(Australian Associated Press)
Baby boomers, bucket lists and cruise ships have made older Australians the fastest growing age group travelling overseas.
While young people make up the biggest overall number of travellers, it is their parents and grandparents who are boarding cruise ships and international flights at increasingly fast rates.
Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows the number of people aged 65 to 74 holidaying overseas jumped more than 80 per cent in the past five years.
Bell Potter analyst John O’Shea highlighted cruises as key to the trend.
“It has obviously been a major growth area … it has extended their travel life span,” he told AAP.
Mr O’Shea analysed data from the past three years and found that the number of 75-to-79-year-olds was up by 15 per cent.
He said that in the past, older people may have been deterred from overseas travel because of physical limitations but cruises now gave them easy access to Europe.
“All they need to do is fly to and from a major European city and then board a cruise ship,” Mr O’Shea said.
But it isn’t just cushy cruises that are drawing the older travellers.
So called “soft adventures”, such as visits to see the Northern Lights, are becoming increasingly popular between 50 and 70, National Seniors Australia chief executive Michael O’Neill said.
“They tend to be folk who are much more aware of their bucket list,” he said.
A sense of adventure was also enticing them to pick the more exotic locations from Cuba to the Scandinavian fjords, he said.
“That is the nature of the baby boomers. Across their lives they have tended to be doing things a bit differently and in some cases driving trends,” Mr O’Neill said.
GLOBETROTTING GREY NOMADS
* 75-79 up 15 pct
* 70-74 up 14 pct
* Over 80s up 12 pct
* 65-69 up 10 pct
* 30-34 up five pct
(Source: Bell Potter Travel and Tourism Weekly)