Using Consumer Behavior Research to Understand the Baby Boomer Tourist

Megan Cleaver, B. Christine Green, Thomas E. Muller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article focuses on consumer behavior research to better understand Australian baby boomer tourists, although the principles and methods behind this empirical study are equally applicable to the baby boomer tourism markets in the United States, Canada, and New Zealand, all of which experienced a major postwar baby boom. Lifestyle research, using both secondary and primary data, was the principal behavioral research approach enhanced with survey findings on the psychological motivation for vacation travel among baby boomers, as well as their vacation risk perceptions and travel patterns. Three prime-target baby boomer lifestyle segments were identified on the basis of their propensity for pleasure travel, and the three groups were profiled by their travel motivations, risk perceptions, and patterns. Distinct intergroup differences were found, which indicate a need to tailor the development and promotion of new tourism and hospitality products to each segment of boomers. The findings have relevance for marketing to North American baby boomers as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)274-287
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Hospitality and Tourism Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • baby boom cohort
  • consumer behavior
  • lifestyle research
  • tourism product development
  • travel motivation
  • vacation risk perceptions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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