Travellers are abandoning the USA in favour of more adventurous destinations according to research conducted by Saga Holidays. The leading travel company for the over-50s have examined their customer data over the past 10 years and have uncovered some startling trends.
The biggest shock is that the States is no longer the most popular destination for Saga customers with more exciting and little known countries now taking the top spots.
The research has found USA custom down 71% since 1998, yet Latin America and the Caribbean have attracted a passenger increase of 341% during the same period. This impressive rise has not just come from resort stays but also touring holidays which now attract over three times as many intrepid travellers as a decade ago (321%). In particular Cuba has seen major growth (170%) with South America's Peru also significantly up (52%).
Other tours seeing a bumper rise in passengers are Africa (109%), Asia (222%) and the Indian Ocean (87%). Since being reinstated in the programme, Kenya is proving popular again whilst other African hotspots include Namibia and Botswana. And with a 155% increase in people trekking the Himalayas in Nepal, Saga can claim to have an over-50s customer base with a voracious appetite for exploration.
Saga's newer destinations are also finding favour. A tour of Mexico has gained over 20 times the number of customers since 2003 and St Lucia has increased fivefold in the last year alone, largely down to the company acquiring a new hotel, the Bel Jou, exclusively for its customers.
Andrew Goodsell, Chief Executive of Saga Group commented , "The research has demonstrated just how adventurous and active our customers are becoming. Over the past decade we have seen a steep rise in tour numbers, as people seem to want more than a hotel stay".
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