Think of your average adventurous traveler and you’d probably think of someone young. You probably wouldn’t think of someone in the 70’s or even older. But this age group is forcing adventure tour operators to drastically rethink their marketing strategies or miss out.
According to figures released by the UK Office for National Statistics the number of British over-65s travelling overseas jumped up by 13.7 per cent from 2014 to 2016.
And a separate survey from the Association of British Travel Agents suggests that over-65s are more likely to take foreign holidays than any other age group.
Of course, cruises and winter sun breaks still account for the lion’s share of these holidays but tour operators are noticing some retirees wanting to go further afield. And we mean further afield. Several companies are now offering retiree tours to Northern Afghanistan whilst others have found travelers aged in their 80s and 90s in their parties when organising trips to places like the South Pole. One tour operator led a walking group across a 4,100m pass in Kyrgyzstan, and included one group member who was 74!
Its not hard to see what’s driving this. Numerous baby boomers are entering retirement with mortgages paid off and ample pensions to sustain them whilst away. Add improved telecoms (so they can keep in touch with those left behind; like their Millennial children) and a greater number of internal flights (no three day cross-country bus tours for these holidaymakers) means these active adventurers can enjoy all the off-the-beaten track type trips that they heard their backpacking children talk about, but had never experienced themselves.