Horizons new: over 50s crave exploration & adventure

Forget fly and flop; research released by Saga has revealed that the over 50s are more likely to opt for an adventurous jaunt to Uzbekistan or Kyrgyzstan when booking their annual holiday.

Exploring the Eurasian states, alongside Tallinn in Estonia and seeing the Northern Lights in Scandinavia, all featured within the top ten experiences over 50s wanted to have on their next holiday, according to the research.

While the traditional package holiday destinations of Spain, Portugal and Greece remain popular, more travellers are putting an emphasis on exploration. Respondents to a separate survey of 12,623 over 50s from across the UK, commissioned by Saga and carried out by Populus, revealed that weather, natural wonders, an abundance of historical sites, interesting culture and wildlife were the most important factors when it came to choosing which country to visit.

The survey also looked to some of the reasons people might be unlikely to book a holiday to a particular country. 84% said ‘political instability’ put them off, whilst crime at 75% and human rights concerns at 55% were also likely to turn them off. Some 4% of those surveyed said the United States’ political leadership ‘deterred’ them from wanting to travel there, with the figure higher for Russia (6%) and West Africa (8%).

Maria Whiteman, managing director of Saga Travel, said: “We are seeing a seismic shift in the number of people that want to combine luxury and relaxation with something just that little bit different when choosing where to go on their holiday. Whether that’s immersing themselves in the culture of a destination and it’s people or doing something a little more adventurous.

“Our customers are very particular about what they want and don’t want; great weather, interesting culture, history, wildlife, exciting journeys and the people they might meet are all critical. Whilst many places can deliver that sort of adventure, they often want to try somewhere they may not have had a chance to visit before, explaining perhaps why the number of bookings to places like Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan are soaring. They also leave their mark on the people they meet on holiday, often bonding over a shared passion, whether that is adventure, dancing or wildlife.”

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