Seniors – revving up travel #s

An emarketer report on travel highlights the growing clout of a group that has been around but somehow never got its due in the interaction-focussed, heavily youth-oriented travel sites of today.

Seniors show some serious good #s in the report. A quarter of visits to travel sites according to a Feb 2007 Hitwise report were comprised of those 55 and older. With time, savings, spending power and a new web-aware attitude, seniors are more adventurous and have a different outlook than those who spent their sunset days in quiet retirement years ago. Coming back to the youth, it’s the really young (16-24) who are powering a healthy spike in international travel, making up 20% of visits according to a UNWTO report. How do travel companies go all out to market to groups outside the general market (the very young and the very young at heart!). Perhaps, websites with tabs for each lifestyle group (special events, activities and travel tips) are a start. More of outdoors, adventure tours and cultural exploration and less of stereotyped “golf and grass” vacations?

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Vijay Dandapani

Co-founder and president of a New York based hotel company for 24 years. Grew the firm to five hotels in Manhattan and also developed a greenfield project at MacArthur airport, New York. Speaker at numerous prestigious forums including Economy Hotels World Asia, Lodging Conference, NYU, Columbia University Real Estate Roundtable, Baruch College's Zicklin School and ALIS. President and ceo of New York City Hotel Association since January 2017.