A Different Early-Bird Special: Have Vaccine, Will Travel

Jessica Wong

“There’s a lot of pent-up desire among seniors, and a sense of life running out,” said Jeff Galak, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business. “There’s a theory called mortality salience: When your own mortality is brought to mind, behaviors change. We’re going to see upgrades to […]

“There’s a lot of pent-up desire among seniors, and a sense of life running out,” said Jeff Galak, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business. “There’s a theory called mortality salience: When your own mortality is brought to mind, behaviors change. We’re going to see upgrades to better cabins on cruise ships, and booking of better hotels.”

For travelers in their 60s, 70s and 80s, said Conor Goodwin, corporate manager of Charlestowne Hotels, the ticking of the clock is another strong motivation to book as soon as an inoculation makes it safe.

“The 65-plus demographic is losing out on their golden years and they’re understandably eager to get back out there,” he said.

The Bristol Hotel in Virginia, which is part of Charlestowne’s portfolio, saw revenue from travelers over the age of 65 increase 179 percent between Dec. 13 and Jan. 22. The French Quarter Inn, in Charleston, S.C., which is also managed by Charlestowne, saw 11 percent more bookings from people over 65 between Jan. 10 and 28 compared Dec. 22 to Jan 9.

Some older travelers are even opting to finally book those big-ticket dream trips. Fernando Diez, who owns Quasar Expeditions, a luxury cruise operator in the Galápagos Islands, says that in December, when frontline health care workers were among the very first Americans to receive vaccines, he saw a wave of requests for trip information from doctors and nurses.

Since Jan. 1, however, 70 percent of his booking inquiries have come from guests over the age of 65 — in previous years, that number was closer to 40 percent. Most inquiries are for travel from June onward.

“Most of them say they’ve been vaccinated, and they’re comfortable now traveling to a destination like Ecuador and the Galápagos,” Mr. Diez said. “The vaccination gives them the confidence to travel to a remote spot.”

Next Post

The Staten Island Files: Explore Hundreds of Previously Secret NYPD Misconduct Findings

On Tuesday, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals threw out a challenge from a coalition of police and other unions that sought to bar New York City agencies from releasing thousands of previously secret NYPD disciplinary records. The decision could usher in unprecedented public access to the NYPD’s closely-guarded disciplinary […]