Baby boomers are contributing to the resurgence of travel


Baby boomers – the retirement-age generation affectionately dubbed the “gray tsunami” – are starting to travel again now that the two-year tide of COVID-19 concerns is receding.

That is, at least, according to new data released by global travel insurance and specialty benefits firm Seven Corners, which found that more baby boomers are buying travel insurance policies this year than in 2021. , with plan sales more than doubling from a year ago.


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With current economic conditions being what they are, it makes sense that the older, wealthier generation would be at the forefront of the travel resurgence, as many of those born between 1946 and 1964 had likely saved up for travel during their retirement years and the pandemic caused the floodgates have finally reopened.

As the travel industry continually seeks to predict future industry trends, data from Seven Corners helps shed light on how baby boomers are shaping the return of tourism.

Baby boomers are buying more travel insurance

The Seven Corners report says more and more baby boomers are buying travel insurance policies for their trips, with sales data reflecting an impressive 54% year-over-year increase in this group of people. ‘age. Gen Z travelers (born between 1997 and 2012) accounted for the second highest increase in package sales at 37%, followed by Gen X with 22% growth and Millennials with just 3%.

“Some of the more modest increases may be partly due to the fact that these generations simply continued to travel at more stable rates during and immediately after the pandemic,” said Seven Corners product marketing strategist Angela Borden. “The number of baby boomers who traveled in 2020 dropped quite significantly, more than other age groups. Seeing them rebound at this rate bodes well for the travel industry.

As for other reasons baby boomers, in particular, might return to travel at an accelerated pace, Seven Corners identified two key factors. First, the number of active baby boomers remains high and constitutes a significant percentage of the US population. The 2020 US Census estimated that 73 million Americans fall into this age group; and, in 2019, AARP reported that 46% of the US population was 50 or older.

And then there is the fact that this older generation has a higher purchasing power than the others. Having more funds available and more free time at their disposal means baby boomers are able to travel more than younger generations. Since many of them are already retired or semi-retired, or at least have gained more available vacation days, they are also more likely to venture farther from home on trips. longer.

Senior couple on phone and computer (Photo via DragonImages/iStock/Getty Images Plus)
Elderly couple on the phone and at the computer. (Photo via DragonImages/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Europe beckons to baby boomers

Data from Seven Corners also revealed that US baby boomers are returning to Europe this year as their preferred overall destination, with the two most searched countries being Italy and the United Kingdom (UK). In fact, when all generations are considered together, Italy emerges as the most popular destination for 2022, which is quite different from the most popular destination for 2021, the Turks and Caicos Islands.

In fact, last year’s most popular destinations among American travelers were a little closer to home: Mexico, the Turks and Caicos Islands and Costa Rica. This is largely due to the level of accessibility these countries have in terms of airlift and the maintenance of less stringent restrictions amid the pandemic (or, in the case of Mexico, none at all). But, the EU and its member countries relaxed and eventually eliminated their travel requirements in 2022, making them attractive again for international visitors.

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