The ECHO Tourism Traveler

Environmental, Cultural, Historic, and Outdoors tourism. Everybody talks about it, yet for many destinations it remains an enigma.

Rene Welti, a tourism marketer that I know, told me that a National Geographic study from a few years ago found that there were 55 million Americans who could be classified as sustainable tourists.  This represents one out of three USA travelers who took at least one 50 mile or more overnight stay, representing 30% of US travelers.

Their travel habits are guided by their high awareness of the world around them.  They have ceaseless expectations for culturally authentic travel experiences that protect and preserve the ecological and cultural environment.  They want different experiences when they travel and have a set of unspoken requirements of destinations, lodging establishments, tour companies and even transportation companies.

This group of travelers is a segment that is related to sustainable living, or “green” ecological initiatives.  It is a market of $300 billion.  There is a demand for these products and services.

So what do they look like?

    •    Age 44 - 70,  representing 50% of the baby boomers

    •    Average Household Income of $68K, with 40% at $75K +

    •    54% female

    •    60% college, 25% graduate degrees.

    •    32% holed professional/speciality/management positions.

    •    Travel History includes domestic trips 5 to 7 per year.

What are their expectations?

    •    72% say that educational experiences are important when they travel.

    •    81% prefer small scale accommodations run by local people.

    •    81% travel to experience people, lifestyles and cultures different from their own.   

    •    80% visit small towns and rural areas.

    •    They like outdoor adventure travel, offering challenging risk and excitement.

    •    They like the outdoors with comfortable accommodations, I.e. soft-adventure.

    •    The like outdoor recreation, sports, read or watch shows about nature and environment.