Taking Tours

Submitted by: Miller Barbara

There have been studies which show how half of all baby boomers or people aged 45 to 59 dream of world travel. Here, those who account for 32 percent of all hotel accommodations purchased in the United States are those beyond 55. Those who spend huge sums of money on restaurants, lodging, tours, and sightseeing in this case are the leisure travelers.

In this case, a crystal ball is not needed if you want to predict the impact of aging but active baby boomers on the travel industry. An exceptional boom for the travel industry is forecasted by the demographics in this case combined with trends toward early retirement and a healthy economy. It is an industry boom that is nearly always good news for job seekers and career changers. You should explore your options if you are considering work in the travel industry.

In addition to being a travel agent, consider positions in marketing, sales, publishing and even Web page management. What you should be focusing on are the niches that serve mature travelers such as the group tour industry. As a group travel manager for a travel agency mentioned, packaged tours for seniors are a growth area with increasing competition from new companies. Included in this case are jobs such as planner, customer service representative, bus driver, tour guide, and marketing specialist. Here, mature drivers and escorts are especially appreciated because a number of the trips offered by this travel agency are ideal for seniors. A majority of their drivers 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. In terms of specific training, this can be beneficial for travel agents even though many of the jobs in the travel and hospitality industry do not need it.


It is starting as an outside travel agent before making the leap to running your own agency that is advisable the vice president of marketing for a retail travel agents association said. In that capacity, you can earn a commission from an established agency by booking travel arrangements for family and friends. What you need to do to capitalize on the trend toward senior travelers is to consider a special training program, such as the certification as a Specialist in Mature Adult Travel, sponsored by the association of American travel agents.

For one lady, she took early retirement from a US company after 30 years in supervision and customer service when she decided that working for the travel industry was something she liked. After doing her research, she sent letters and resumes to dozens of tour groups. The response was not heartening. After several months she sent another letter, this one to the very top, and then the vice president in charge of tours offered her a job.

This happened five years ago and she started as a part time marketing specialist and quickly added the title Tour Escort to her resume. 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. What she mentioned was how she gets a lot of satisfaction from seeing people have a good time.

It can be exciting seeing the shows and sometimes getting up close to the stars when in Branson. She also enjoys other things including the confidence expressed by groups that request her as the escort on their trips and the friendships she has formed with passengers. When it comes to these advantages, they actually help to balance the hard work inherent in days that can start before dawn and end long after the sun has set.

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