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NEWS ROUND-UP Over-50s turn to domestic breaks


Amie Keeley amie.keeley@travelweekly.co.uk


Domestic tourism among the over-50s provides a “big opportunity” for agents in light of uncertainty around Brexit.


Recent data showed domestic


breaks have grown in popularity among the older demographic, with 42% stating a UK-based holiday or country-house hotel stay was their preferred type of holiday, up from 37% the year before. Silver Travel Advisor’s annual


report, which surveyed 1,200 members in autumn 2018, found domestic holidays to be the second-most popular after city breaks and ahead of beach holidays. Debbie Marshall, managing


director of the consumer advice site, said “the mantra of certainty, safety and security” among the over-50s had “never been more important”.


Shearings Leisure Group


underlined the trend, reporting double-digit growth year on year for UK breaks both for its coach and self-drive hotel stays. Shearings Holidays managing


Older holidaymakers are increasingly inclined to take domestic breaks


“The ‘B’ word, while it’s a challenge, is an opportunity, so agents should embrace it”


director Jane Atkins said domestic breaks had always been high on the list for the over-50s, but had been boosted this year by the mild weather, a late Easter and Brexit-related travel concerns.


“The ‘B’ word, while it’s a challenge, is also an opportunity, so agents should embrace it and know what’s on offer in the UK,” she said. “If you get just one domestic booking, they are more likely to repeat and book a second, third and fourth holiday with you. It might not be that valuable on its own but it’s about getting that customer hooked and engaged with you so they return again and again.”


Shearings operates 44 UK


hotels inclding fie ontry Living Hotels through its partnership with magazine publisher Hearst UK. Grand Holidays UK sales director


Harold Burke said its new Hotel Leisure Breaks range of self-drive holidays was “proving to be a success” among those in the 55- plus age group who were “not quite


ready for an organised coach trip”.  Comment, page 30


Abta to focus on hidden disabilities


When: May 8 Where: Abta, 30 Park Street, London, SE1 9EQ Cost: Abta member/ partner rate – £229 plus VAT


Non-member rate – £349 plus VAT abta.com/events


Selling to customers with hidden disabilities will be the focus of Abta’s Accessible Travel and Tourism Seminar in May. Clare Jenkinson, senior


destinations and sustainability manager at Abta, said: “We are encouraging members to broaden their perceptions of disabilities, especially those that aren’t visible, such as arthritis, Alzheimer’s or autism, and think about every stage of the holiday from booking to accommodation.”


10travelweekly.co.uk21 March 2019


The event will include personal accounts from those who have a disability; insights from operators and hotels about what they are doing to make their products more accessible; and tips on how members can make a business case for accessible travel. There are almost 14 million disabled people in the UK, hih eans  to one in five customers are likely to have accessibility requirements.


“With an ageing population and increase in disabilities in the over-50s, this looks set to rise further,” Jenkinson added. eaers onfired so ar include: Raymond Veal, chief executive, Tourism for All; Chris Veitch, government disability champion for tourism; Marina Snellenberg, Tui’s people with reduced mobility and accessibility manager; and Tom Bartlett, commercial operations manager at Gatwick.


PICTURE: SHUTTERSTOCK


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