Don’t Forget The Over 70s  

Don’t forget the over 70s. That’s the message from GlobalData which is reporting that it’s seeing a spike in travel bookings from the over 70s, showing that this demographic should not be overlooked when businesses make plans for recovery.

The data and analytics company’s travel & tourism analyst, Johanna Bonhill-Smith observed that: “Not only is this demographic one of the first to be vaccinated, they are also typically big spenders and less hindered by time constraints. This makes this a lucrative demographic to target in order to boost post pandemic travel.”

In its COVID-19 Recovery Survey, GlobalData reports that only 26% of respondents from the Silent Generation (70+) declared they are ‘extremely’ or ‘quite concerned’ about their personal financial situation compared to 77% of Millennials.

Feeling ‘hopeful’ was the second most common emotion felt by this demographic in the same survey, suggesting that the rollout of vaccinations is likely to accelerate future travel bookings.

Said Bonhill-Smith: “Typical stereotypes such as being loyal to one brand and ‘less tech-savvy’ that were previously attached to the silent generation (70+) have changed and it is critical for travel companies to understand these major shifts to effectively service this demographic’s future travel needs.”

And she continued: “Known as being loyal to one brand, this demographic is a prime target for in-store travel agencies. Although, the reality is, they may not be as loyal as previously identified; 50% of silent generation respondents ‘somewhat’ or ‘strongly’ disagreed they would buy products only from their favorite brands.”

Bonhill-Smith also noted that: “The same survey found that 30% will now buy more products online rather than visiting a store, and 48% consider supporting small or local businesses as more important than prior to this pandemic – suggesting more opportunity for brand development.”

She added that: “While the silent generation will never rival the levels of digital engagement associated with the ‘digital natives’, Millennials and GenZ – who spend more time at home which has led many to become more ‘tech-savvy’ – 47% still declared they would opt to use card or mobile phones instead of cash. This poses an opportunity for app engagement, where simple, easy-to-use and personalized platforms may become more desirable.”

City breaks were the second most popular holiday type for the Silent Generation prior to COVID-19. This type of holiday, however, is likely to have lost its appeal as older tourists now desire holidays away from urban areas. In a more recent survey, 31% of silent generation respondents declared they had been experimenting with new cuisines and recipes during the pandemic.

Experimenting more at home could boost the appeal of a gastronomic themed holiday – or simply make it a greater consideration when booking a trip.

And GlobalData’s Bonhill-Smith concluded: “Millennials and GenZ have typically been identified as leaders in travel demand post-COVID-19. Despite being labelled as the most vulnerable, the silent generation is the first to be vaccinated which will continue to accelerate future bookings among this demographic, thereby assuring they will play a critical part in the recovery of travel.”

PHOTO Credit: Ben-Giesbrecht