On January 1st, at precisely 12:01 a.m., the first baby boomer in America turned sixty years old, while the last one turned forty. In fact, more than half of the seventy-seven million Americans born between 1946 and 1964, dubbed the baby boomers, are now over the age of fifty.

What does this milestone mean for hoteliers? It means changing the language and messages that we have traditionally utilized in our efforts to connect with the 50-plus or so-called 'senior' market.

Boomers are shaking up the traditional ideas of aging and hoteliers must understand that the 'old' rules of marketing no longer apply. Today the words 'sexy', 'hip', and 'adventurous' are not reserved for the 'young' anymore.

Consumers age 50 and older now buy a quarter of the scooters Vespa sells in the US, and in response to a recent Business Week article entitled 'Love Those Boomers', a reader commented; 'Plenty of time, sufficient funds, ready to rock and 50 plus'. This is boomer mantra. They don't think of themselves as seniors and we shouldn't either.

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