Saga customers are becoming more adventurous with their choice of destinations but can be put off by “political instability” in a country.
The over-50s tour operator and cruise company has seen increased interest for destinations such as Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia in Asia, as well as Tallinn in Estonia and viewing the Northern Lights in the Nordic countries.
But a survey of more than 12,000 people over 50 found that 84% were put off a destination by political instability, while other concerns were crime at 75% and a country’s human rights record at 55%.
Around 4% of those surveyed said the political leadership in the US had discouraged them from taking a holiday there, while this figure was higher for Russia at 6% and western Africa at 8%.
The survey, carried out by Populus for Saga, found that weather, natural wonders, historic sites, culture and wildlife were the most important factors when it came to choosing a destination.
Saga Travel’s managing director Maria Whiteman said: “We are seeing a seismic shift in the number of people that want to combine luxury and relaxation with something just that little bit different when choosing where to go on their holiday.
“Whether that’s immersing themselves in the culture of a destination and it’s people or doing something a little more adventurous.”
The survey highlighted the importance of meeting new people as part of the holiday experience with 75% saying this was an important factor when choosing a destination.
Half of respondents said that had made “lasting friendships” while on holiday, while 31% have kept in contact with fellow travellers and 14% have stayed in touch with local people they met during trips.