nOnly once every ten years they bloom in a particularly colorful way. Now that all the beds for Floriade’s World Gardens are planted again in a Dutch city – in 2022 it will be Almere, 20 kilometers east of Amsterdam – a major business has begun for travel agency Trendtours. The four-day tour includes a boat ride and cable car through the park, as well as a “coffee party.”
Trendtours is Germany’s largest direct travel provider. Bus trips are central to the programme, and the target group is travelers 55 years of age or older. President Marcus Daldrop constantly calls them “the best of the elderly,” which sounds more modern than the elderly or retired.
Corona forced him to get help from the Federal Economic Stabilization Fund – not a billion, but 23 million euros. Beyond the epidemiological constraints, Daldrop sees extraordinary action against crises.
‘Increasing pensions is good for our business’
The rising costs of food and energy do not appear to be a major problem. The war in Ukraine led to a state of shock among clients – as in society as a whole. “In the meantime, we can see that reservations are only being postponed,” says Daldrop. The demand is currently increasing.
“More important to us than reports of higher inflation is the announcement of higher pensions. We are geared towards the best elderly, so an increase in the pension is good for our business,” says Daldrop in an interview with FAZ. The largest pension increase in decades is due in the summer: 5.35 percent more for seniors in the West, 6.12 percent more in eastern states. “In any case, we can see from the bookings received that despite the general price increase, people still have enough money in their travel budget for their holidays,” adds Daldrop.
Trendtours set up additional tours of Floriade, and in the month of July alone, buses to the Netherlands leave somewhere in Germany for 20 days – usually several days a day. And if you want to go further or longer, you can drive to the “sparkling world of the Côte d’Azur” including Monaco, Silesia or Tuscany.
At the age of 54, the Reisemanager Daldrup has not fully reached the age of its core target group. When he switched from Alltours to Trendtours in 2019, owned by two financial investors, he had to rethink his approach. For air travel to the Mediterranean, it is no longer important whether the hotel has a waterslide, but the older audience feels comfortable.
It markets fewer trips through online holiday portals. There is a weekly mail to existing customers, which many receive in the mail. He doesn’t advertise with couples in their early thirties at the beach, but instead portrays people in their fifties. New clients are gained through advertising in “Apotheken-Umschau”, among others.
However, more advanced travel is not a smiling topic, but an area for expansion. “If you exclude the purely cruise operators, we are already among the top ten tour operators in Germany,” says Daldrup. In 2019, Trendtours had a turnover of around 320 million euros with 400,000 customers. Then came the epidemic.