People are living longer and living more of their life in better health than before.” That’s late Richard Suzman, an expert at the National Institute on Aging, quoted in a report, “Older Americans 2016: Key Indicators of Well-Being.” The 204-page report, which can be found online, was published earlier this year by The Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics Forum using data from nine federal agencies.
Here’s another key finding: “Under current mortality conditions, people who survive to age 65 can expect to live an average of 19.3 more years. In 2014, the life expectancy of people who survive to age 85 was 7.0 years for women and 5.9 years for men.”
My hunch is you already know that people are living longer. You’re getting calls from grandparents in their late 90s asking to book big family get-togethers a year out. They’re absolutely optimistic that they’ll be around for that trip. Many older consumers have taken responsibility for their maintaining good health, and not wanting to age with a litany of chronic complaints.
Suppliers are taking note of this new aging adult. Hotels are being built from the ground up with wellness in mind, and it’s not just about having a pampering spa with a juice bar; it’s about incorporating balance, nutrition and spiritual health in the entire stay. Three-star Michelin chefs are collaborating with universities to ensure every ingredient in their culinary offerings provides a positive nutritional value to the person eating the dish; such is the case with Heinz Beck of La Pergola at the Rome Cavalieri. And next fall, George Morgan-Grenville, founder and CEO of Red Savannah, is launching Zen Savannah, a portfolio of 24 high-end retreats, resorts and clinics that address changing lifestyle behavior. A dedicated consultant for Zen Savannah will see clients through their programs to ensure they’re getting results. “We are living in a dangerous world where age longevity is increasing, health care costs are sky rocketing, stress is omnipresent and antibiotic immunity is growing. People are beginning to wake up to the health time bomb that lies ahead,” says Morgan-Grenville.
New cruise ships are also deep in to the wellness lifestyles. Viking’s new ocean ships have LivNordic Spas designed with a holistic wellness philosophy (with a Norwegian flair, of course). Seabourn, this summer, inked a partnership with “The Onboard Spa by Steiner” to create a fleet-wide holistic “mindful living program.” Yoga, meditation and “Mind and Body” seminars will be offered daily on Seabourn in January.
As a travel advisor, you’re likely getting promotions and news of spas and wellness retreats every day. It may have seemed this was all a fad at one point but it’s a new dynamic in the market that’s here to stay.
Many of your clients are likely already enlightened with the need to maintain healthy lifestyles but they may not realize they can go on a wellness vacation while they’re on a cruise or visiting a major city. If you can work such programming in to your clients’ vacations and business travel, you’ll be even more valuable to them as an advisor and it won’t be difficult to do. You likely already know their stress points, details on when they’re crazy busy at work and when they’ll need to take a “recovery vacation” to pull themselves back together. Become a part of that conversation by researching for them wellness opportunities that incorporate their other interests.
As for those grandparents booking mega-family vacations; that’s not going to end any time soon either. They’re not passing their wealth on to the next generation in the near future. That money is staying right where it is. And so their children may very well have to work longer before they retire. They’ll definitely need yoga and meditation to endure that.