Baby boomers with travel bucket lists bring big business to Hawaii

The busy summer travel season is about to kick into high gear, and when it does, expect to see a lot more seniors enjoying our Hawaiian sunshine.

Miami Beach, Las Vegas, and Bora Bora are favorite destinations for young summer travelers, but when it comes to seniors, Hawaii is no ka oi.

According to AARP Travel, Hawaii is the top U.S. destination on travel bucket lists for baby boomers.

“I think it’s terrific that people have Hawaii as the bucket list, because it’s good for our economy and I think it’s a validation of this is paradise for a lot of people,” said AARP Hawaii state director Barbara Kim Stanton.

Tour companies are aware of this growing market and offer special packages and tours for seniors.

AARP says nearly four out of 10 baby boomers have a bucket list and 58 percent of them plan to take their next trip in two to five years.

Simply having a travel bucket list motivates boomers. Fifty-three percent of those preparing for a trip say they’re getting in shape to enjoy the experience.

“I’ve heard of people starting to take exercise classes, starting to eat more healthy, because they’re getting ready to go to Hawaii and then when they actually get to Hawaii and they’re outdoors more, they actually have a healthier lifestyle,” Stanton said.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that Americans over 50 years spend over $125 billion per year in personal travel, a number that will grow as boomers retire. It’s no secret, boomers have money to spend.

“The fact we have the baby boomers and the retirees having the most disposable income of any age group in the country can only be good for Hawaii’s economy,” Stanton said.

It’s good for our economy and good for our pocketbooks. More flights to Hawaii means more flights to the mainland and with that comes cheaper prices for all of us.

“To have choices in restaurants, to have retail, to have parks kept up, to have their job, whether it’s hotels or construction, that’s all good for the locals,” Stanton said.

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