Globetrotting senior citizens define young trend in tourism

Globetrotting senior citizens define young trend in tourism
PUNE: A leisurely walk with his wife down the roads through the old-world charm of Cambridge or along the magnificent half-timbered homes and medieval guildhalls of Yorkshire has for years been a dream vacation for NPS Rao.

The Koregaon Park resident is awaiting July , when he will set off with her on a 13-day Europe tour. The husband-wife duo, both in their 60s, have tagged themselves with a group of 30-odd travellers, including one of their friends.

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The Raos have been a part of a “package tour” earlier and were much impressed with the convenience and fun part of travelling with other senior citizens. Their mind now is now only preoccupied with the sights and sounds of the UK, Amsterdam in the Netherlands and a few other cities in western Europe. According to travel booking agencies and online portals, the past few years have seen an upswing in bookings by senior citizens -a trend that has become quite popular in the West. Though the agencies do not have exact statistics with them, they estimate that 10% of their annual clientele are senior citizens. They attribute the trend to the increase in disposable incomes, escalating aspirations, working children who have settled to other cities with jobs and free time to explore the world.

Good health and financial security are allowing many elderly “the wings to travel for recreation”, said Karan Anand, head (relationships) at Cox and Kings Ltd. “We get a lot of business from travellers aged above 60. We also get senior citizens, who are friends and enjoy travelling together. There are instances of children gifting parents international travel packages,” he said.

“Most of them enjoy travelling in groups. The pace of such trips is slightly slower,” said Zelam Chaubal, director of the city-based Kesari Tours Pvt. Ltd Recalling her 2016 Europe trip, Sunanda Chaudhary , a 61year-old resident of Satara Road, said, “I had then travelled with my sister-in-law for 10 days. My son worked in that part of the world and he wanted us to experience life there.”

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