When it comes to the subject of the silver traveller, messages can be somewhat mixed.
One minute agents are being urged to target a growing and increasingly affluent and adventurous corner of the market; the next a cruise line (Fred Olsen) is under fire for participating in a television programme which showed – shock horror – an older clientele.
The cruise and escorted tour sectors are probably those with most work to do to bring down the average age of their customers to ensure their long-term future.
But there are still different products for different clients, and the Fred Olsen world cruise featured in new BBC series The Cruise: A Life at Sea was always more likely to attract the older generation than, say, a Royal Caribbean seven-day Med sailing.
Travel firms need to be constantly on the look-out for new opportunities and target markets, but we should be careful not to devalue or dismiss a tranche of customers which still represents huge potential for high value and loyal custom.
One of the other big talking points this week has been the effect of the scorching weather on sales.
While some of the businesses reliant on late sales are feeling the pinch, long-haul specialists with longer lead times are reporting good business – perhaps as customers are reminded how much they love the sun on their backs but realise the current heatwave won’t last forever.
What is certain is that the summer is no time to take a break, so unlike others, we’ll be publishing every week to ensure you’re up to speed on all the latest opportunities.
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