Considering the results of one study, half of all baby boomers or people aged 45 to 59 dream about world travel. Taking those over 55 into consideration, they account for 32 percent of all hotel accommodations purchased in the United States. Most of these are leisure travelers, and most are spending impressive sums of money on restaurants, lodging, tours and sightseeing.
In predicting the impact of aging but active baby boomers on the travel industry, a crystal ball is not necessary. Combined with trends toward early retirement and a healthy economy, the demographics forecast an unprecedented boom for the travel business. It is an industry boom that is nearly always good news for job seekers and career changers. Should you be thinking about work in the travel industry, do explore your options creatively.
Other than being a travel agent, also consider positions in marketing, sales, publishing, and Web page management. It is a good idea to consider the niches that serve mature travelers such as the group tour industry. According to a group travel manager for a travel agency, a growth area with increasing competition from new companies are packaged tours for seniors. The kinds of jobs included in this case are bus driver, tour guide, planner, customer service representative, and marketing specialist. The trips run by this travel agency are geared toward senior travelers, so mature drivers and escorts are especially appreciated. Taking the drivers into consideration, a lot of them are retired postal workers and city bus drivers. There’s a good bond between the passengers and the drivers because they’re of the same age and they share the same humor and outlook. If travel agents undergo training then they can benefit from it even if specific training is not called for by many of the jobs in the travel and hospitality industry.
As mentioned by the vice president of marketing for a retail travel agents association, what is advisable is starting as an outside travel agent before making the leap to running your own agency. In that capacity, you can earn a commission from an established agency by booking travel arrangements for family and friends. Do consider a special training program, such as the certification as a Specialist in Mature Adult Travel, sponsored by the association of American travel agents so that you will be able to capitalize on the trend toward senior travelers.
This lady took early retirement from a US company after 30 years in supervision and customer service after she decided to work for the travel industry. She conducted some research and then she sent letters and resumes to dozens of tour groups. It was a response that was not heartening that she got. It took several months before she sent another letter, this one to the very top, after which she got a job offer from the vice president in charge of tours.
When she started as a part time marketing specialist and quickly added the title Tour Escort to her resume, this happened five years back. She is now in her 50s and still she continues to take groups of senior travelers to such destinations as Branson, Missouri, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. As mentioned by her, she gets a lot of satisfaction from seeing people have a good time.
On the trips to Branson, there’s an excitement in seeing the shows and sometimes getting up close to the stars. She gets to enjoy other things too like the confidence expressed by groups that request her as the escort on their trips and the friendships she has formed with passengers. Advantages like these help to balance the hard work inherent in days that can start before dawn and end long after the sun has set.