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January 20, 2021

Over 70s should not be forgotten in travel’s recovery

A spike in travel bookings from over 70s reflects that Covid-19’s most vulnerable victims should not be overlooked in the recovery of travel.

By Globaldata Travel and Tourism

A spike in travel bookings from over 70s reflects that Covid-19’s most vulnerable victims should not be overlooked in the recovery of travel.

Millennials and Gen Z have typically been identified as the key markets to drive travel demand post Covid-19. However, the vaccine rollout across Europe has caused travel companies such as TUI Group and National Express to note a spike in bookings from older generations such as the Silent Generation (70+), planning long-awaited trips.

Only 26% of respondents from the Silent Generation declared they are ‘extremely’ or ‘quite’ concerned about their personal financial situation, compared to 77% of Millennials in GlobalData’s COVID-19 Recovery Survey (Dec 2020). Being high spenders, spending longer within a destination and less likely to have work commitments, means this demographic could be a lucrative market to target post-pandemic.

Typical stereotypes may have changed

City breaks were the second most popular holiday type for the Silent Generation prior to Covid-19 (GlobalData’s Q3 2019 Consumer Survey). However, this type of holiday is likely to have lost its appeal as older tourists now desire holidays away from urban areas where the chance of contracting Covid-19 decreases. 31% of Silent Generation respondents recently declared they have been experimenting with new cuisines and recipes during the pandemic (GlobalData’s COVID-19 Recovery Survey – Dec 2020). Experimenting more at home could boost the appeal of gastronomic-themed holidays or simply make it a greater consideration when booking a trip.

Typically identified as loyal customers, this demographic is a prime target for in-store travel agencies. The reality is, they may now not be as loyal as previously identified – 50% of Silent Generation respondents ‘somewhat’ or ‘strongly’ disagreed they would buy products only from their favourite brands (GlobalData’s COVID-19 Recovery Survey – Dec 2020). A newfound sense for supporting small or local businesses (48% consider this as more important) also suggests opportunity for brand development.

The Silent Generation will never rival the level of digital engagement associated with Millennials, but more time at home will have led many to become more ‘tech-savvy’. 47% declared they would opt to use card or mobile phones instead of cash. This poses an opportunity for app engagement – simple, easy to use platforms may become more mainstream.

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The resurgence of travel from this demographic will be subject to the success of vaccine rollouts. Most vulnerable, the Silent Generation are identified as the first to be vaccinated – which will continue to accelerate future bookings from this demographic.

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