Travel market worth exploring, senior citizens

In the 2015 TravelGround.com Travel Trends Survey, it emerged that senior travellers over the age of 60 are among the most frequent local travellers in South Africa. A whopping 33% of senior travellers reported that they had been away more than twice in the past 12 months.

Of over 2000 travellers surveyed, 50% more seniors indicated that they had gone on holiday 2-4 times in the past year when compared to younger travellers under 60. In spite of the weaker South African economy, more than twice as many over-60s had been away on holiday more than 4 times in the past year.

old age photo

“Senior travellers often have fewer everyday expenses and make use of pensioner discounts for various travel expenses including accommodation, car hire and even SANParks fees. This makes their money go further and allows them to travel more often” said Marcel van de Ghinste, Joint-CEO of TravelGround.

Some younger travellers amusingly offered to “delay marriage” and “dance naked in public” to go on their dream holiday, but most senior travellers say that they will simply skip fancy dinners and do some old-fashioned saving.  Over 16% of seniors say that they do not need to budget for their next big holiday and will be paying cash – 3 times more than most younger travellers.

Most senior travellers indicated that their ideal holidays involve relaxing nature-based activities, as well as city-based cultural experiences. “Based on bookings, we find senior travellers enjoying favourites like Clarens, Knysna, Marloth Park, and the Drakensberg” said Marosane Hutchinson, TravelGround’s Operations Manager.

When choosing an accommodation, senior travellers have a preference for breakfast being included with their stay, as well as for secure parking for their cars. It also emerged that travellers over 50 are significantly more interested in taking their pets with them on holiday.

“Many people in their 50s and 60s enjoy travelling with their pets. We are always happy to accommodate them where we can, though there are a limited number of pet-friendly establishments in South Africa” said Marcel van de Ghinste.

Travellers were asked about factors important for their accommodation booking decision. Senior travellers value written descriptions of accommodations twice as much as younger travellers. It also emerged that over 70% more seniors consider reviews by other customers to be important.

It was discovered that when choosing a website to book accommodation online, senior travellers place 50% more importance on personal recommendations compared to younger travellers. Seniors considered ease of use of the booking website to be one of the top considerations.

“We have many older clients and are continually engaged in getting their valuable feedback to make sure that we have the most user friendly features on our site. It’s our mission to create the easiest way to book accommodation online” said Peter Hanley, Marketing Manager of TravelGround.

About TravelGround: TravelGround.com is a local travel website built to be the easiest way to find and book accommodation online. Started in Cape Town in 2008 by a team of 4 South Africans, the award-winning website helps thousands of South Africans book online every month.

Author: Muzi Mohale

Hi there, am your host and I blog about the tourism industry in South Africa. You're also welcome to contribute your expert content on matters affecting the industry. You can reach me on muzi[at]tourismedition.com

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