Capitalise On Silver Sector
The UK’s holiday industry is being urged to re-evaluate its provisions for the 50+ market, following a surge in bookings at ‘adult only’ parks.
The 50-strong Best of British (BoB) holiday parks group has reported that eleven of its parks now guarantee no patter of tiny feet for those wanting to enjoy a totally grown-up holiday experience.
BoB, which comprises of independently-run parks with top tourist board ratings, reports that members which bar under-18s have seen demand rise steeply in recent times.
One of the longest established adults-only parks in BoB is Bath Chew Valley Caravan Park in Somerset which has been a child-free environment for almost 25 years. Park owner Keith Betton says its appeal covers all age groups: “Although our motorhome and touring caravan owners are generally in the forty-plus bracket, we also welcome many younger couples on camping holidays in the South West.
“My father was actually one of the founders of the first national network of adults-only parks, and the publicity it gained helped to create today’s momentum for people seeking such holidays,” says Keith.
“Many of our guests work in occupations which involve children, and they tell us that parks like ours are the one way they can guarantee a total switch-off when they escape for a holiday.”
In2action, a supplier of activity course solutions, says it has identified a distinct lack of leisure provision for the 50+ age group within the holiday park market. Managing director of In2action George Ross, says: “The 50+ market seems to have been forgotten when it comes to new exciting activity concepts. Whether its adrenalin fuelled activities, pool activities, health and wellbeing, cycling, team-building or more passive group activities it’s clear that those 50 and over want part of the action.”
He continues: “Their wealth represents a huge opportunity for the UK holiday industry but activities need to be tailored to this very specific market.”
The number of ‘fifty-somethings’ in Britain matches the population of Australia and is almost as diverse. They own 80 per cent of the UK’s wealth, worth more than £280 billion.
George adds: “Holiday parks, resorts and hotels can improve their customer satisfaction scores and re-booking rates by providing more activities tailored for this booming demographic.” In2action’s suggests improvements such as:
• Having more instructors and coaches who are aged 50+ age group leading activities.
• Having sessions that are age-restricted to the demographic so participants feel they are with their peers.
• Tapping into current trends such as the Great British Bake Off and Come Dine With Me.
George concludes: “50 is not the new 30, but the way some people act it darned well might be the new 40!”