Active seniors have an appetite for travel, significant disposable income and plenty of available time, which presents a significant opportunity for the travel industry, according to a new research report released by Amadeus.
The new report, “Trending with Seniors: understanding the Active Senior consumer traveler,” looks at the preferences of this group, including what Active Seniors want now and in the future when it comes to travel, Amadeus says.
By 2020, the global population of adults age 65 and older will triple to 700 million, including one in six Americans. Given this significant market potential, Amadeus has compiled a view of today’s Active Senior travelers through a combination of trend analysis, desk research and focus group interviews with frequent travelers ages 50+ in four countries: the United States, United Kingdom, France and Germany.
Amadeus reports four key trends:
1. Challenging “old” assumptions: Active Seniors are young at heart and do not consider themselves “old.” They finally feel they have the time, energy and funds to explore and do new things. Travel becomes more experience driven, as they seek to spend their time in more meaningful ways. One size does not fit all.
2. Doing vs. owning: Active Seniors no longer measure what they have by the material goods they possess, rather by the experiences they have lived. They value “sight-doing” vs. sightseeing, being active, learning, discovering, and finding excitement in new experiences vs. owning new things.
3. Leaving a legacy: Active Seniors feel they are in a better economic position than their children, and want to share experiences that enrich the entire family. They seek out altruistic activities, and view “voluntourism,” mixing volunteer and tourism activities, as a way to actively contribute to society.
4. Tapping technology: In a world where technology seems to prevail, Active Seniors see technology as a means rather than an end. “Always on” technology is not acceptable to them; they appreciate human interaction, and value travel professionals who offer personalized service and convey a sense of trust and confidence.
“Active Senior travelers want to fulfill their bucket lists and leave a legacy for their families. Travel is a central component of these plans and our industry is in a great position to help them realize their dreams. We should take these preferences to heart as we develop new products and services for this group,” said Scott Alvis, chief marketing officer, Amadeus North America.
|Creating the ideal active senior offer (click to enlarge) // Infographic by Amadeus|
Amadeus notes for those trying to attract and appeal to the valuable Active Seniors group, the key is understanding how their preferences differ especially in their attitudes toward life, social networks and online / offline relations.
Unlike younger generations, Active Seniors do not view online functions as a replacement for human interaction and consider people to be the true experts. When it comes to technology, striking a balance between online and offline features that let Active Seniors be as involved as they choose will be critical to success, Amadeus says.
Amadeus notes the report provides insight on the preferences and expectations of Active Seniors in other areas such as value, service, flexibility, convenience and support in their travel. It also outlines how the travel industry might serve Active Senior travelers throughout the trip cycle - from search, planning and booking to during and after their journey. The free report can be downloaded at www.bit.ly/1tewvG6.