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What Retirees Look For in a Tour Business

Retirees are a valuable sector of the tourism industry but as a tour operator, could you be doing more to market to this group? Travelling after retiring is a dream for most. With arguably more disposable income at hand coupled with more time to enjoy holidays, attracting senior tourists to join your tours could be beneficial to your business but marketing to them correctly is vital.

According to Eurostat(opens in a new tab), tourists aged 57-75 are more likely to make longer trips, normally within their country of residence (domestic trips). This age group also tends to spend more in comparison to the younger generations, spending an average of $6,600 US dollars(opens in a new tab) per holiday and totalling a huge $157 billion on trips every year.

So let’s take a look at how you can best advertise your tours to help attract this age group.

What Does This Group Look For?

Those aged 57-75 are eager to travel. They tend to be willing to spend more in return for comfort, security, and a touch of luxury and these spending trends interestingly lead to them being responsible for 80% of luxury travel(opens in a new tab) spending. As many of this group didn’t travel much in 2020, and unlike their younger counterparts, money will have been ‘stockpiled’ throughout that year, with an anticipation that it’ll be spent in 2022 and beyond.

AARP(opens in a new tab) found that boomers (persons aged 57+) travel mainly to visit friends and family. However, there is a large proportion that searches for new adventures, sharing experiences with a significant other, and 15% of those asked wanted to try something new!

With over 51% of boomers(opens in a new tab) looking to travel in 2021 and beyond, it’s worth highlighting that almost all of this group meticulously consider the COVID-19 protocols of anything they book: hotels, transport, tours.

Where to Market

It’s naive to think that this generation doesn’t use the internet to book their holidays. 84% of boomers(opens in a new tab) will use online services to book travel, so having a strong, user-friendly online presence is vital.

However, where you market and put your advertising money differs compared to marketing to younger generations. Hotelmize(opens in a new tab) found that only 10% of 57 to 66-year-olds use/are influenced by social media to book their holidays, while 66% of them make booking and accommodation decisions after seeing online ads. If your target market is 55+, consider shifting your focus onto Google ads, as social media isn’t a popular tool used among this generation to book holidays.

Things You Can Adapt

COVID-19 Protocols

Safety has always been a concern for most older tourists but never more so than now. The pandemic has sparked global fear amongst tourists and ensuring your guests will be well taken care of, highlighting your COVID-19 protocols(opens in a new tab) is a must. Steps you can take include accurately breaking down the protocols followed in cleaning your transport and equipment and highlighting the steps taken by staff: testing, masks, vaccination. A perfect place to put this information could be a section on your homepage or as part of your frequently asked questions.

Online Presence

As we mentioned before, those aged 57-75 do use the internet to book their travel and tours – to no real surprise in this day and age. Ensuring your website is user-friendly not only on desktop but also on mobile devices(opens in a new tab) is imperative. Another tip is to have a call to book button on your site, linking to your company’s phone number. This simplifies the booking process for those who perhaps are a little less tech-friendly and also targets those nervous bookers who may like to chat with someone before booking. Here are some other tips on how to make your website easier to use.(opens in a new tab)

Online Advertising

In the 57+ generation, studies show that social media isn’t as powerful as online advertising to attract these users to book your products. Using Google Ads’ PPC (pay per click) system, you can tailor your ads and control which audience sees them on search engines through clever algorithms. Read our beginners guide on Google Ads(opens in a new tab) to help you tailor your audience and in turn, capture some new revenue!

A Luxury Touch

Don’t be shy to highlight your tour business’ unique selling points when it comes to luxurious touches. Does your wine tour include a gourmet lunch? Highlight the menu! Do your tour buses have premium seats? Show them off! Does your boat cruise include a premium bar? List the cocktails! All of these small details will help even the most sceptical guests gain the confidence that you’re the right person to go on a tour with.

When you’re 50 years old and beyond, travelling to new places and discovering new cultures doesn’t stop, just the habits and budget change. Ensuring you’re using the correct marketing strategy and your website and content speak to your target audience, you’ll be well on your way to welcoming new faces on your tours.

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