Older Generation Leads Way in Travel Stakes
While the global economic meltdown is hitting most of us hard, it seems that the older generation is still finding the money for a holiday or two. Research by tour operator Travelsphere has revealed that it is those aged 45 and above who are driving the tourism industry, both at home and abroad.
According to the research, older travellers now account for more than half of all holiday spending and that figure is set to rise in the future.
People aged between 45 and 54 take more holidays abroad than any other age group, with the majority counting a holiday as an absolute essential. For those approaching retirement age, it seems that long-haul is the only way to fly. Those aged 55 to 64 were the only age group to increase their long-haul travel
between 2008 and 2010.
To put this into context, this was when the global recession was really starting to bite – leading to an overall market decline of 9%.
In 2010, as much as 40% of global travel was undertaken by 45-64 year olds. It was found that the over 65s are actually the most prolific of the lot, with 28% taking at least two holidays each year.
s the UK's population continues to age, experts are predicting that we'll see older travellers make up more and more of the overall travel numbers.
"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," said Ian Smith, group chief executive of Travelsphere
The research also helped to dispel a myth about the older generations. While older people are sometimes seen as slightly technophobic, the results of the survey suggest otherwise as it was found that older holidaymakers are more likely to book a trip over the internet than their younger counterparts.
"Many of today's older travellers have time, money and the internet at their fingertips to entice and enable," added Mr Smith.
The world has become a much smaller place in the last 20 years, with the internet making it easy to stay in contact with people on the other side of the world.
We also have numerous low-cost carriers these days, which makes air travel accessible to almost anyone with a passport – no matter what age you are. With so many older people embarking on holidays
left, right and centre, what are the best destinations for the discerning older traveller?Malta
A popular destination amongst the older generations is the beautiful Mediterranean country of Malta.
Offering gorgeous weather for much of the year, Malta is perfect for a trip at almost any time.
The Mediterranean almost always guarantees a good holiday, with the clear blue waters alone making it an incredibly picturesque region. Malta is no different and the country is full of historical architecture, making a visit as educational as it is relaxing. There are also plenty of luxury resorts and hotels
to really pamper yourself in.Australia
Given older travellers' apparent penchant for long-haul flights, Australia offers sights and experiences not seen in Europe.
With exotic wildlife, beautiful natural environments and a warm, welcoming atmosphere, the land Down Under is a great choice for an extended holiday. Such is the size of Australia, a holiday of three or four weeks is probably better than a typical fortnight break. This will allow you to see everything from the Great Barrier Reef to Sydney Opera House to Ayers Rock. One piece of advice would be to visit in Australia's winter, as it can get unbearably hot in the summer months.