Older travellers plan to reduce outlay on holidays this year, Silver Travel Advisors annual report suggests. Amie Keeley reports

The proportion of over-50s spending more than £3,000 on their holidays has dropped for a second year in a row, according to new research.

High spenders make up 30% of the overall market, down from 40% last year.

The figures come from Silver Travel Advisor’s annual report, which surveyed 1,200 members in autumn 2018.

Of those surveyed, 18% said they “typically spend” between £3,000-£5,000 on their holidays per person each year, and 12% said they spend more than £5,000.

The previous year’s survey (conducted in 2017) did not break down the figure for higher spending amounts, but it found the proportion spending more than £3,000 was 40%, down from 48% in the survey conducted in 2016.

The latest survey found those spending between £1,000 and £2,999 had also dropped, from 45% to 42%.

In contrast, the proportion of over-50s spending less than £1,000 had risen from 20% to 28%.

The figures broadly correlate with over-50s’ holiday intentions for the coming 12 months.

The proportion planning to take one holiday was up from 9% the year before to 22%, and those saying they would take two was also up, from 29% to 31%.

The proportions of respondents saying they would take three, four or five trips were all down year on year, although those planning more than five holidays rose marginally from 5% to 6%.

The findings echo the Travel Weekly Insight Annual Report 2018-19, which found the proportion of over-55s likely to spend more on overseas holidays in the year ahead had dropped from 43% to 35%.

Silver Travel found the proportion of over-50s who said they used a travel agent for more complex bookings remained the same as the previous year at 31%.

City breaks remained the most popular holiday type for the mature market, with 45% saying it was their preferred choice, up from 43% last year.

Beach holidays and UK country‑house hotel breaks also gained in popularity, with 33% and 42% of respondents respectively saying they “particularly enjoyed” them. However, ocean and river cruises decreased in popularity, with the ocean figure down from 31% to 25% and river down from 20% to 16%.

Previous good experience, company reputation, customer service and financial protection remained the top-four mostimportant factors for over-50s when choosing a travel company.

These factors were all rated as more important than ‘cheapest price’, although 30% cited this, up from 24% in the previous year’s survey.

Debbie Marshall, managing director of Silver Travel Advisor, said: “While most over-50s spend between £1,000-£3,000 on holidays, things are beginning to polarise, with the luxury end of the market holding steady but more people spending less than £1,000 than last year.”