Do you know which generation has grown up playing video games, spends the most time shopping online and uses social media more habitually than any other generation?
If Millennial comes to mind, think again! It’s actually Gen X, the ‘neglected middle child of the generation line-up’, that fits these criteria.
Now occupying the majority of business leadership roles, this generation that ranges in age between 35 and 50, has the most disposable income, and should definitely not be overlooked by travel companies.
So, what should the travel industry know about Gen X?
Not digital natives, but definitely tech-savvy
Gen X is the most connected generation and constitutes 34% of the Global Internet Population, according to Global Web Index.
Research by Nielsen shows that Gen Xers use social media 40 minutes more each week than millennials. Don’t make the mistake of thinking this generation is ‘too old’ for Youtube either. According to Pixability, Gen Xers account for over 1.5B views every day on YouTube.
Gen Xers are more likely than millennials to stay on their phones at the dinner table and spend more time on every type of device — phone, computer, and tablet.
According to Global Web Index, 2017 saw most Gen Xers making the switch from PC/Laptop to Mobile to access the Internet. Today, 86% of Gen Xers say they access the Internet on their mobile phone, 76% go online on their laptop while only 33% access the Internet from their tablets.
This attitude has influenced the purchasing path with Gen X browsing, purchasing and leaving reviews on their mobiles more than on their laptops.
Gen X is family-oriented
Gen Xers are very family-oriented. Global Web Index shows that 80% of Gen X consider family ‘the most important thing in my life’.
Research conducted by Expedia confirms this as nearly 70% of Gen X travellers said that every vacation is family-oriented and they focused on keeping their family entertained and happy.
Generation X travel is motivated by relaxation
Virtuoso found that unwinding is the top vacation motivation for Gen X. Similarly, MMGY Global found that beach vacations were a high priority for this generation. Thirty-five percent named it as the primary purpose of their trip – the largest percentage of any generation.
Reviews are important
Gen Xers are more likely than other generations to use reviews and informative content from brands while researching and booking a trip. Eighty-five percent read reviews of places they want to visit before making a decision, and 80% said that informative content from brands or destinations can influence their decision-making process.
Gen X is looking for good deals
More than 60% of Gen Xers in Expedia’s study said budget was a primary factor on their last trip, but more so than other generations, they prioritised deals or special offers as important considerations when choosing a holiday.
This is confirmed by Global Web Index whose study shows 74% of Gen X ‘always try to find the best deals when purchasing products’.
Gen Xers value their travel advisors
Gen Xers came of age as online travel agencies came into being. That might be why they’re more likely to book trips online. MMGY Global reports that 82% book travel online and 71% research travel through online agencies.
MMGY Global further found that 15% of Gen Xers planned to use a travel advisor for at least one trip in the next two years.
How to reach Gen X?
Where can brands best interact with Gen X? Global Web Index has the answer:
One in four Gen Xers will read an e-mail or newsletter from a brand, while 37% discover brands via search engines. TV ads are as popular as search engines for brand discovery, whereas word-of-mouth is important to 32% of Gen Xers.