Older traveller numbers soar by 20%
Further evidence that ‘sixty five is the new twenty five’ has been sealed with the latest figures from Dragoman, the world’s most reputable and respected overland travel operators.
According to Dragoman, the number of mature travellers’ (or ‘silverbacks’ as the operator prefers to call them) joining Dragoman’s overland trips has increased by 20% year on year. The news follows the announcement by Age Concern Enterprises* that sales of their travel insurance increased by 41%, “demonstrating that not only are the over 65’s travelling further afield, they are planning multiple trips to long-haul destinations”.
Commenting about the rising trend of mature travellers, Charlie Hopkinson, Managing Director says: "The perception that overlanding is the preserve of the younger traveller is increasingly outdated. In the past decade, we’ve seen an incremental rise in the number of older travellers joining Dragoman tours, some of whom were students overlanding in their twenties who now have the time and funds to do it again, as well as former independent travellers who now prefer something they perceive as ‘safer’, more organised whilst still indulging their desire to get off the beaten track”.
The trend for older travellers preferring the more adventurous destinations is also pronounced.
Since Dragoman started operating overland adventures in 1981, they have led the market in improving the quality of overlanding. Whilst this has pushed up the cost of certain trips, the inclusion of tailored itineraries which cater to the experienced traveller as well as increased comfort levels has increasingly appealed to the ‘mature’ market.
Charlie continues: “Whilst overlanding attracts a broad range of people, it’s our experience that the more mature the traveller, the more adventurous the route or destination they choose. The majority of passengers on our Central Asia (Silk Route) or West Africa trips are over 55, for example. South America and India are also more popular with older travellers. It’s a trend that we’ve harnessed and welcomed, adding trips to our portfolio that will specifically appeal to the older traveller and offering longer trips to those who perhaps have more time on their hand than their younger counterparts."
Anne Jenkins, a 65 year old retired teacher from North Devon, travelled on Dragoman’s 6 ½ week Chennai to Delhi trip via Kathmandu in January 2010.
She says: “I put off travelling until I retired in 2007 and in the past three years have done a couple of Africa trips as well as Dragoman trip earlier this year. I can honestly say that I enjoyed every second, from the in-depth personal and cultural experiences they included, to breaking down generational barriers amongst fellow passengers to adventurous itineraries which mean you don’t get the sanitized version of a country. I’d recommend any mature traveller to have a go!” Anne is currently choosing her next trip.