Baby boomers are not too old for adventure travel
Check out this great article by Denis Horgan of the Hartford Courant about popular adventure travel options are with baby boomers. It just goes to show that a little gray hair does not mean we cannot enjoy a life of adventure.
WHO you calling an old geezer? Not that guy in the whitewater raft, I hope. Not that bold soul risking her noggin riding a motorcycle across rural France. Not me, I hope.
If it were true that mature travelers were content to take the slow and easy road, it's hardly the case anymore.
AARP has looked into the travel attitudes of baby boomers and registers the apparent:
Mature folks have the resources and will to travel, and adventure is a big part of the game.
The survey of 1,594 respondents ages 41 to 59 shows that about 55 percent of boomers consider themselves adventurous, and 77 percent feel they are more adventurous than their parents. Statistics and observation point to the huge numbers of "seniors" traveling. It is a huge element of the travel industry.
There are 81 million people in the United States 50 or older, 28 percent of the entire U.S. population. For all the courting of the free-spending youth, this 28 percent controls 67 percent of the nation's wealth, and has more than $750 million in discretionary income and more than $28 trillion dollars in assets.
With people living longer and more healthy lives than before, the mature market is here to stay. Some key survey findings of the 50-and-older crowd:
- Important factors in leisure travel include a beautiful, scenic destination that promotes relaxation, has good weather and presents no pressure of schedules to meet.
- Twenty years ago, 10 percent held passports but, today, 28 percent have passports.
- Twenty years ago, less than 4 percent had visited Europe; a similar 4 percent went to Mexico, Central America, South America or the Caribbean. Now, the numbers are 14 percent to Mexico, Central America or South America; 10 percent to the Caribbean; and 7 percent to Europe.
- The top U.S. states, cities or areas boomers like for their travel are Las Vegas, Florida, New York, Hawaii and Colorado.
- The top dream spots they'd like to visit are in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, Australia/New Zealand and Africa.
Confounding the cliche that boomers need teenagers handy to operate the Internet, the study shows that 38 percent of their bookings of flights, hotels, etc., was over the Web. Indeed, so big a business are they that AARP and Travelocity have put together a travel service site aimed at their market, http://www.aarp.org/passport.
The idea that travel is for the young is out of date. Young at heart, surely, but "young" isn't wasted on the youth anymore.
By Denis Horgan, HARTFPRD COURANT