Most travel professionals are well aware that the over 50s are an important part of your customer base unless you focus exclusively with the youth market. However very few travel professionals really understand the drivers and motivators of their senor clients.
Globally, people are living longer than ever before and the baby boomer generation (those born between 1946-1960) represent the fastest growing travel demographic group. As they enter retirement they are likely to travel more often and have already proven to have diverse travel interests.
Australian Seniors Insurance Agency commissioned an extensive survey at the end of 2016 which involved interviews with 800 Australian seniors (over 50s) and 200 Millennials (under 25s). The research, released in February 2017, focused extensively on travel intentions, behavior and motivation. Although the research, undertaken by Core Data Research was conducted on Australians the results have global relevance.
Most senior Australians see travel as a right after a long time spent working hard and rearing their children. A finding which certainly excited the media in Australia was the fact that 18% of Australian seniors had no problem about dipping into money set aside for their childrens’ inheritance to fund the trip of a lifetime. Two thirds of Australian seniors were planning to take a holiday in the coming year with about one half planning to travel domestically and one half planning to travel internationally.
The favored international destinations for Australian seniors is Europe followed by SE Asia, Pacific Islands and North America. An important rider was that seniors sought to avoid destinations they considered to be terrorist threats and the Middle East most the most cited region of concern.
One finding which emerged is that seniors seek a mixture of adventure and unique experiences. Many of the world’s leading tour operators which focus on the over 50s market have recognized that regimented one product fits all package tours are a thing of the past. The emphasis is increasingly on allocation of free time, choice of activities, accommodation and dining options. One sectors which is growing strongly is the adventure travel market targeting seniors.
Globally, people are living longer and remaining healthier and its not unusual for travelers in their 60s and 70s to engage in hiking, cycling, bunjee jumping and river rafting. While some seniors continue to prefer a relaxed and passive tour experience many more seek and engage in active tourism.
The research is valuable reading for any tourism professional who wants to gain a better understand the senior traveler.
Research findings can be accessed clicking HERE