Friday, 21 January 2011

How to woo the denture venturers

Oscar Wilde once wrote that "The tragedy of old age is not that one is old but that one is young."

As we live longer and stay healthier, it seems the words of the the great Irish wit could never be so profound.

While none of us savour the effects the progress of time has on our youthful looks, getting older means we become more confident about the decisions we make, more established in our careers, and when the kids have grown up and left home we also have more disposable income.

In a recent report by Travel Tourism Intelligence, called Old but not Out - How to woo the over-50s, the denture venturers, as they are often referred to in the travel press, are the most lucrative market for travel companies - even bigger than the Chinese market in sheer numbers alone.

They have money to spend - £150 for a week in a two-star in Magaluf is not on their agenda. They want luxury when they travel and are prepared to pay for it. They are also more discerning and are keen to really experience the countries they are in, rather than sit in an English pub in Torremolinos, eating sausage and mash and drinking a pint of London Pride. The holidays they want are usually of a tailor-made variety, so are more financially lucrative for operators and agents.

The travel industry has been fixated for years on cashing in on the youth market but they often don't have the source of income to fund great adventures overseas.

With the over-50s healthier, wealthier and more intrepid than ever before, now is the time for tour operators and travel agents to cash in on this burgeoning market.

For more on the grey debate, look at my (Angie's) recent feature at