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Watch | From solo travel to road trips, senior citizens are travelling more

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Watch | Indians and the grey gap year

Welcome to the grey gap year, as The Guardian termed it in a recent article about British baby boomers going adventurous after retirement. The trend has been growing for years, of course. Older adults in India have always travelled — they visited children overseas, went on pilgrimages, and occasionally holidayed in bucket-list destinations. A pre-pandemic Frost & Sullivan analysis pegged the number of senior citizens who expected to travel from the country in 2020 at 7.3 million. Then came COVID-19, cancelling itineraries, tickets and timetables.

Senior citizens were one of the most vulnerable groups during the peak of the pandemic. Isolation meant boredom, loss of confidence, and increased anxiety, even for active elders. But now, with vaccinations, booster shots, and the world opening up again, urban upper-middle class retirees are booking tickets more than ever. According to 2021 data from the Ministry of Tourism, they accounted for 10.7% of holiday related outbound travel from the country. And they are no longer opting only for ‘safe options’. 

At Silver Talkies, the social impact organisation that works with seniors across India, there has been a surge in demand for travel. “Our members want to go on offbeat food trails and treks, and mark off both domestic and international sectors,” says Nidhi Chawla, CEO and co-founder. “Our upcoming Chettinad trip has the oldest traveller aged 77 and the youngest in her 60s.”

Read the full story here:  Indians and the grey gap year



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