High-spending older travellers now make up a smaller share of the over-50s travel market than before, according to new consumer research.
The proportion of over-50s saying they spend more than £3,000 per person each year on travel has fallen from 48% to 40%.
And the proportion spending more than £5,000 has dropped from 24% to 13%.
The figures come from Silver Travel Advisor’s annual survey of the travel habits of the over-50s, carried out in October 2017.
By contrast, it found the proportion of older travellers saying they spent between £1,000-£2,999 per person on their holidays had risen from 41% in 2016 to 45% last year, while the figure for those spending less than £1,000 had almost doubled from 11% in 20%, according to the survey of 1,000 members of the advice and reviews site.
While many pensioners are widely reported to enjoy a comfortable retirement, more than 80% of respondents said their wealth was exaggerated in the media.
Price not a factor
Despite the apparent dip in average spending, 85% said they planned to take the same number of holidays or more over the next 12 months. More than three out of four (77%) also said price was the least important factor when choosing a holiday.
The findings echo figures reported in the Travel Weekly Insight Annual Report 2017-18. It quoted consumer research by Kantar TNS which suggested the proportion of over-55s planning to spend more on overseas holidays in the year ahead had dropped from 43% the year before to 40%.
Silver Travel’s report also found the mature market is increasingly turning to the internet, with two‑thirds (67%) of respondents researching or booking online, up from 61% last year. Almost a third (31%) visit a travel agent in person, over the phone or online, broadly in line with the prior year.
The biggest gripes for older travellers are single supplements and provision of disabled facilities.
More than half (58%) of respondents said not enough was being done for solo travellers and 50% said mobility issues were not being properly addressed.
Debbie Marshall, managing director of Silver Travel Advisor, said: “Older travellers seem to be feeling some economic headwinds but they remain determined to travel as much as ever – or more.
“Company reputation and customer service matter more than price to the silver traveller.
“Today’s older travellers are very much part of the digital age. Two-thirds of the over-50s are looking and/or booking online, either through travel agents or direct with travel companies, hotels, airlines and intermediaries.”
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