Explore Survey uncovers Generation of Frustrated Backpackers

Holidays, Reports, Tourism — By on July 10, 2016 at 7:45 AM
Blyde River Canyon, South Africa

Blyde River Canyon, South Africa

A survey conducted by adventure travel specialist,  Explore, has revealed that 40% of over 55s believe they are at their most adventurous age. This Generation of Frustrated Backpackers – the GFBs – were the pioneers of the fly and flop holidays in their youth, but are now hankering for a different kind of adventure and a slice of their children and their grandchildren’s freedom.

GFBs never had the opportunity to travel in the way that millennials have and, having reached an age where they have more time disposable income on their hands, they are looking for to quell their thirst for adventure. The new research revealed that 46% plan to visit at least one new country on their next holiday and 37% stated that they are looking to travel further for their holiday.

The average age of travellers on some of Explore’s most off-the-beaten track itineraries also reflects this growing trend. The average age of visitors on their Benin and Togo itinerary is 69, where intrepid GFBs are given the opportunity to experience West African voodoo, a fetish market, tropical forests and mountains.

According to the survey, New Zealand topped the list as a dream destination for GFBs, with the average age on Explore’s Walking New Zealand itinerary, in which travellers trek more than 80km, is 65. A third would love to visit one of the Wonders of the World and a fifth included seeing the northern lights on their bucket list.

Zebra, Masai Mara

Zebra, Masai Mara

The survey highlights the evolution of adventure travel with 67% of GFBs polled stating that they would define visiting a place they have never been to before as an adventure. One in six see adventure as pushing boundaries and 40% cite being fearless as their reason to try something new.

Explore is working with TV Presenter Michaela Strachan to highlight that with age comes confidence and experience. Michaela says,  “Throughout my adult life, adventure has never been far away and I’ve found that the older I get, the more willing I am to try new things. I’m lucky enough that my work has taken me all over the world and given me the opportunity to experience some of the most beautiful parts of our planet. I’m working with Explore to show people that whether your idea of adventure is seeing the Northern lights in Iceland or searching for the Big Five in Africa’s world-famous game parks, travel is something that everyone can enjoy, regardless of age.”

Ashley Toft, managing director at Explore, says,  “Adventure is at the core of our business so these survey results have been very significant for us. The over 55s are a key market for us and we are thrilled that many of our customers are becoming increasingly adventurous. We will continue to develop our trips, adding more destinations and unique experiences to suit the travel dreams of the over 55s.”

Explore’s top five oldest itineraries are:

  • Benin and Togo – 69

  • Walking in New Zealand – 65

  • Secrets of Sri Lanka – 64

  • Exploring Belarus – 64

  • Armenia, Georgia – 62

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