In this week's news pages we learn about PANKs, a demographic acronym for a particular type of multigenerational traveler: Professional Aunt, No Kids.

Leaving aside the uncomfortable fact that their male counterparts might be PUNKs, the good news here is the reminder that traditional demographic pigeonholes don't always reveal everything a travel marketer needs to know about a potential customer. It's a good reminder to carry into the new year.

The travel industry began to understand this a decade or two ago when it started to confront a generation of senior citizens who wanted to travel with their grandkids. At the time, nobody seemed to have a brochure for that. Now everybody does.

PANKs are not new, of course. They've been there all along. What is new is the ability and willingness of travel professionals to get beyond traditional categories, understand their clients and create travel experiences with snap.

In a sense, we raise the bar with every new granular group and micro-niche we discover. So here's to PANKs!
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