The over 55s ‘empty nesters’ are key to driving off-peak tourism on the coast, according to new research from The National Coastal Tourism Academy (NCTA).
The NCTA surveyed 1,800 adults aged between 55 and 75 to identify their leisure habits, with 65% of empty nesters visiting the seaside to walk or hike and 59% to see wildlife and nature.
The research also showed that this market are happy to travel out of school holidays, with 72% avoiding July and August.
The over 55 age group is predicted to be the largest sector of the population by 2024, reaching more than 22 million.
NCTA director Samantha Richardson said: “In the past ten years there has been a steady increase in the proportion of over 55s in paid work; in 2015, 56 percent were still employed. This group is generally better off than the generation below, both in terms of salaries and investments.”
“This new report looks at the reasons empty nesters visit the coast, their perceptions and activities and how they plan their trip – use of social media, for example, has risen significantly, with 72 percent of those aged 55 to 64 now using the internet on a daily basis.
“However more needs to be done to attract this group. While half of the empty nesters surveyed believed the English coastline to be as good as any other in the world, only one third believes individual destinations have something unique to offer them and few think they’re becoming more appealing,” she added.