With age comes adventure!

Thursday 12 January 2017

  • Spend on holidays accounts for almost a fifth of disposable income
  • Saga Holidays marks its 65th anniversary in 2017
  • A 10 fold increase in air travel between 1956 and 2015 to 2.4 million in 2015

With age comes adventure!

In the year that Saga celebrates its 65th anniversary, new research by the company reveals that the development of the package holiday and its evolution from seaside coach trips to escorted tours to Kazakhstan has resulted in us Brits increasing our spend on holidays to almost a fifth of our disposable income.

The new research from Saga reveals that one of the drivers for this increase in spending is due to the dramatic innovation in the travel industry. 1841 saw the birth of the package holiday and as the 1900s began the taste for travel grew – with an estimated 250,000 holidaymakers visiting seaside resorts like Brighton, Bournemouth and Blackpool.

By the end of the 1920s, a newer more innovative form of travel took off with air traffic growing from only 6,000 passengers in 1926 to nearly 173,000 escaping to warmer climates in 1929.

The pace of growth started to escalate quickly after the Second World War. Growing employment, disposable income, an increase in leisure time and activities; and a general change in social attitudes contributed to more than one million Brits travelling abroad by 1950.  And in the 1960s, the cruise industry started to develop with cruise lines taking passengers to far flung destinations such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok.

By the 1990s, the growth of budget airlines meant the holiday industry grew rapidly and by 2015 Brits were making 65.7million visits abroad.  In fact, research* reveals that the average person now spends 17% of their total disposable income on holidays. 

In addition, research** into today’s package holiday bucket list conducted by Saga shows that over a third of us feel more empowered and adventurous than we did 10 years ago. Top of the things we want to tick off our 2017 bucket lists include seeing the Northern Lights (26%),  going on a luxury cruise (16%), visiting Australia and New Zealand (16%) and seeing the Great Wall of China (14%). Driving Route 66 or exploring the Great Barrier Reef (both 14%) are also on the hot list.

When asked what makes them adventurous, holidaymakers say that picking a new destination whenever they go away (28%), picking a destination they know little about (21%) and trying something they’ve never done is what makes them so daring. 

Maria Whiteman, Managing Director of Saga Holidays said “The research shows that as customers have wanted to push the boundaries with their travel, the industry has continued to innovate – whether that’s to meet their needs or to inspire travellers to try new and exciting destinations or ways to travel –or to ensure they are fully protected when they do.  Saga has been in the industry for 65 years and we have been instrumental in many of these changes, to help the over 50s see the world in style.”

With the development of the industry, and travellers’ desire to visit more adventurous destinations and do more exciting activities, the need to ensure people are protected has also had to evolve significantly. Over recent years we have seen the E111 become the EHIC and medical care for travellers throughout Europe become more consistent.

However it’s in the travel insurance industry that we’ve seen the most significant change. As people travel further afield the cover levels have also been enhanced as circumstances develop around the World. 

Saga’s travel insurance expert, Kevin McMullan said “Ultimately travel insurance is here to give people the confidence to travel, but it also needs to be reactive to change. A prime example of how insurance has evolved was the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland in 2010 which caused an ash cloud that led to 107,000 flights being cancelled over eight days and affecting a staggering 10 million passengers. Some companies, like us, responded immediately to say anybody travelling with Saga, or with Saga Travel Insurance would be fully protected – but in time more insurers have now included this as standard in their insurance.”


Editors: Contact PR Manager Naomi Thornton email naomi.thornton@saga.co.uk or call 01303 772499

*Research compiled by the CEBR (Centre for Economics & Business Research) for Saga in December 2016

**Populus interviewed 9,128 Saga respondents, all aged 50+ online between 13 and 19 December 2016

Saga is a leading provider of products and services primarily tailored for customers over the age of 50 in the UK. The Saga brand has been carefully developed over the past 60 years to become one of the most recognised and trusted brands among UK consumers aged over 50. Saga is synonymous in the UK with the over 50s market and is recognised for its high quality products and services.  These include cruises and holidays, home and motor insurance, savings and share dealing and the UK’s award winning Saga Magazine.  

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