Older travellers account for over half of all holiday spending, with the trend only set to increase, according to a report by escorted tours operator Travelsphere.
It found those aged 45-54 take more holidays abroad than any other age group, while 55-64 year-olds were the only age group to increase long-haul travel between 2008 and 2010, when the market shrank 9%.
The ‘Frequent Flying and Globe Trekking Older Travellers Report’, prepared in association with Mintel Research Consultancy, found that 40% of all long-haul trips in 2010 were taken by 45-64 year-olds.
People over 65 are the most prolific of the 45+ market, with 28% taking at least two foreign holidays a year compared to just 19% of all British holidaymakers.
The report also found that those over 55 are just as tech-savvy as the younger generation as two-thirds book their entire holiday online compared to 57% of under 45 year-olds.
“What is clear from the research is that while current economic hardships have impacted harder on the holidaying habits of the under 45s, those over 45 still consider holidays essential,” said Travelsphere parent Page & Moy Travel Group
“Two thirds of over 55s see holidays as necessary spend, compared to only half of 45-54 year olds and 45% of under 45s.”
Ian Smith, group CEO, said: “Many of today’s older travellers have time, money and the internet at their fingertips to entice and enable. The UK’s older population is growing at the fastest rate, accounting for 17% of our population today, but is expected to rise to 23% by 2035, so older travellers will continue to dominate the tourism offering at home and abroad.”
John Carter, former presenter of TV holiday programme Wish You Were Here and a Travelsphere customer, said: “It’s no surprise to me to discover older holidaymakers are taking over the world. We’ve got the time, interest and energy to search out destinations we’ve always dreamed of visiting.”
By Linsey McNeill
Wednesday June 20th 2012
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Editor Linsey McNeill has been writing about travel for more than three decades. Bylines include The Times, Telegraph, Observer, Guardian and Which? plus the South China Morning Post. She also shares insider tips on thetraveljournalist.co.uk