A recent survey by Silver Travel Advisor, with albeit a fairly small sample of 500 all over the age of 50 found the following:
Less than a third of over 50s use a travel agent to book holidays, with just 15% visiting in person, research published today (Tuesday) reveals.
More than half (56%) of older travellers prefer to deal direct with operators, including 40% who book online, while 16% prefer to speak on the phone.
Travel agents are used by only 30% of bookers, with 15% going to the agency and 15% making contact by phone or online.
Those in the older demographic are adopting digital technology faster than any other age group, especially when it comes to social media with 70% of over 50s having a Facebook profile.
The study found that 70% of over 50s take three of more holidays a year, while 20% take five or more.
Almost half (48%) are investing in their travel experiences, spending more than £3,000 per person a year on holidays, with 24% of this group spending over £5,000 – up from 22% last year.
Nearly three quarters (74%) take more holidays now than before they were 50. More than 40% say they are more adventurous now compared to before they were 50.
The older demographic are adopting digital technology faster than any other age group, with 70% of over 50s having a Facebook profile
As many as 57% of the over 50s were influenced to book holidays by the availability of activities. The biggest factor amongst these was walking or hiking (31%), followed by musical performance such as opera at 17%, cookery at 12% and yoga/pilates at 11%.
Low interest rates and ‘silver wanderlust’ have persuaded a sizeable proportion of mature travellers to spend their money on trips rather than leave it invested. More than a third (38%) said poor returns on their savings meant their spent more on travel.
More than 80% of over 50s in the UK expect to enjoy travelling until they are aged at least 75 – and three quarters feel ten or more years younger than they actually are.
However, a digest of industry statistics on the older age travel sector points to an increasingly polarized older population.
The over 50s account for 76% of the UK’s wealth, with 68% of over 55s describing themselves as financially comfortable and more than one in ten pensioners having total wealth worth over £1million.
But the richest half of elderly households hold nearly 90% of the wealth and the top 10% hold 40% of the wealth, largely as a result of rising house prices.
The bottom 50% hold just 7% of the wealth, and more than one in seven people will retire with only their state pension for support.
Two thirds of respondents (67%) think people should not even be considered old until they hit 80, and 18% said someone was not old until they reached their 10th decade.
The latest findings suggest that age is no longer a deterrent to travelling the world, especially among those with good pensions and without serious mobility or health problems.
More than a third (36%) of those questioned thought their “good years” of travel would continue until they were at least 80.
At Discerning Collection we know that the majority of our guests fall into the above age category especially during our best selling months of June and September. And now, even May, traditionally a ‘difficult’ month for good margin sales, is starting to get early bookings especially with some tactical offers. We are trying to address what more our guests want from their holidays, given that the product of the hotel and resort are of a better than average standard, as is the case in all our destinations, where we have taken the utmost care to get the holiday offering right. However, where we have been lacking is in additional activities that can be easily available to our guests. So this May we are about to offer our guests a tailor made Yoga week and some walking/hiking trips that will not be too taxing but will focus on nature and beauty. Activities such as yoga, walking and cooking, according to the above survey, are a big draw to our age profile and so we will do our utmost to offer these types of pursuits in the right format over the next few days and weeks.