NEO Travelers


The tourism and travel sector attracts two fundamentally different types of consumer and each is as different from the other as truffles are from button mushrooms. The travel and hospitality market falls pretty neatly into NEO Travelers and Traditional Tourists.

NEO Travelers

NEO Travelers are just that – they travel more frequently, spend more when they travel, and will happily pay a premium for for a premium experience. They yearn for authenticity, provenance and sustainable principles – in short premium holiday destinations that stand for something.

But SIL social mapping provides much more information on these desirable consumers. For example, in North America 54% of NEO Travelers regularly drink bottled wine (compared to 18% of the general population) and 33% of them proudly declare they drink more now than they used to (compared to 9% of the population). NEO Travelers are 4 times more likely than Traditional Tourists to drink bottled red wine, with Merlot just ahead of Canernet Sauvignon as favored red varieties. Chardonnay is by far the preferred white for NEO Travelers.

NEO Travelers are a massive 15 times more likely than Traditional Tourists to travel by air six times a year.

NEO Travelers are 3 times more likely to have a university degree and are 3 times more likely to earn more than $150,000 annually.

Critically, these NEO Travelers are attracted by premium experiences that offer authenticity, provenance (the story behind the experience), personal relevance and challege (either physical or intellectual). Traditional Tourists on the other hand, are attracted by features, prices, discounts and a ‘deal’.

Great NEO hospitality examples in Canada:

The Oswego Hotel in Victoria (Vancouver Island)
Clayoquot Wilderness Resort (Vancouver Island)
Nimmo Bay (British Columbia)
Long Beach Lodge at Tofino (Vancouver Island)

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