Roy Barker AITO

AITO Travel Insights 2020 report offers positive news for silver travellers

AITO released its Travel Insights 2020 report today with positive news for agents selling to the buoyant demographic of travellers aged 50 to 70.

Roy Barker from SPIKE (pictured), which produced the report based on a survey of 26,406 people from the databases of 39 specialist travel companies, told the report launch event that there are 17.3 million people in the UK aged 50 to 70, and this group made up 80% of survey respondents. The good news for travel agents is that 90% of this age group surveyed consider holidays "an essential part of their lifestyle", many are empty nesters who are not restricted by where or when they have to travel, 60% value the expertise, knowledge and specialism of travel professionals, 90% will rebook with travel professionals if they have a good experience and 96% make recommendations to family, friends and colleagues.

"Time, money and freedom" were the three factors cited by Barker as the major attractions of marketing and selling to this demographic. The survey revealed that 92% of respondents plan to travel as much as they do now or more over the next five years.

The presentation also touched on marketing to 50-70-year-olds and while 80% regularly use social media, particularly Facebook, 88% of survey respondents said they prefer to be kept informed by email. The role of printed products is still important to this demographic with 67% using guidebooks when they travel. While researching travel online is popular, brochures are important too.

In regard to email marketing, personalisation is important to the silver travellers market, making it essential for travel companies to tailor email messages, which is where using data effectively is important. Barker said that personalised emails should reflect what sort of trips they've taken and reinforce the good customer service they've received, with pre- and post-trip emails being equally important.

"Email marketing hasn't died a death even after GDPR," Barker said.

Tom Dunn from Wild Dog Design, which also helped with the report reiterated Barker's comments, saying that in terms of customer engagement for this age group, "social media is not the panacea" and personalised emails, phonecalls, good websites and brochures are all important "to sell the dream".

"The personalised aspect is phenomenally important," Dunn told the event.


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