Over-50s ‘baby boomers’ are becoming more adventurous travellers and look set to dominate the market for the next two decades.

A survey of 1,700 people by marketing agency Millennium, obtained exclusively by Travel Weekly, found 23% more respondents had last visited Australia than UK resorts such as Blackpool, the most likely destination for first holidays.

Millennium research director Sarah Robson said: “More than 50% of the population is predicted to be over 50 by 2020 and with the considerable economic clout they carry, the mature market represents a significant selling opportunity for both domestic and international travel agents.”

Fred Olsen managing director Nigel Lingard said he believes the over-50s will dominate the market for the next 20 years. “The over-50s is our core market and it is going to dominate the leisure industry. We have had to make our cruises even more wide-ranging. These people want to go to more destinations.”

Cosmos Tourama senior product manager David Binns agreed. “We have seen fantastic growth for places such as Australia and China. Today’s over-50s have been travelling abroad since they were in their 20s.”