More than half our mature travellers (53%) head overseas at least once each year. This is largely fuelled by the high Aussie dollar, highly competitive airfares, because they have more time, and because they consider it important to fulfill the many adventures on their very diverse bucket lists.
Our research reveals the following top 10 preferred overseas destinations:
- New Zealand
This begs the question why there are not more Asia-Pacific destinations, when compared with Australian Bureau of Statistics top 10 destinations, which include Indonesia, China, Fiji, and Malaysia. This may be partly due to the VFR tourism (Visiting Friends and Relatives) of younger age groups, but also may be influenced by the popularity of Bali and Fiji for younger family holidays.
So how do you reach this valuable traveller with a longer length-of-stay propensity and more cash to splash?
- Do woo these travellers with relevant adventures.
- Do employ older travellers to choose your messaging, write your copy and select your images– the best workplace is a village of all ages and stages.
- Do offer adventures or opportunities to meet locals, experience local culture and homestays. Mature travellers do not just wish to flop on a beach chair; most are much more adventurous than that.
- Do offer the chances to learn new skills and ideas including those featuring language, cooking, local customs, history, archeology and environmental.
- Do offer wellness, rejuvenation and spiritual retreats. Older travellers enjoy reflective journeys as well.
- Do recognise the power of singles, who form 25% of the over 60 cohort. Solo travellers are increasing, so ask yourself how your organisation can best serve them. Independent travellers love to meet others on a casual basis – does your property have a happy hour for mature agers and not just 20-somethings?
- Do maintain a fully mobile-optimised website. At least 20% of YOURLifeChoices members check in to our site via smartphone or tablet.
- Do offer a ‘cocktail’ holiday experience. This subverts the old concept of price silos of luxury, medium or low cost. Many mature travellers enjoy reliving their teenage years by starting with a hostel or backpacking experience, moving up to medium hotel accommodation, and then blowing the budget for a final spa splurge. One holiday is a cocktail of three very different travel products.
- Don't just feature images of young couples in romantic situations. Or just young couples. Or only couples of any age. Think more broadly about the people in your promotional material – are you only talking to 25-year-olds?
- Don’t think that anyone over 50 is uninterested in or incapable of kayaking, hiking, swimming, abseiling or dancing tango. Big mistake.
- And finally,
- Don't ever, ever, ever patronise the mature traveller with words, images, or the suggestion that they are less able. Your future depends upon them.
Kaye Fallick is publisher of YOURLifeChoices
website, e-news and magazine. Do talk to us about more in-depth research or solus eBlasts on your destination.