Travel Insights: Unwinders vs. Adventurers

September 21, 2021  |  Victoria Simmons

Travel & Tourism

Most travelers (60%) want to spend their vacation relaxing and unwinding, while the remaining 40% prefer to seek adventure and excitement. This month BVK examines data from KANTAR U.S. Monitor’s 2021 insights on understanding and optimizing communications for different traveler segments. The survey explores the similarities and differences between Unwinders and Adventurers and the implications for the travel industry.

Size vs. Power

Adventurers are more likely to be younger with higher incomes, but, at 60% of the population, Unwinders represent the majority of Americans’ attitudes about travel.

Implications: While the Adventurer audience may be the ones to most enthusiastically open their wallets to travel, the unwinders audience represent the larger majority of American’s attitudes towards travel. As a result, both audiences are important to appeal to, and despite their difference in vacation attitudes, messaging that appeals to the traveler’s desire to disconnect have universal appeal.

Favorite Thing About Travel

Unwinders and Adventurers alike savor travel as a chance to break out of their normal routines. Marketing that reflects this sentiment can create a universal appeal for both segments.

Implications: One of the amazing things about travel is that is exposes people to new perspectives. Marketers who can demonstrate how their brand creates opportunities to try something new, overcome a fear, become more open-minded or spark creativity have the advantage.

Where To Stay

While their itineraries may differ, the majority of Adventurers and Unwinders prefer to stay in a name-brand hotel or motel rather than with their friends or in an Airbnb.

Implications: There is power in trust, credibility and even nostalgia. Travel brands that are able to demonstrate offerings that are familiar and recognizable could create mental shortcuts for travelers who are planning their trip.

What They Seek

Unwinders don’t plan their trips entirely from a treat- yourself mentality. Rather, relaxation is a core pillar of health for this segment—a connection marketers should leverage in their communications.

Implications: Harness the tradition of travel for the express purpose of wellness. Travelers are thinking beyond just the destination and activities and are hoping to align travel with their values around a

Social Credibility

Always on the hunt for new things, Adventurers are more likely to be early adopters and guide other consumers’ travel decisions, making them an influential cohort for marketers to engage.

Implications: Travel brands, particularly through the pandemic, were successful in leveraging the power of paid influencers to push out messaging. Let’s now consider the opportunity to influence key opinion customers like Adventurers through personal relationship building tactics.

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is Senior VP, Travel at BVK

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