Only 3% of older travellers would travel without Covid-19 insurance cover, a new survey has revealed, while 78% would want Covid cancellation cover for their trip.
Health and safety, and flexibility with regards to booking and cancellation, are now near non-negotiable priorities for older travellers, according to Silver Travel Advisor.
Its latest survey of 850 older travellers, 68% of whom were aged between 50 and 70, found that price now pales significantly in comparison to new safety considerations.
Managing director Debbie Marshall said it was vital the insurance sector returned to travel and took steps to mitigate a "Catch-22 situation".
"The priorities of older travellers have shifted significantly from previous good experiences and company reputation to health and safety issues and the flexibility of booking and cancellation," said Marshall.
"Interestingly, price barely features. Insurance, however, is absolutely critical. Older travellers will not take risks, and unless they have Covid-19 cancellation insurance in particular, they simply will not leave the country.
"This reinforces the need for the all players in the travel insurance industry to step forward with solutions to this Catch-22 situation. The older traveller has the resources and the wanderlust to keep travelling, but without appropriate insurance, they – and their money – are not going anywhere outside the UK."
The survey found that nearly two-thirds of respondents were as well off, or better off, than they were before lockdown; a third said the believe they will have gone abroad by the end of the year, with another third stating they would likely go abroad during the first half of 2021.
Many respondents, 62%, said they were receptive to taking a short-break of up to four days this year, most likely in a hotel or B&B.
Only a third said they thought the earliest travel will return to normal would be in 2021, down from 55% in Silver Travel Advisor’s May survey. Additionally, the latest survey found older travellers are increasingly looking for ways to control their environment when it comes to their first post-lock-down holiday, with most choosing to self-drive and self-cater in the UK or Ireland, although 40% said they would be prepared to go to Europe.
"They [older travellers] are much less affected by the economic consequences than others and are eager to return to the travels that many most looked forward to in retirement," Marshall added.
"But they are wary – upcoming travel plans are much closer to home, and UK holidays where people feel most in control, by self-catering and self-driving, are most popular.
"Looking longer term, older travellers’ horizons seem to have shrunk, at least for the time being – 25% of all respondents, and more than a third of over the 70s, said they never want to fly long-haul again."