Atas and Clia Forum: ‘Age is irrelevant,’ agents told

Agents have been told age is “irrelevant” and should not be considered when deciding which adventure destination to send customers to.

Wildlife photographer Paul Goldstein, who has worked with Exodus Travels for 24 years, and Janet Parton, sales director at Cosmos and Avalon Waterways, both agreed that age should be dismissed during any decision-making with customers.

Speaking at the Clia and Atas expedition and adventure forum in Manchester on Thursday, Goldstein said: “As long as an operator is candid and transparent in what they are offering and a client does not overreach themselves that will cause more problems than any age issue.

“There are programmes for younger and older people. The point is you can join up a dozen people on a trip to see Machu Picchu and the two people in their 60s will be the first people there.”

He urged agents not to bring age up in any conversations with customers and, instead, give examples of people in their 50s who enjoy “extraordinary adventures”.

He added: “It is all about what that person needs from that trip.”

Parton added: “Do not fall into the trap that adventure [travel] is for a younger audience. Age is irrelevant. It is a mindset.”

On the adventure sector’s potential, Goldstein said: “[Adventure] has been a growing area for a long time. A great deal of clients are realising that a more demanding and a stimulating holiday both physically and mentally is going to reward them more than two weeks in a villa.”

Asked about current trends, Parton said both Globus brands had seen “a surge” in customer demand for South America and Egypt.

She also added: “People want shorter duration. We are finding they are the holidays that are working really well and adding pre- and post-stays so that they can choose their duration.”