Lonely Planet Writer

Why Japan has topped the list of destinations for travellers over 50

Recent studies have shown that travellers aged 50 and over now make up a large portion of the travel market. With this in mind, new research has analysed a number of factors to find the best destinations for travellers in this age group, based on those they have said are most important to them. These include bucket list experiences, natural wonders, organised activities, history and safety.

The over-50s comprise 25% of the British population but their share in the UK’s travel and tourism spending has risen to 58%. Image: Juice Images

The Silver Years Travel Index was compiled by Pettitts Travel by analysing a variety of studies and surveys of travellers over the age of 50 to find out what they looked for from a travel destination. To identify exactly what each destination had to offer, a variety of sources was examined and each country was scored. The results indicated that Japan is the number one travel destination for this age group. This is due to its blend of modern and traditional, futuristic cities, snow-capped mountains, ancient temples, palaces and museums.

Sensoji, an ancient Buddhist temple located in Asakusa, is Tokyo’s oldest temple. Image: orpheus26/Getty Images

It also scored highly in bucket list experiences, historical sites, safety and accessibility, and it has an exceptionally low level of crime. Following Japan, the top 10 countries were found to be 2. Germany, 3. Italy, 4. Switzerland,  5. Croatia, 6. Spain, 7. Portugal, 8. Canada, 9. France and 10. Greece. The study also found that while the over-50s comprise 25% of the British population, their share in the UK’s travel and tourism spending has risen to 58% and they account for well over a third of all holiday bed-nights booked.

The Silver Years Travel Index analysed a number of factors to find the best destinations for seniors. Image by Steve Smith/Getty Images

You can view the full results and research here.