City Cruises

Published on Thursday, June 11, 2009

Prepare for a future of Elder Hostels and Super Grannies

AUCKLAND - “What’s the world coming to?” was a question that the world’s only futurologist specialising in travel and tourism asked at a TRENZ briefing this week.

Dr Ian Yeoman, associate professor of tourism, Victoria University, conceded that he didn’t have a definitive answer but he laid down some markers to guide those looking for the next big thing.

Get ready, he said, for The Grand Traveller.

These travellers would be grandparents who looked after the kids and took them on holiday while mum and dad were at work.

By 2030, said Dr Yeoman, youth hostels would be replaced by elder hostels, catering for silver travellers.

Get ready also for the Health Traveller.

The more mature generation would be travelling to find the fountain of youth. They would be looking to extend their life and their lifestyle. By 2030, the world would be full of Super Grannies, he said.

Look out for the Tribes, groups of guys and girls who come together to share activities.

Dr Yeoman said this group would have ethics, education, experience and wealth but they would be looking to give something back. Often they would be people in their 40s taking a career break who would favour activities such as voluntourism.

And now the bad news. Japan.

Said Dr Yeoman, “Once Japanese were the tourists of the world. You saw them everywhere. Then Japan’s home prices peaked in 1992 and the economy went into a trough from which it has never recovered – and that’s had a big impact on tourism.”

Dr Yeoman, using JTB as his source, said that during this time the number of golfers in Japan had fallen from 100,000 to 88,000 – an indication of the impact of Japan’s flagging economy.

And this, he said, had led to another trend: Intertainment.

“The Japanese youth market now prefers to spend its money on in-house entertainment rather than a trip to Sydney.”

By Ian Jarrett, TravelMole

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