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Pensioners lead drive for foreign holidays after virus


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Pensioners have shown more determination to travel abroad to their beloved holiday destinations after the Covid-19 pandemic than their younger counterparts.

A new survey has found that 64pc of Irish people are already considering booking a flight overseas within the next three to 12 months - with more people aged 60-69 years (30pc) confident about travelling abroad than people aged 40-49 years (26pc).

The survey was conducted across 1,200 respondents by the Irish-owned specialist holiday group, Travel Department.

Incredibly, it found that the country Irish holidaymakers were most looking forward to returning to was Italy - the EU country hit hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The study found 63pc of people believed travel would fully return to normal by 2021.

Astonishingly, the group most confident about a return to normal were Irish pensioners aged 70 to 79 years.

While Italy topped the destination list, the good news for domestic tourism is that Ireland was only narrowly pipped by Italy as a holiday destination of choice, with Spain also polling strongly.

Half of intending travellers said they would book a holiday in Ireland within the next three to 12 months.

Some 62pc of people said they fancied a European city break and 64pc said they had no difficulty with flying despite the pandemic.

Travel Department chief executive Sarah Zimmerman said her holiday firm was, like others, adapting to a changing market.

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"Our survey shows an optimism and confidence in returning to travel which is really reassuring," she said.

"Irish holidaymakers have always been quite resilient and as many of our customer base are older and more mature, they feel that they want to get back travelling and see as much as they can as soon as possible.

"It is amazing, but not surprising, to see Italy at the top of customers' wish lists when travel restrictions are lifted."

Irish holidaymakers spent a significant €7.5bn on foreign trips in 2018 and booked more than 8.6 million outbound trips.

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