£2.3million immigration hall upgrade plans at Bristol Airport

£2.3million immigration hall upgrade plans at Bristol Airport

Monday, 24 October 2016 14:00

Following ...

Intrepid targets socially conscious Gen Z with new Geckos age-range

Intrepid targets socially conscious Gen …

Monday, 24 October 2016 11:00

30 year olds will be ‘too old’ for Geckos Adventures next year, as the Intrepid Group has announced that it will cut the age range to meet a growing demand...

New survey reveals just one in 12 Brits manage to wangle an upgrade

New survey reveals just one in 12 Brits …

Monday, 24 October 2016 08:40

New research from Jetcost.co.uk has revealed that only 8% of British travellers have actually managed to secure a free upgrade for their holiday, with flight upgrades and hotel room upgrades...

Just You launches travel trade solo experience

Just You launches travel trade solo expe…

Friday, 21 October 2016 14:00

Just You has announced its largest investment to support the travel trade with the launch of 200 joint marketing events to promote solo travel.

Spontaneous people are happier according to Snaptrip survey

Spontaneous people are happier according…

Friday, 21 October 2016 11:00

Spontaneous people are often believed to lead more exciting or glamorous lifestyles and a new study has confirmed that they are happier in all aspects of their lives.

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver tickets for half term

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver …

Friday, 21 October 2016 09:00

Visitors to Brighton this October half term can save up to 20% on its top three paid-for attractions with combination tickets now available for British Airways i360, SEA LIFE Brighton...

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Thursday, 20 October 2016 14:00

There still’s time for agents to book a Croisieurope river cruise for their customers with a free cabin upgrade on a range of river cruises throughout Europe, when booked with...

Last minute autumn breaks available at Haven

Last minute autumn breaks available at H…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 11:00

Agents can still give their customers a last minute family break this autumn from £99 when booking a Haven holiday between now and November 5.

Skiers urged to head east for best piste costs reveals new report

Skiers urged to head east for best piste…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 08:00

Cash-conscious skiers can avoid the slippery slope of higher prices for their annual downhill trip by heading to ski resorts in Eastern Europe.

Design an anniversary poster for DFDS competition

Design an anniversary poster for DFDS co…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 14:00

Ferry operator, DFDS, is putting out a call to professional and amateur artists to create a poster that will be used in their 150th anniversary celebrations this year.

Savings on worldwide adventures with Explore

Savings on worldwide adventures with Exp…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 11:00

Explore has launched a new collection of worldwide adventures with a launch offer of up to 10% discount on all new trips booked by November 7.

New route to Seattle makes it one to watch for 2017

New route to Seattle makes it one to wat…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 09:12

Seattle is expected to be one of the fastest growing US destinations for UK travellers next year with a Virgin Atlantic direct non-stop daily flight launching March 2017, new hotel...

Air Transat launches 2017 programme with increased connections across Canada

Air Transat launches 2017 programme with…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:04

Air Transat has expanded its programme of flights from the UK to Canada with increased capacity and connections for travel in 2017.

Oceania Cruises reduces single supplement fares

Oceania Cruises reduces single supplemen…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:02

Oceania Cruises has launched a reduced single supplement promotion for solo travellers, with guests offered single supplements fares from 25% on seven itineraries, booked before December 31.

Mall of America welcomes arrival of MythBusters

Mall of America welcomes arrival of Myth…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:00

Running throughout autumn until January 15, 2017, visitors can ignite their curiosity and discover whether they can really huff and puff to blow a house down; if running in the...

Emirates to launch new daily service to Fort Lauderdale

Emirates to launch new daily service to …

Monday, 17 October 2016 11:00

Emirates has announced that it will launch a daily service between Dubai and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, on December 15, serving the South Florida area, including Fort Lauderdale, Miami and...

The Mature Market: tips for selling to the over-55s market

1 Build a rapport: Many customers in the older age bracket still prefer booking a holiday through a travel agent – they appreciate the experience, knowledge and customer service that a traditional high street agency continues to offer and find it more reassuring than a call centre or the internet. If you can build a relationship with such customers, you will find they are more likely to become repeat clients than younger holidaymakers.

The over-55s market is still a growing market so travel agents who specialise in this area should fare better than those who just focus on the family market or walk-in trade.

2 Get involved in local groups: Offer to host talks for groups such as the WI, local associations, societies, bowls clubs, church groups, retirement complexes and sports/social clubs. You need to be proactive to target these customers as it remains a highly competitive market and the 'personal touch' is the most important aspect of the relationship with organisers and members from these organisations.

3 Cater for solo travellers: A greater proportion of the over-55s are solo travellers, either through divorce, being widowed, or just wanting to travel without their other half. Swot up on operators and hotels which cater for solo travellers, and don't penalise them with single supplements. Also, operators often run special tours for single travellers, which help clients to feel relaxed in a group of like-minded folk.

4 Be aware of mobility and other such issues: As we get older, we may need more help with carrying luggage, or negotiating stairs, or reading the small print – so ensure your agency and staff comply with the Disability Discrimination Act and are aware of any special needs clients may have.

5 Don't stereotype them: The over-55s are a diverse bunch with a wide range of different holiday tastes – those in their 50s and early 60s are now computer-savvy and more likely to make independent arrangements so catching their attention early, perhaps with a 'self-drive' offer, will pay dividends in the long run. As customers reach their 70s and 80s, they are more likely to consider escorted tours, so they can forget about driving or carting their luggage around.

6 Highlight out-of-season deals: The retired holidaymaker doesn't have to worry about school term times or work commitments so they can book deals when hotels and fares are cheaper – and resorts are often quieter too. They can nip off at the very last minute, so late deals are practical options for them.

7 Train for coaching! Coach holidays are always a popular option for many over-55s as they like the idea of local departures and the benefits of luggage handling and someone else to worry about the driving. Operators may also arrange direct coach tours from an agency's own town if an agency wants to promote an exclusive local departure.

8 Don't assume anything on budgets: Customers are not simply looking for cheap and cheerful breaks and many are happy to pay a premium for a superior product – with mortgages paid off and kids who've flown the nest, they may well be able to afford to indulge themselves even during these difficult times.

9 Keep track of birthdays and anniversaries: Many over-55s like to travel several times a year to make the most of their retirement so suggest special weekends to mark anniversaries and birthdays – especially key landmarks such as Ruby and Golden wedding anniversaries.

10 Specialise in special interest and hobby holidays: Mature holidaymakers are on the look-out for activity-based holidays such as bowls and dance breaks. Themed tours, looking at nostalgia from the 'good old days', the rock and roll era and popular TV shows will always prove attractive and provide a good reason to get up and go!

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