A LOT OF attention has been placed on millennials (ages 18-34) in the travel industry and for good reason. Millennials make up 20 percent of world’s 940 million tourists, and generate $165 Billion in US travel dollars.
However, the industry might be taking a harder look at another highly valuable and lucrative segment of the population – senior travelers, those 60 and older.
Based on world tourism and economic statistics, senior travelers have more disposable income than other age groups, have more flexibility as to when to travel and tend to stay longer on the trips they make. Baby Boomers (now in their 50s and 60s) have a lifetime of experience and knowledge to bring to their travels, and therefore this brings a greater appreciation and excitement about the places they visit.
They are also aware that they may not have decades of travel ahead of them and so there is greater focus on experiential travel – to truly soak in all that destination has to offer. They also tend to bring their children and grandchildren, meaning greater potential for higher revenue per available room (RevPAR) across the travel industry.
The seniors are the people who keep vacation destinations afloat in the off-seasons, they are the travelers who remind us that, for all of the technology at our fingertips, ours is a service industry based on sharing, caring and delivering a personally enriching experience. So travel companies that are mobility-friendly rather than mobile-friendly and offer exceptional health and wellness services could benefit greatly.
Ways in which seniors enrich the travel scene:
• Very willing and able to pay for high levels of comfort and quality
• Seeking out, appreciating and enjoying travel focused on their well-being, be it preventative or curative
• Stopping to richly and meaningfully celebrate life’s precious moments as a couple, as a family or solo
• Taking time to take a closer look at one’s roots and relations, traveling the world to strengthen one’s sense of place in the world
• Creating a community of travel companions with whom to share experiences, memories and future anticipation of the next time together
• Enjoying time with family, sharing journeys to new places and/or returning to reunite, finding things to do that make all happy, building bonds across the generations
• Finally fulfilling those greatest life wishes, because they can!
(Information Sources: Clark Norton & TravelPulse)
Director of Local Public Relations
Crystal Coast Tourism Authority