The over-50s are boosting the British travel industry with ‘grey gap years’, thanks to their desire to seek for adventure and having time and money on their hands.
In what has been a badly hit year in the tourism sector due to the credit crunch recession and volcanic ash chaos, sunshine is on the horizon with Saga Travel Company experiencing sales up by 300% to 400% over the past years, the company says.
Shearings Holidays launched a collection of worldwide tours aimed at the over-50s this summer and Get Travelling has unveiled a range of adventure tours for over-50s on its new get-lost.co.uk website.
STA Travel is now targeting the over-50s with its new business venture, Bridge the World, rather than the conventional students and young travellers.
John Constable, STA’s group manager, says: “A third of them will take a long-haul holiday next year. When they were 20, the gap year did not exist. That demand is there.”
“We found that we were losing our customers because, as soon as people start to have a family, the type of trip we arrange becomes less relevant for them. Bridge the World is somewhere that an STA customer can migrate to,” he added.
The company plans to take 50,000 passengers on “grey gap years” in 2011.
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