New research shows that 55-64 year-olds take more holidays than any other age group. Yet, the travel marketing industry is youth centric and so often targets upwardly mobile millennials who can’t afford premium products.
According to Kay Neufeld, senior economist at the Centre for Economics and Business Research, there are several key characteristics in the sector, which now accounts for an estimated 33-36% of the population. “There’s an increasing number of the over-50s and they are getting to be a bigger share of the population. They are also reaping the fruits of their labours and, at the moment, they are quite well off,” said Neufeld.
He added that this part of the market had not yet peaked, with estimates of more than 30 million over-50s in the UK in the next 20 years. This section of the population is becoming increasingly wealthy, having benefited from soaring property prices and once generous company pensions, as well as the “triple lock” on state pensions. The latter, introduced in 2011, means state pensions increase either by 2.5% annually or with inflation, or match average earnings growth – whichever is the greater – which means pensions are increasing at almost double the average wage rise. The over-50s generally also have no debts from education and, following other changes to pension laws, can take some of their pension as a lump sum.
A conference being held later this month will highlight how the travel industry can tackle a section of society that currently includes almost 24 million people in the UK and which will increase to more than 30 million in the next two decades.
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