Older travellers now account for more than half of all holiday spending and the number is set to increase, according to a Travelsphere study out today (Wednesday).
Those aged 45-54 take more holidays abroad than any other age group, while those aged 55-64 were the only segment to increase long-haul travel between 2008 and 2010, in the context of an overall market decline of 9%.
Older travellers are today’s globetrotters - 40% of all long-haul trips were taken by 45-64 year olds in 2010.
People over 65 years old are the most prolific of the older 45+ market, with 28% taking two or more foreign holidays a year, compared to 19% of all British holidaymakers.
Over 55s are more likely to book their entire holiday online, than those aged under 45, with two thirds doing so, compared to 57% of the younger group, according to the research conducted by the escorted touring specialist Travelsphere.
The research found that while current economic hardships have impacted harder on the holidaying habits of the under 45s, those over 45 still consider holidays essential. Two thirds of over 55s see holidays as necessary spend, compared to only half of 45-54 year olds and 45% of under 45s.
The Travelsphere ‘Frequent Flying and Globe Trekking Older Travellers Report’, prepared in association with Mintel Research Consultancy, claims to debunk the myth that older consumers are one homogenous group.
Ian Smith, group chief executive of Travelsphere parent Page & Moy Travel Group, 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.”
Travelsphere takes more than 80,000 people away on escorted and group holidays throughout the world each year.
The company’s top ten selling destinations are:
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