Traveling in retirement: seniors are becoming more important for the travel industry.
Senior citizens are becoming a more important market for the travel industry, according to an article in the ‘Financial Times’ the seniors becoming more adventurous. Traveling in retirement mostly has the image that it was all about cruises, golf, some culture and winter sun breaks. Nowadays exotic and adventurous travel is also on the hit list of seniors. Jonny Bealby, founder of tour operator ‘Wild Frontiers’ says he really noticed a difference in the last five to seven years. The elderly have seen their kids come back from gap years and adventures and most of them never did that when they were young. In the sixties and seventies it wasn’t normal to travel a lot before you began with your career. The older generation now has the time and the money to do the same thing as their kids, only in a different period in their life. That’s all because they early started with their careers and now have a very decent pension.
According to the statistics of the ‘UK Office for National Statistics’ the number of British seniors (65+) traveling overseas leapt by 13.7%. The ‘Association of British Travel Agents’ suggets that seniors are now more likely to take foreign holidays than any other group.
Also in the Benelux – Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg – there is an increase when it comes down to seniors. According to research by the Dutch Tour operator and Travel Agencies Association ‘ANVR’, the Dutch bank ‘ABN Amro’ and the ‘National Elderly Foundation’ seniors are (becoming) one of the most important target audiences for the travel industry.
Europe had some rough years during the economic crisis but now the economy is booming, so this also has a positive effect on the travel industry. The forecast will be that package holidays will grow over 8% in the Netherlands and a big part of these booked holidays is originating from elderly. Four out of ten seniors also have a ‘bucket list’. According to ‘Financial Times’ the biggest factor that (adventurous) holidays for elderly are growing so fast, is because an increase of adventure tour operators offering a wide range of trips.
It is now way easier to find a trip that is based on the preferences of the traveller. You can organize an adventurous trip with a tour operator based on all your wishes. With or without a guide, traveling a lot in a day or taking it slow, everything is possible. Besides that there are also tour operators that offer a ‘easy going’ version of (group)trips. Nowadays senior travel is a market we can’t underestimate. It’s important to connect with the seniors and offer them specialized holidays based on their wishes.