Agencies urged to employ more older staff

Agencies urged to employ more older staff

Travel agencies have been urged to employ more older staff so mature customers have someone to relate to when buying a holiday.

Speaking about the rise of the ‘silver traveller’ market, Jennie Carr of advice website Silver Travel Advisor, said older customers could find it hard to relate to younger agents.

She said: “There’s an argument to say there should be a wealth of older people working in travel agencies and also being depicted on travel agents’ websites so that older customers feel comfortable and have someone to relate to when buying a holiday.

“If agents can start relating to customers straight away, they are halfway there to making the sale.”

Carr’s call coincided with the launch of a luxury travel portal aimed at the over-50s which was unveiled to the trade this week. High50 Travel said consumers aged 50 to 65 account for 80% of the UK’s spend on luxury travel.

Carr pointed out that DIY firm B&Q had employed older staff in its stores to great success.

“It actually works,” she said. “Older people have a wealth of knowledge that customers really value and feel reassured by.

“Agents should do the same and get people out of retirement.”

Gordon McCreadie, sales director at Travel 2 and Gold Medal, said his company employed several staff in their 70s because ?of their experience and ability to give good advice.

The clarion call to the trade came after Silver Travel Service founder Debbie Marshall told delegates at Abta’s Travel Convention last month to spice ?up their campaigns targeting ?older markets.

“The over-55s are the fastest-growing age group in the UK,” she said. “The average age of people working in marketing and PR is 35. It’s almost impossibly young for people to be putting out campaigns targeted at older people. Older people currently find advertising meant for mature people to be beige and boring.”


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