Senior travelers comprised nearly half of all customers in 2019, before dropping to just 16 percent of total travelers in 2020, due to the onset of the global coronavirus pandemic. Now, however, according to travel insurance marketplace Squaremouth, the share of travelers aged 60-plus has more than doubled since then, rising by 125 percent over 2020.
This year marks the first since 2019 when older travelers (defined by Squaremouth as those aged 60 and up) will account for the largest travel demographic, signaling a return to pre-COVID travel trends. In late 2019/early 2020, travelers aged 60-plus accounted for 46.32 percent of all travelers. In 2020/2021, that dropped to 16.45 percent before increasing to 21.86 percent and 36.93 percent in 2022 and 2023, respectively.
The drop-off was linked to the pandemic as searches for Coronavirus Pandemic coverage in policies was most common among those 60-plus and decreased with each age group (50 to 59; 35 to 49; and one to 34). Senior travelers were also the most likely to search for policies that included Emergency Medical, Medical Evac and Trip Interruption.
Not surprisingly, the youngest group (one to 34)—which was the second-most populous age group pre-COVID—became the largest demographic of travelers in the two-year dip of seniors traveling. In 2019-2020, the accounted for 23.22 percent of all travelers—still half compared to those aged 60-plus. In subsequent years, that percentage rose to 40.37 percent before dropping a bit to 35.93 percent and 28.12 percent. The percentage of travelers aged 50 to 59 remained fairly consistent over the four periods: 15.21, 15.64, 16.53 and 15.55 percent. Those aged 35 to 49 followed a similar pattern as the youngest group, starting at 15.24 before rising to 27.24 and steadily declining to 25.69 and 19.39 percent.
Methodology: Squaremouth analytics compared travel insurance policy sales for insured trips purchased between December 1 and January 31 from 2019 to 2023.