers, but this had risen to 2.5% by 2022.

When planning a trip, Spanish Baby Boomers are most influenced by experiencing local culture and history (54%). Beach and leisure (62%) and culture and gastronomy (61%) are their preferred activities. Tripadvisor is the leading source of information (48%), which is different from all other source markets. 

Table 10: Travel Characteristics of Spanish Baby Boomers, aged 55–64, 2023

Most important factors when planning an international trip 

Experiencing local culture and history: 54%

Cost and affordability: 46%

Excellent dining options: 31%

Top activities while travelling

Beach and leisure activities: 62%

Cultural and gastronomic activities: 61%

Shopping: 46%

Leading sources of information when learning about new destinations

Tripadvisor: 48%

Travel company websites: 45%

Travel blogs: 31%

Who they travel with most often

Family: 38%

Friends: 31%

As a couple: 23%

Preferred accommodation when travelling for leisure

3 to 4 stars: 64%

Budget: 18%

Villa, condominium or home: 18%

Source: TGM Global Travel Survey 2023


Poland has the smallest population of Baby Boomers of the top source markets. By 2030, the number of Polish citizens aged 60+ is expected to increase by 20.7% to 10.6 million, making them Poland’s largest consumer cohort, accounting for 28.5% of the total population. The Polish market is changing fast. Although it is the sixth largest Baby Boomers market, there is still a big difference between Poland and the other 5. 

The amount of money that Polish residents spend on travelling is less than the other top 6 source markets. In 2016, the average income for those aged 60–64 was 10,500 EUR, and 9,500 for those aged 65+. By 2022, however, the ability of Polish residents to spend on holidays had increased, driven by the average annual wage rising to € 17,700 from € 11,300 in 2016

A similar rapid change is evident in Polish Baby Boomers’ internet use. In 2018, only 14% of internet users in Poland were Baby BoomersThey were not familiar with new technologies and preferred traditional media, such as television and print. By 2023, however, 71% of Polish 55–64 year olds had used travel companies’ websites to learn about new destinations, 44% had used travel blogs, 33% Facebook and 17% YouTube. 

Poland’s long haul Baby Boomer market is important for a range of countries. In 2019, Poland was the 11th biggest source market for Thailand; bigger than Norway, Finland, Belgium and Austria. 12.6% of those travellers were aged 55 and over. In 2017, 5% of Polish visitors to India were Baby Boomers; by 2018 this had increased to 5.3%.

Cost and affordability are the most important factors when planning an international trip (69%) the highest of all main source markets. This is most likely because Polish citizens have the lowest GDP per capita. Polish Baby Boomers like to know there will be good dining options (45%), and beach and leisure are their preferred activities (76%)

Table 11: Travel Characteristics of Polish Baby Boomers, aged 55–64, 2023

Most important factors when planning an international trip 

Cost and affordability: 69%

Excellent dining options: 45%

Experiencing local culture and history: 38%

Free time to relax: 33%

All-inclusive experiences: 24%

Incorporating excursions, tours and activities: 24%

Top activities while travelling

Beach and leisure activities: 76%

Cultural and gastronomic activities: 64%

Photography 40%

Leading sources of information when learning about new destinations

Websites of travel companies: 71%

Travel blogs: 44%

Facebook: 33%

Who they travel with most often

Family: 62%

As a couple: 22%

Preferred accommodation when travelling for leisure

3 to 4 stars: 56%

Budget: 26%

Source: TGM Global Travel Survey 2023


The key travel trends for the European Baby Boomer market include authentic and meaningful experiences, along with wellness. Baby Boomers also like to know that their travel is sustainable, that it will benefit the communities they visit and that it contributes to conserving the environment.

Baby Boomers seek meaningful experiences

Meaningful experiences are very personal and vary from one traveller to the next. A meaningful trip could be to an iconic site like Angkor Wat in Cambodia or Machu Pichu in Peru. For another traveller, a meaningful trip could focus on an interest of theirs, such as wildlife, scuba diving, exploring or experiencing new cultures.

Experiences and activities that are local, authentic and immersive are highly sought after. According to a survey by Flywire, travellers are increasingly choosing personalised trips that deliver unique experiences, often off the beaten track. 89% of providers saw increased demand for this kind of travel.

The demand for slow travel has also increased. The concept of slow travel is travelling slowly, staying longer and more locally, and making closer connections to the people and region. This allows travellers to connect more fully with their destination and to immerse themselves in the local culture. 86% of providers in South Africa said they had seen more demand for slow travel compared to last year, and 84% said the demand for slow travel will continue to grow.

Figure 8: Baby Boomers visiting a Hindu temple in Bali

Baby Boomers visiting a Hindu temple in Bali

Source: Acorn Tourism Consulting

Baby Boomers who work from home are also driving this trend as travel providers are seeing more demand from travellers seeking accommodation that provide facilities for remote working. 


  •  Enable Baby Boomers slow or longer stay travellers to make changes to their bookings. Once in a destination, they may decide to stay longer – if you can be flexible, it may benefit you. They will look for deals, and this also gives them the flexibility to make decisions on the go and when to move onto the next destination.

A target group that values wellness

Wellness tourism is popular among Baby Boomers, and it can vary widely. Primary wellness tourism involves staying at a wellness resort or taking trips centred on spirituality. Secondary wellness tourism is where the wellness aspect is not the main focus of the trip. For example, it may involve trips to remote natural landscapes or taking part in yoga sessions.

In Europe, people are living longer, so Baby Boomers travel later on in life and are interested in their personal health. Male Baby Boomers are more likely to focus on physical activity and mindfulness gained from connecting with nature. Nature is also important for female Baby Boomers, as is yoga and other spiritual or traditional practices.

According to the Global Wellness Institute, wellness tourism was valued at 651 billion USD in 2022. Many top wellness destinations, like the Bahamas, Maldives and the Seychelles, are highly dependent on wellness tourism, and Baby Boomers are an important target market for wellness tourism providers.


  • Think about how your products can be enhanced to meet the wellness needs of your Baby Boomer customers. Include authentic wellness treatments or activities in all your products.
  • Download the CBI study Opportunities for Wellness Tourism on the European market to find out more about this market. 

Baby Boomers are a sustainability minded generation

Globally, Baby Boomers are the most concerned generation about sustainability. They have witnessed a lot of change over the years and are very aware of what is happening to the planet on a global scale. They are concerned for younger generations and have more time to explore these issues.

Research has found that 72% are willing to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. 81% are conscious of wasting less food, water, and energy and avoid using plastic bags. 49% would be willing not to travel by air for the environment. 51% consider themselves to be environmentally conscious, and only 12% say that reducing their environmental impact is too much work.

Figure 9: Baby Boomer versus Gen Y attitudes regarding sustainability and environmental consciousness

Baby Boomer versus Gen Y attitudes regarding sustainability and environmental consciousness

Source: Forrester, 2019

According to luxury travel brand, Virtuoso, post-pandemic travellers want to have sustainable experiences wherever they go. 82% of Virtuoso’s travellers, many of whom are Baby Boomers, indicated that the COVID-19 pandemic made them want to travel more sustainably. 79% believe it is important to choose a hotel, cruise line or travel company that has a strong sustainability policy.

Figure 10: Baby Boomers protesting for climate action

Baby Boomers protesting for climate action

Source: Mika Baumeister at Unsplash, 2019

Baby Boomers want to be convinced of a holiday supplier’s sustainability credentials and are willing to pay for this expertise. All the suppliers featured in Table 1 prominently feature their commitment to sustainable tourism on their websites, with each one dedicating at least one webpage to this.


  • Download CBI’s study How to be a sustainable tourism business. You need to know what you are talking about with regard to sustainability. Remember Baby Boomers are experienced travellers so they will know the difference between good and bad practice.
  • Read the other CBI studies about sustainability so you can be sure you are doing everything you can to be a sustainable tourism business. These studies are Tips to go green and Tips to be socially responsible

Acorn Tourism Consulting Limited carried out this study on behalf of CBI.

Please review our market information disclaimer.

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Baby Boomers are one of our main demographics. They have more disposable income and time for long-haul holidays, as they’re generally retired. They’re keen to go off the beaten track, like to be looked after and want things to run smoothly, so we book everything from ‘head to tail’. They like knowing all the activity and trip details and don’t like being left to their own devices for too long.

Baby boomers