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Mar 13, 2013
Some market research and introductory information about the Geotraveler, an emerging and important segment of the travel and outdoor industries.
Travel is not something they do. Travel is something they are.
MERCURY csc THE GEOTRAVELER An Introduction to the Most Active and Influential Consumer in Travel
”I think travel should be a full-body experience— that we ought to observe and absorb the natural world, the culture, the language, the local arts — with curiosity and respect.” — Hayden MERCURYcsc
Definition of Geotourism ”The Geo-traveler is concerned with preserving a destination’s geographic character–the entire combination of natural and human attributes that make one place distinct from another. They are interested in both the cultural and environmental concerns regarding travel as well as the local impact tourism has upon the communities and their individual economies and lifestyles.” — Geotourism Study, NatGeo and TIA, 2002 © 2012The Geotraveler MERCURYcsc
Who are the Geotravelers? • Estimated to be between 55-59MM U.S. Geotravelers and growing • Median HH Income is $70,000 USD • 20% have HH Incomes above $100K USD • Average age is 48 years old • 44% have traveled internationally in the last 3 years • Take 30% more trips than other travelers • Are early adopters and influencers over other segments within their primary area of passion-travel © 2012The Geotraveler MERCURYcsc
Travel is not something they do... Travel is who they are. PAUL L. DINEEN © 2012 © 2012The Geotraveler MERCURYcsc
Desire for Connection AUTHENTICITY PERSONAL SHARED AWAKENING HUMANITY THE CONNECTION THAT MAKES THE BEST TRIP FOR YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE © 2012 © 2012The Geotraveler MERCURYcsc
Personal Awakening ”I think that a good trip is a relaxing one, but a GREAT trip is often in part, miserable –like a birth of sorts. In 2002, I took a trip to TImbuktu. The journey was brutal, but something broke inside me that needed breaking. Years later–I am still trying to sort out that journey in my soul. And I am hungry for more experiences of that kind.” — Brooke (Brooke) On the Sahara © 2012 © 2012The Geotraveler MERCURYcsc
Shared Humanity ”Though this last trip wasn’t pretty, the expressions of sympathy offered were deeply humanizing and a reminder of why one should stop out of one’s own front yard and immerse oneself in the unpredictable and receptive and surprisingly tender world.” — Liz (Becca) Young Masai Chyulu Hills Village, Kenya © 2012 © 2012The Geotraveler MERCURYcsc
Authenticity ”Then he took me to meet his wife and family and have lunch. At one point he had an all-out fight with his daughter right there at the table! It was so quintessential Italian. Hands flying, voices raised and family, the heart of it all.” — Becca © 2012 © 2012The Geotraveler MERCURYcsc
Forces of Change 1. Desire for personalization 2. No time 3. Economic squeeze 4. Pervasive technology 5. Accessible luxury 6. Desire for a healthy planet © 2012 © 2012The Geotraveler MERCURYcsc
Essential Truths + Forces of Change = Geotraveler Trends 1. Desire for personalization • Rise of the expert and local expertise 2. No time AUTHENTICITY 3. Economic squeeze • ”Done in a day” 4. Pervasive technology • Multi-dimensional trips 5. Accessible luxury • Return of camping 6. Desire for a healthy planet • Culture closer to home PERSONAL SHARED AWAKENING HUMANITY • Self-directed travel planner • ”Softening” of adventure travel • Importance of localization THE CONNECTION THAT MAKES THE BEST TRIP FOR YOUR • Increased interest in TARGET AUDIENCE sustainable travel options © 2012The Geotraveler MERCURYcsc
Geotravelers and the ”Post/Lingering Recession” • 89% anticipate taking the same or more leisure trips in the coming year • Many are traveling closer to home with a shorter window of planning • Reconnecting with traditional activities such as camping, baking and gardening • Mindful and attracted to simplicity, have already adapted to the new era in which the U.S economy is emerging • Focusing their real spending on elective consumption of meaningful goods © 2012The Geotraveler MERCURYcsc
The Geotraveler’s Dichotomy • Craving Authentic Connections & Destinations vs. Socio-Environmental Consciousness ” What is an ethical traveler? I could go back and forth on this for a long time, weighing the impact versus the benefit of quality cultural exchange with unintended negative impacts on a culture and the landscape. All of this against the backdrop of urgency to visit these cultures and locales before they are lost to the mass consumer culture.” — Brooke © 2012The Geotraveler MERCURYcsc
Insights for the Travel Marketer We hold our research accountable to three criteria: • Insightful • Identifiable • Actionable The true measure of our research comes from its ability to close the gap between left brain logic and right brain creativity to produce successful marketing and communication campaigns. © 2012The Geotraveler MERCURYcsc
Decision-Making Criteria for Geotraveler Purchases • Connects me to a passion • Provides a high degree of utility • Makes me unique • Saves me time • Gives me knowledge or expertise © 2012The Geotraveler MERCURYcsc
Successful Communication Principles To Engage the Geotraveler • Tell your story, frankly • Inspire your tribe • Localize as much as possible • Convey your expertise • Integrate mindfulness & sustainability into the business itself © 2012The Geotraveler MERCURYcsc
Looking AheadAs more travel brands and destinations enter into thecompetition for the world’s tourism activity, we believe the mostsuccessful brands and destinations will position themselves tofind more Geotravelers, not just more travelers.If you are interested in learning more about our research andhow the Geotraveler can elevate your brand, please contact us: Alexi Huntley Khajavi Director of Global Strategy firstname.lastname@example.org 406.922.2298 © 2012 MERCURYcsc