Monday, June 25, 2007

Generation X

Yes, I am in Generation X, yes, I have been swamped in getting this new public relations business in Vermont up and running, and yes - it is finally coming together! I am moved into my new house in the Old North End of Burlington, Vermont, my home office is set up, and I know it is time to get blogging!!

So, I just got back from the Lake Champlain Chamber of Commerce Travel and Tourism Study Committee meeting, and have some thoughts I'd like to share. First of all, the purpose of such meetings is to ultimately find ways to beef up tourism in Vermont - an industry that impacts so much of the state's economy, yet - in my opinion - is in constant need of improvement. While sitting at the meeting, I am filled with thoughts and ideas that break from my regular flow of client work (much of which deals with Vermont tourism) that often helps shape new ideas away from my current train of thought.

The one I want to write about today - and hope to get some comments on - is Generation X and their travel habits. It continues to baffle my mind how tourism dollars everywhere are so geared towards our Baby Boomers parents. Yes, they have the most disposable income ever and of course we will always be the poor children - even when we are retiring, but why does no one market to our generation???

We are now old enough to enjoy the "finer things in life" and we have some money. And, we're exceptional targets for in state travel - so how come no one's offering us free gas gimics, or two for one specials, or sending us coupons, or encouraging us through the media (aka public relations folks) to travel and experience the state we live in?

Thoughts on why? Ideas to target Generation X?

8 comments:

Meredith said...

Keep in mind the out-of-state Gen Xers that would love to visit Vermont too. I would suggest focusing on the adventure of VT - skiing, camping, kayaking, hiking... and family friendly versions of these activities for Gen Xers with little ones in tow.

JCZingbee said...

How about postng a geographical index of interesting Vermont places to visit...as in the Fairbanks Museum up near St. Johnsbury, or the historical Bennington Museum (with its great bookstore) at the opposite corner of the state. I often describe a visit only to have someone more familiar with the place than me ask "Did you go to.......right near by?" Then I'm thinking "Would have loved it if only I had known about it."

Anonymous said...

Generation Xers have money?? New to me. I think they are mostly looking for bargain mini-vacations - which Vermont has a lot to offer. Everyone wants a good deal. What can you do in Vermont (different each season) for as few bucks as possible??

Rachel Carter said...

I didn't say Generation Xers have much money, but some for mini-vacations and the like. I'd love to see Vermont put some tourism dollars into marketing in state as well as to the drive market in our age bracket. We may not spend money at the Manchester outlets, but we certainly can help keep mom and pops in business, will buy local food products, and will stay at the lesser known, more out-of-the-way lodging properties.

Jen McColgan said...

I do agree that there is so much more the state can be doing to promote tourism from within the state. However you and I both know there is sooo much more they could be doing to get people to come visit VT from out of state..

These things cost money and we both know the state of VT doesn't have all that much to invest.. However, there are a lot of ways they can reach Gen-X out of staters without having to spend much money.. blogs are a good example.. and you Rachel Carter are promoting tourism in VT just by writing this blog..

What are some other examples of ways you can market without spending a dime?

HalfpipeVT said...

I think the hook could be music festivals and snowboarding packages geared towards out-of-staters and in-staters too, but also like jc said hallmark some of the 'off the beaten track' spots, like hikes away from the elite places of Stowe and Sugarbush. Bike riding is a good one too - we have so many places to do outdoor stuff - so highlight the less traveled areas that even native VT's are aware of - but not too far from civilization. Sometimes those small deli's or pubs can be the best stop on the travel. I know it has been that for me before, and I live here.

Ace said...

Perhaps you should take a step back and revisit the initial question you asked yourself, "WHY"...Especially for in State Travel itself. Which demographic requires marketing? Seems to me, that Gen. X seems the most likely to already be making in state trips and spending money on things such as skiing, music festivals etc. The other generations may be less inclined to be making these trips and therefore targeted marketing towards that generation may actually help boost VT Tourism the most. Basically boils down to the biggest bang for the buck. Of course without any actual data it is hard to determine which demographic would yield the best returns for the States marketing Dollar. Thats a different angle you could look at.

HalfpipeVT said...

Yeah Ace has a good point, GenXer's are making there way in the world now, but they/we are just starting out, so the disposable income level isn't quite what the 45+ crowd would yield. They may be the best demographic to go after, but of course you would need to alter the offer. So have family deals to the smaller resorts, tout the mountain biking opportunities and hiking too. Wine tastings instead of music festivals may do the trick too.