by Michael Whittaker

There are about seven-million retirees in Canada. The nearly 160,000 seniors in the National Capital Region have a significant cohort of baby boomers from which North Grenville can entice visitors.

Boomers are not homogeneous. Their post-WWII births spanning 1946 to 1964 include memories of the Cold War, Peace Keeping, the introduction of the Maple Leaf Flag, Expo 67 and the Centennial, and multiple musicians.

In the changing economy, there are challenges to attracting the active boomers. United, the municipal government, citizens, businesses and associations can initiate experiences for this adventurous demographic.

To reach this clientele, community collaboration is essential to craft innovative marketing strategies. A vibrant community strives to understand this target audience in order to provide first-rate visitor activities.

Odds are when young, they traveled with their parents; now they seek new inspirations presenting physical and intellectual challenges. Boomers are young at heart, often acting much younger than their chronological age, and not prone to think of themselves as seniors until well into their 70s.

Boomers prefer their diverse life experiences to be recognized. They don’t want stuffy or stodgy. Cultural involvement, stimulation, and companionship make their visits fun; although some expect instant gratification.

Nonetheless, they want options. They tour not to see the sights, but to do the sights. Many have notions of being special, don’t like to feel herded, and savour their creature comforts. Within their means, they will pay for luxury, expertise, and convenience.

However, many travel no matter their scarcity of time or money. They want engagement. When not seeking exotic locales, they will choose enriching encounters in a known place. Close at hand, North Grenville is friendly and familiar.

For boomers, the Internet is a research tool. They suspect self-congratulatory marketing materials. Promising more than can be delivered undermines their trust, and ends hope of building long-term relationships.

Understanding the expectations of this multifaceted population helps when designing the events to draw them here. Promoting, developing, and improving the services, activities, and destinations for visitors boosts North Grenville for all of us.


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