New research into travellers from the UK by brokerage firm Bernstein suggests the travel industry will benefit from turning its attention away from millennials and the young, who are facing economic belt-tightening, and towards the growing number of people in their 50s, 60s and 70s who want to travel and have money at their disposal.

According to the World Bank, by 2050 16% of the global population will be over 65, twice as many as in 2012, and their attitude to travel is also changing towards luxury and experiences.

The UK data shows the over-65s have driven travel spending growth especially in the last five years when growth in spend per trip has been up 11.5%, expected to grow further and faster, and the global trend is likely to be even more pronounced as populations around the world, especially China, grow faster.

UK tour operator Kuoni has seen an increase in demand for “epic adventures, worldwide tours and luxury cruises” from baby boomers who have gained from substantial property price rises and the relaxation in pension regulation , meaning wealthier, older consumers are spending more on travel experiences as they live life to the full.

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