Travel Survey of Senior Living Readers
77% female, 23% male
- Under 50 1%
- 50-64 28%
- 65-74 43%
- 75+ 28%
Victoria proved to be, by far, the single most recommended travel destination by respondents. Vancouver Island, with destinations from Sooke to Tofino to Gold River and Campbell River and all places in between, was high on just about everyone’s list. The Okanagan and Kootenays also fared well, as did the Sunshine Coast and Gulf Islands. A number of people recommended less “touristy” destinations in BC’s Northern or Interior communities displaying a preference for rural small towns, local ambiance and roads less travelled. Some rather unique locations included the Haida Gwaii, Queen Charlotte Islands, and Barkerville.
The majority of respondents use hotels for their BC travel; only a small percentage stay with family. About 12% said they prefer bed and breakfasts to hotels.
Two to four days is the most popular duration for a BC trip but longer trips of 7- 10 days were favoured by about 40% of travelers.
The majority of respondents (67%) take about 3 trips per year in BC. A quarter of respondents said they take up to 6 trips per year. 5% said they take more than 10 trips in a year.
BC Ferries figures significantly into local travel with over respondents saying about 60 % of their provincial trips involve the use of BC ferries.
10% of respondents say they are frequent visitors to the state of Washington; 20% saying they go fairly often.
Asked about their accessibility needs, about 17% of travelers said they or their travel companions require options like handicapped parking, ramps, elevators, etc. Over 80% said they seldom, if ever, require accessibility features.
Trip advisors still appear to play a role in assisting senior travelers, but reliance on these services appears to be less among the younger respondents. 57% of total respondents said they have used the services of a trip advisor. Of these, 30% use trip advisor services regularly – 80% of these users are in the senior group (age 65+).
Cost does appear to be a factor for many senior travelers. Only 8% said cost was not an issue. Most said they are budget conscious but almost half of the respondents said they will pay for extras to make their trip more enjoyable, like spa treatments, rooms with views, sightseeing tours, etc.
Among the types of activities respondents enjoy as part of their BC trips:
- 75% Dining Out
- 70% Outdoors
- 64% Special Events - festivals, trade shows, concerts, theatre, etc.
- 53% Museums
- 49% Tours
- 47% Shopping
- 36% Art Galleries
- 33% Spas, pools, salons, massages, etc.
- 12% Gambling
Relaxation and a change of scenery is the main purpose behind travel for most of the respondents. 23% say they are adventure-seekers, 23% make visiting family or friends a priority, while 14% are looking for an educational experience.
Most respondents travel with a companion, but 15% said they prefer to travel solo.
While only 6% stated a preference for group travel, about 80% said they would consider joining a senior tour group.
Ten Newest Travel Trends for Seniors
Respondents indicated a healthy interest in trying a form of travel that’s a little out of the ordinary, with train tours, bucket list travel and educational tours rating highest. We also wanted to know how many of the respondents had already taken part in these forms of travel (these numbers are indicated in brackets).
- 55% (36%) train tours
- 52% (47%) bucket list travel (fulfilling a lifelong desire)
- 50% (42%) educational tours (exploring hobbies or subjects of interest)
- 44% (12%) river cruising
- 31% (4%) cargo ship cruising (cruising aboard a freighter instead of a traditional cruise ship)
- 25% (29%) genealogical travel (visiting places of historical significance to one’s family)
- 24% (8%) volunteer tourism (volunteering as part of your trip to help a non-profit project)
- 24% (30%) luxury and pampering
- 18% (36%) multi-generational travel (with kids and grandkids)
- 17% (10%) mystery tours (not knowing your destination until you arrive)
Response to Travel Articles in Senior Living Magazine
98% of respondents said they’ve read the travel articles in Senior Living with most indicating a high interest in this type of article, finding them enjoyable, informative and inspiring.
As of May 1, 2012: 290 Respondents