The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) seems to have found a link between boomers and the environment. This article in the Bangkok Post declares it will introduce new “slow travel” tourism products designed with the twin phenomena of ageing baby boomers and growing environmental awareness in mind.
Their research found that two-thirds of American and Australian travellers are interested in community-based and green tourism, while up to 90% European tourists choose environmentally conscious hotels and are concerned about sustainable tourism. Also, more than 70% of American, Australian and British travellers are willing to pay more for green hotels, products and activities.
But it doesn’t say what percentage of boomers think that way, so the link to slow-travel is spurious at best. Probably just two strategies (boomers and environment) linked with a convenient buzz-word?
I wonder how much attention is being paid to making the Thai travel experience ‘age-friendly’ from start to finish?
One website offers the following guiding principles of slow travel. I can’t imagine this appealing to ALL boomers, can you?
- Start at home. The key to slow travel is a state of mind. That can be developed at home.
- Travel slow. Avoid planes if at all possible, and instead enjoy ferries, local buses and slow trains. Speed destroys the connection with landscape. Slow travel restores it.
- You may eagerly look forward to the arrival at your chosen destination, but don’t let that anticipation eclipse the pleasure of the journey.
- Check out local markets and shops.
- Savour café culture. Sitting in a café, you become part of the cityscape and not merely a passing observer.
- Take time to get a feel for the languages and dialects of the areas you visit. Learn a few phrases, use a dictionary and buy a local newspaper.
- Engage with communities at the right level. Choose accommodation and eating options that are appropriate to the area where you are travelling.
- Do what the locals do, not only what the guidebooks say.
- Savour the unexpected. Delayed trains or missed bus connections create new opportunities.
- Think what you can give back to the communities you visit.