With all the attention being paid to Millennials, the second-largest consumer base in the nation, let’s not forget the number-one segment, the Baby Boomers.
More than 42 million Americans already have retired, according to the Social Security Administration, and 66% of them believe that means they now have the time to travel and explore new places.
Resonance Consultancy surveyed almost 1,200 Americans 65 years or older for its 2015 Portrait of the U.S. Retiree Traveler report, released last week.
“Retiree travelers have become more curious and adventurous in their preferences of travel activities, and as the wealthiest demographic in the world, they will likely continue to spend money on the activities they seek to try for the first time,” said president Chris Fair.
Here are five take-aways about retiree travelers from the survey:
1. They prefer cities.
“Brick-and-mortar sightseeing” in a major metropolitan city is the top choice for a vacation (33%). Cruising came in second, cited by 29%.
2. They want to be safe.
In an increasingly dangerous world, retirees are also looking for safe places to go; 60% listed safety as the most important factor in choosing a destination. That’s about 25% more than those choosing a place with favorable weather (48%) or a country that is easily accessible by commercial airline flights (31%).
3. They’re traditional.
While retirees say they’re interested in the once-in-a-lifetime activities that also attract Millennials, they don’t actually regularly participate in them. Instead, retirees prefer to go to places with good dining (70%) and sightseeing (64%) opportunities.
They also lean toward traditional activities; when compared to all travelers, a higher percentage of retiree travelers would regularly visit historical sites or botanical gardens, see plays or musicals, or play golf.
4. They want full service.
Retirees’ focus on safety is also reflected in their choice of accommodations while on vacation. Most retiree travelers say they prefer to say in full-service hotels and resorts (58%) rather than Airbnbs (38%).
Their preferred hotels are in walking distance of shopping and restaurants, and close to must-see attractions.
5. They’re big spenders.
Retirees are less concerned about the cost than their younger counterparts. Retirees in the survey have fewer everyday costs than younger generations: most own a home or apartment (93%), live without children (73%), and have a net worth between $250,000 and $1 million (43%).