Tuesday 4 December 2012

• More than 5 million over 50s will visit Christmas markets this year • Half of over 50s say Christmas markets help to get them in the festive mood


Roasting chestnuts, hot gluhwein and the sound of carol singers...the over 50s won’t be sitting at home saying ‘Bah humbug’ in the run-up to Christmas as an estimated 5.25 million of them* plan to visit a Christmas market this year.

Christmas markets are a big hit in Europe and are growing in popularity in the UK. According to research by Saga**, a fifth of over 50s (22%), 4.6 million people will enjoy the special atmosphere of a Christmas market in the UK, while an adventurous 630,000 (3%) will head abroad and experience the traditions of a Continental market.

The over 50s enjoy the lure of the Christmas markets, half say they like a fun day’s shopping that gets them in the festive mood. And over two fifths (45%) say it’s a chance to pick up quirky gifts for their loved ones. The average spend of those who visit a UK Christmas market is £34. Of course a big feature of traditional markets is the food and drink on offer. A fifth of over 50s stock up on food and drink for Christmas and one in seven say they go to eat, drink and be merry.

Christmas markets have been held in Europe since the Middle Ages and their attraction continues today with millions of visitors drawn to the festive atmosphere, ancient traditions and historic settings of the most popular European markets. In fact, although the majority of over 50s will visit UK Christmas markets, an estimated 630,000 will be heading overseas with the most popular destination being Germany (46%), followed by France (21%) and Belgium (20%). The average spend of those who visit an overseas Christmas market is £42 and one in ten will splash the cash by spending more than £100.

Roger Ramsden, chief executive, Saga Services commented: “You can’t beat a Christmas market for getting people into the festive spirit – and it’s the perfect spot for picking up unique presents.

But if you are planning to travel abroad to visit one on the Continent, then it’s a good idea to ensure you, your belongings and your money are covered with travel insurance. Christmas shopping should be a happy and fun time looking for gifts for our loved ones, and not a stressful one dealing with unexpected travel problems.”

To give peace of mind to customers who will be buying presents over the festive period, both Saga Car Insurance and Saga Home Insurance increases its cover in December. Saga Car Insurance increases its personal belongings cover from £1,000 to £2,000*** and Saga Home Insurance contents cover increases by 10% for any gifts and extra food and drink bought.


Notes To Editors:
• *There are 21 million over 50s in the UK. Our survey indicates 22% of people will visit a Christmas market in the UK – 4,620,000 – and 3% will visit a Christmas market overseas – 630,000. Total figure of visitors to UK and overseas Christmas markets is 5,250,000 (4,620,000 + 630,000).
• **Populus interviewed 8, 524 adults online, all aged 50 and over, between 9 and 16 November 2012. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.
• ***Comprehensive cover only.

Saga Travel Insurance
Tailored for the over 50s, our wide-ranging cover includes:
• £2,500 of cover for lost, stolen or damaged baggage
• Cover for most pre-existing medical conditions
• Up to £5,000 for airspace, airport/port closure due to severe weather or strike in the UK or abroad
• Up to £1,500 if you’re stranded abroad
• Easy to use online medical screening
• 24 hour English-speaking travel assistance helpline for advice before and whilst you are away
• No upper age limit.

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