It’s something of an irony really. The average Brit is still recovering from the economic downturn, dealing with the austerity measures put in place by the Conservative government and cutting costs where possible.
Ever more families are boycotting overseas travel, opting instead for a “staycation”. As mentioned elsewhere this month, almost a quarter of Brits took absolutely no holiday whatsoever this year.
For many people, holidays are simply an unnecessary luxury that simply don’t fit into their financial plans. They’d rather give up their two weeks in Spain in order to stay afloat financially.
But not so the over 50’s age-group, who reportedly possess 80% of the wealth in Britain. For this group of travellers life is altogether different.
With mortgages paid off, the children gone and healthy savings accounts it seems that the over 50’s are the one group of Brits happy to pay over the odds for their travel. Indeed, it seems that while most of Britain is still living on a budget, it’s these more mature travellers who are representing something of a growth economy.
This is probably helped even more by the Conservative government’s policy of allowing pension-holders to withdraw money from their pension funds – to do with what they will. At least a few such people have admitted they’re planning to spend some of their savings on international travel.
New research from Silver Travel Advisor, who bill themselves as “the voice of mature travellers”, reveals more fully the reality of travel for the over 50’s. And for anyone trying hard to cut costs and afford a cheap package trip abroad each year some of the results are truly eye-watering.
Asked about their spending on travel, 20% of the over 50’s age group are happy to pay £5,000 or more on a holiday, with over half of those surveyed willing to spend £3,000 on their annual get-away. No wonder that so many holiday companies are now focusing so much attention of this wealthy age group. It seems that flush with cash, and with very few living expenses to worry about, the more mature traveller has the funds and the desire to travel extensively and in style.
Better healthcare and an ever-growing average lifespan mean that reaching your 50’s is no longer enough to slow the average Brit down. Quite the reverse; in good health and financially stable they’re more about spending money on enjoying the finer things in life than struggling to make ends meet.
So what are the destinations that are appealing to this affluent sub-section of British society? The most popular travel aspiration among this age-group is to set eyes on the Northern Lights, with over half of respondents expressing an interest. Coming in second was a round-the-world cruise and third place goes to exploring the Scottish Highlands. It is interesting to note that this is a higher response rate than the number of respondents who would choose to explore the wonders of Venice.