Over-55s are prepared to spend £5k on their off-season holidays - but travel firms' are failing to market to them properly

Francesca Washtell
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Travel firms could lure more over-55s on holiday if they marketed to them more effectively by email (Source: Getty)

Over-55s are prepared to be spend big on their holidays, even out of season, but travel brands are failing to attract this lucrative category of increasingly tech-savvy silver travellers.

More than half (56 per cent) of over-55s choose to travel out of season in May, June and September, according to research from MailJet, and one in 10 will budget more than £5,000 for their holidays – even though most will only go on one trip.

Across all ages, Britons spend around 10 per cent of their annual salary on holidays each year.

However, a lack of tailored advertising via email is leading many travel companies to overlook the gold mine of the "Grey Pound".

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Almost two-thirds of respondents to a Mailjet survey said they would be most likely to use a holiday group that proactively offered them travel deals and discounts by email, though around a third said they never received relevant offers or discounts.

Nearly three in 10 said travel firms' holiday messaging was too targeted towards younger generations.

Read more: UK tourists have splashed out during their trips abroad this year

As a result, companies are missing out on silver tourists who are increasingly spontaneous planners – 82 per cent spend less than a month planning their trip – and tech-reliant, with only eight per cent now using physical holiday brochures.

"It's important to realise that different generations are moving into the digital age at varying paces," said Josie Scotchmer, UK marketing manager at Mailjet.

"The Grey Pound presents a huge opportunity to the travel sector and brands mustn't ignore this high spending demographic in their email marketing. Marketers can look to technology to better understand their target audience and how to reach those individuals effectively."