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October 2, 2015
Does the Travel Industry Have a Youth Problem?
 
The travel and leisure industry must rely on people willing to spend additional money and time in order to enjoy their services. Yes, it must influence people to either consider travel/leisure as a treat, or they must persuade them that it is necessary to buy out the time and budget to occasionally indulge.

But with the costs of travel and tourism, and the issue with leaving work and other responsibilities, the travel industry seems to be gated from certain audiences, specifically the youth.

AdAge recently released a "Consumers on the Go" report, and we were surprised to see how the demographics of travelers were so skewed towards the older populations.

Well, not quite surprised — but the travel industry definitely has huge potential to attract an untapped market.

For example, the average age of a traveler on a cruise line is 49 years old. Their average income is around $114,000 dollars.

The 27-year-old young professional with an income of $55,000 does not seem to be represented, but perhaps they simply do not know what is available.

A few years ago when we were looking for a destination for our honeymoon, we were shocked by how cost-efficient a lot of high-profile trips could be. Working with a travel agent, we saw 5–6 day trips to Hawaii, Costa Rica, and Puerto Rico for under $1,000. That kind of vacation can easily be doable for a young professional.

Of course, the travel agents and travel companies want to attract the heavy hitters, but if they can fill out the fringe with a younger market by educating them on the costs of travel and how they can fit it into their schedules, they can quickly boost their revenues and grow a traditionally low-engaged market.

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Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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