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New in-depth report released on the Seniors travel sector

April 16, 2019 Statistics & Trends No Comments Email Email

They’re cashed up, time rich and more than willing to travel: the seniors market is the ‘greatest untapped growth opportunity in the global travel industry’ according to a newly-released report yet the sector remains largely ignored or misunderstood by today’s travel marketers.http://www.stevecafeandcuisine.com/

The Future of Seniors Travel 2019 Report is the biggest study ever completed in Australia on the planning and booking habits of the over 55s market.  It is the result of extensive research by Bronwyn White, experienced travel industry researcher and CEO of New Young Consulting, a market intelligence and strategic marketing agency that specialises in the seniors travel market.

The report found that 40% of over 65s are spending between 11k and 50k per person per annum on travel making this sector the most lucrative travel opportunity we are likely to see in our lifetime. And while Baby Boomers make up just 25% of the Australian population, they hold 53% of the nation’s wealth and they are more willing to travel than ever.

White – who has almost 30 years’ experience in the travel industry across airlines, national tourism boards and tour companies – calls the report’s findings both ground breaking and shocking. “The research process was fascinating as the focus groups just kept breaking apart all those common misperceptions including that they are out of touch with technology for research, booking and paying; they prefer “low-key” experiences and are not interested in indigenous culture and history” White explained

White said 55+ travellers were a critically important market for travel companies to target.  They are spontaneous, willing to travel at the drop of a hat with the right ‘triggers’, and good low and shoulder season ‘fillers’ with most choosing not to travel in peak season, unless with family.

The research provides some critical pointers for marketers who will find this information invaluable when putting together their business plans including:

  • This sector is actually very comfortable using mobiles and tablets, are big You Tube viewers and spend hundreds of hours researching travel on the internet.
  • Over half of the travellers in this age group are planning 12 months ahead and they are information hungry
  • Email marketing is effective for this sector and while they do like to plan, many of them are also happy to be spontaneous reacting quickly to deals
  • They HATE being called “seniors” in marketing or advertising
  • They also do not relate to stereotypical photos of senior travellers as they feel like they are 20 years younger on the inside

While they may still use a travel agent for more complex itineraries, the report cites a shift in behaviour with more bookings now being made online.

White says: “Baby Boomers were our first backpackers, the Lonely Planet generation, long before TripAdvisor and review sites were around.

“Today’s over-55s were a product of the ‘swinging sixties’ and the seventies. They were a generation that saw liberated sexual experiences, the pill and the rise in feminism. They were wild, adventurous and exploratory. Many are looking to rekindle the fire through travel adventures once the kids leave home,” she said.  “This age group should be ignored at a marketer’s peril” White concluded.

The report was compiled after researching people in the 53-82-year age bracket through extensive qualitative and quantitative research and more than 100 hours of desk research.

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