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Meet the skateboarding, iPod-playing Gruppies

01 February 2007
Meet the skateboarding, iPod-playing Gruppies

We've had Yuppies and Dinkies, Baby Boomers and Generation X-ers. Now hospitality businesses need to prepare for a new phenomenon, the Gruppie.

The Gruppie, or Grup, stems from "GRown-UP", and tags a certain kind of adult who refuses to grow up, according to new research carried out by Business Development Research Consultants for the Hotel Marketing Association (HMA).

The phrase defines someone between the ages of 30 and 60 who is redefining adulthood by refusing to accept that they're getting older, the research said. Gruppies prefer not to stay in a chain hotel and want an "experience" they like luxury and glamour but not overpowering service and they like recommendations and research prices, but will then ring direct to negotiate the best deal.

HMA chairman Pamela Carvell said: "Gruppies are closing the generation gap by wearing trendy clothes, listening to the latest bands on their iPods, owning the newest gadgets and indulging in traditionally youthful sports like skateboarding and Rollerblading. They also have the disposable income to make these lifestyle choices."

Hotel owners should focus their marketing efforts on this group because they could become influential, according to Jennifer Ziegler, senior vice-president global brand management at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts.

"Successful hotel brands, especially the luxury set, will be wise to design their product and service offering to capture their interest and consequently their bookings," she said.

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