While some of Britain’s biggest travel operators close shop, the number of adventure travel firms is increasing on a weekly basis. Offering skiing vacations, surfing, and mountain trekking holidays, a surge in bookings for high-end adventure holidays is changing the face of British travel. Even more strangely, the growth isn’t propelled by 20-somethings – it’s grandparents that are leading the way.
The amount of mature holidayers opting for slopes n’ slow on their holiday is increasingly at a rate few could have predicted, leaving adventure travel firms rushing to complete bookings and arrange trips. Over-fifty travellers are one of Britain’s high-growth markets – with a reasonable amount of income and a greater amount of free time than ever, they’re opting for exciting holidays in droves.
That means giving up the poolside lounger and picking up a snowboard, or even taking to the skies before leaping out of an aeroplane. Activities that were once reserved for those in their late teens are growing in popularity amongst fifty-somethings, with adrenaline the drug of choice for filling gaps left by redundancy. It’s not quite a mid-life crisis – for many it’s just a renewed appreciation of life.
Contradicting traditional travel industry trends, it seems as if poor economic performance is fuelling the boom in foreign adventure vacations. With many Britons expecting to remain out of work for an extended period of time, the career cost of an extended vacation is less of a strain than before. Many ‘adventure’ oldies have a reasonable amount of savings, making the financial cost fairly trivial.
Several UK and US-based travel agencies are researching the viability of a fifty-plus specialist firm, aiming to market to the demographic using targeted advertisements and special promotions. Should it succeed, Britain’s travel industry may find itself segmenting into a niche-style collection of small operators, with the current one-size-fits-all brands settling into the commercial background.