The proportion of mature holidaymakers looking to book with a travel agent has almost doubled since last summer, according to a poll by Silver Travel Advisor.
The over-50s specialist said: “In July 2021, 48% of respondents indicated they would book their holiday direct with a hotel or airline, which has now dropped significantly to just 24%.
“These travellers are instead looking to book with an operator or travel agent, with both of these categories taking the majority of responses in the March 2022 survey – direct with a tour operator grew from 30% to 39%, while a travel agent (online and contact) booking method jumped from 20% to 37%.”
The findings come from the Silver Travel Advisor Industry Snapshot, which compared surveys in July 2021 and March 2022, conducted among more than 4,000 of its members.
Almost half of respondents (45%) plan to travel in the next three months, indicating that the confidence to travel has increased and there is a strong lates opportunity, said the report.
There is more of an appetite to travel further afield: in the July 2021 survey, just 13% of respondents indicated they would travel long-haul, compared to more than 20% in the March survey.
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A quarter (26%) plan one holiday this year; 58% reckon they will take two or three holidays; and 16% hope to go away four times or more.
Hotel stays remain the most popular type of holiday, but have fallen from 40% in July 2021 to 32% in March.
Cruise has risen 12 percentage points from the July 2021 survey to 18%, while touring has grown from 4% in July 2021 to 10% in March.
Silver travellers are planning to travel more too – in July 2021 just 9% said they would travel more frequently than pre-pandemic which rose to 20% in March.
And 83% plan to spend more or the same amount on holidays compared to pre-Covid days.
When asked about the rise in the cost of living, 48% said they were OK, 48% replied ‘cautious’ and 4% said the increases were having an impact on their financial circumstances.
Lisa McAuley, owner and managing director, said: “Our research shows that despite understandable caution, resilience and determination are still evident.”
She pointed out that the fastest growing demographic in the UK is still the over-50s – and many of them see themselves as much younger than their years.
Silver Travel Advisor patron John Carter commented: “As this latest survey suggests – we’re rarin’ to go.
“The return will be tentative…but this report confirms that the Silver Generation is most certainly on the move again.”
Picture by kudla/shutterstock.com
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