The over fifties are more mobile and more active than ever before. Between 2005 and 2010 vacation travel by Europeans aged 55 and over expanded by 17 per cent.
This age group as a whole accounted for more than a quarter (27 per cent) of all trips abroad. This corresponds to 78 million holiday trips. As far as holiday preferences are concerned, the over fifties are increasingly distancing themselves from the clichés associated with traditional travel by senior citizens.
While beach holidays outstrip any other type of vacation in Europe, and are even gaining in popularity, individual countries have their own preferences. At the same time, city tours, cruises and excursions have experienced a significant boost among the over fifty-fives.
According to an analysis commissioned by Messe Berlin and carried out by the World Travel Monitor®, the most important source markets for the over fifties are the United Kingdom with 16.1 million and Germany with 15.3 million vacation trips. While foreign travel by members of the so-called silver age group from Britain has risen by 28 per cent since 2005, the German market has stagnated. In third and fourth place respectively are France with 7.2 million and the Netherlands with 6.9 million trips. These four countries alone account for almost 60 per cent of all travellers in the over-55 age group.