Holidays: Mature ports; OVER 50S BOOST SAGA.Byline: PAUL COLE Paul Cole (born September 11, 1941) is a British racehorse trainer. Since 1987 he has been based at Whatcombe Estate in Oxfordshire, the former stables of Dick Dawson and Arthur Budgett. , Travel Editor
LATEST research shows that when it comes to holidays, it's the middle-aged who are seeking travel experiences to remember rather than routine holiday breaks.
It's the fiftysomethings who are leading the way to exotic destinations like Borneo, Sri Lankaand Dubai -and they have the cash to get just what they want.
Even when they holiday closer to home, they're demanding high standards of sophistication so·phis·ti·cate
v. so·phis·ti·cat·ed, so·phis·ti·cat·ing, so·phis·ti·cates
1. To cause to become less natural, especially to make less naive and more worldly.
2. , style and service, together with the opportunity to sample local culture.
It's a trend that is music to the ears of Saga, the over-50s holiday specialist now planning a multi-million-pound expansion programme in the Midlands.
The company has just launched a new European holiday brochure devoted exclusively to departures from Birmingham International and East Midlands The East Midlands is one of the regions of England and consists of most of the eastern half of the traditional region of the Midlands. It consists of the combined area of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and most of Lincolnshire. airports.
Further afield, Saga is offering Sri Lanka Sri Lanka (srē läng`kə) [Sinhalese,=resplendent land], formerly Ceylon, ancient Taprobane, officially Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, island republic (2005 est. pop. as a destination direct from Birmingham for the first time -and is in talks with airlines about offering more Midland flights.
The Midland commitment also includes the opening of Saga's first travel shop in the region. Judith Chalmers Judith Chalmers OBE (born 10 October 1936) is an English television presenter who is best known for presenting the travel programme Wish You Were Here...? during its initial heyday of the 1970s and 1980s. She was born in Stockport, Cheshire. will cut the ribbon next month in Leicester city centre The modern City Centre of Leicester is roughly delineated by Leicester's inner ring-road, designated the A594. This area incorporates most of Leicester's shopping, with The Shires and the Haymarket Centre and the historic core of Leicester including Leicester Cathedral and the .
'This is a multi-million-pound investment,' says Peter Bettley, Saga's head of group communications. 'The launch of the Midland brochure is just the first step.
'We hope to increase dramatically the range of destinations and numbers of seats we can offer from Birmingham and the East Midlands in the next 12 months.
'We already have a strong presence in the region with the two Saga radio stations, and we know that we can offer high standards of service to discerning holidaymakers.
'In the south-east one in four holidaymakers aged 50 or over travels with us. In the Midlands it is currently one in 11 and we believe we can do much better than that.
'People in that age bracket make up more than a third of the population in the region, and we can tailor holidays to all tastes from Sri Lanka to Spain.'
Welcome news in the Midland brochure is that there are no single supplements on many of the holidays and special offers mean savings of up to pounds 50 on previous prices.
Seven nights' full board at the luxury four-star Fantasia fantasia (făntā`zhə) [Ital.,=fancy], musical composition not restricted to a formal design, but constructed freely in the manner of an improvisation. In the 16th and 17th cent. Hotel on the Aegean Coast, for example, starts from pounds 634 flying direct from Birmingham.
But that's just half the story. The price also includes a free bar open 12 hours a day and two excursions, including a visit to the lively Soke soke
1. In early English law, the right of local jurisdiction, generally one of the feudal rights of lordship.
2. The district over which soke jurisdiction was exercised. market to soak up local culture. Seven nights' full board in the three-star Spanish Hotel Port Denia weighs in at pounds 449, again including direct flight from East Midlands, a free bar and three excursions.
New from September next year will be a special partnership with Hotel Cavalieri in Malta with seven nights from pounds 369. It's a full-board package including wine with meals, a free bar and two excursions.
The four-star hotel will be run by Saga exclusively for its own guests, guaranteeing high standards on an island where accommodation can often be variable.
'The fiftysomethings expect sophistication,' says Bettley.
'They're more likely to over-winter in the Far East these days than they are to spend Christmas in Spain.
'Sri Lanka is a big seller for us and should become even more popular with flights on scheduled Emirates services now available from Birmingham to Colombo via Dubai.'
Saga's Travellers World brochure offers 14 nights' full board at the toprated Eden Resort & Spa in Beruwela from pounds 899, including return scheduled flights, insurance and cancellation cover.
That works out at around pounds 64 a day with all your meals included. It would cost you more to stay at a motorway services motel here in the Midlands.
What makes the price even more remarkable is the inclusion of four excursions, a free bar, cocktail party, welcome drink, farewell dinner and a wide range of activities.
These include snorkelling, waterskiing, a food-carving demonstration, local school visit in term time, themed dinners, a talk on Buddhism, sauna sauna
Bath in steam from water thrown on heated stones. Known in ancient times in various places, saunas are most closely identified with the Finnish people, who made saunas a national tradition. and massage and orientation walk.
Designed to enhance the holiday experience, they're offered at minimal or no cost. 'If people enjoy the experience, they will travel with us again,' adds Bettley.
Clearly the days when Saga meant cheap and cheerful coach trips to Torquay are long gone.
They intend to be big players here in the Midlands and have made a commitment to the region.
Saga Holidays are only available direct and are not sold through travel agents. To order a brochure, or to book, ring hotline 0800 056 5880.
Saga has over 50 years' experience arranging holidays for people aged 50 and over. A travelling companion, however, may be aged 40 or over.
All prices are per person, are subject to availability and may apply to selected departure dates. They include flights, fees, taxes, insurance and all those meals stated.
ISLAND GETAWAY... Malta is a popular spot for Saga holidaymakers