Travel patterns of the over 50's

Date of publication: June 15, 1991


Increased competition is forcing the tourist industry world-wide to seek new markets for their products and none has emerged more significantly and offers more promising prospects through better understanding than the over-50s market. Within a decade, the post World War II baby boomers will make the over-50s group the fastest growing and the most powerful consumer segment in the Western World. This market is expanding fast as people live longer, retire earlier and have a lot more time, energy and income to spend on goods and services. However, the leisure, travel and tourist industry has traditionally neglected this segment. This paper examines the nature and significance of the mature market for travel in the United States, Europe and Australia before going on to explore the travel patterns of both mature and younger people in Brisbane, Australia. Results of the study are presented and indicate that the 50 and overs and the under 50s vary significantly in terms of a number of variables including their reasons for travel, and the kinds and levels of activities they prefer when travelling. Finally, the practical implications for the travel industry of this initial research are outlined.

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