Currently, the travel industry is undergoing significant changes directly related to demographic trends experienced by society, especially European society.
These demographic trends are nothing other than the growth of the senior population (people aged 55 and older), which in turn has brought with it new and interesting concepts of tourism: senior tourism and the senior tourist.
Everyone who works in the tourism industry must be up to date with these new trends, as it is believed that they will be transforming the tourism and real estate market, at least, for the next 30 years.
What is senior tourism?
Before talking about senior tourists, it is necessary to define what senior tourism is. According to Antunes (2012), senior tourism can be defined as “the practice of activities and experiences by people over 55 years of age, outside of their daily lives, without dependent children and for a minimum period of 24 hours and for undefined time”.
The senior tourist
The main characteristic that defines a senior tourist is his age, this is what differentiates him from other tourists. In this sense, a senior tourist for some authors is one who is over 65 years of age, for others it is one who is 55 years of age or older.
The “senior” category is often divided into two subgroups: the younger seniors from 55 to 64 years old and the older seniors from 65 and older.
Profile of the senior tourist
Currently, senior tourists are characterized as being cultured people, with an adventurous spirit, with better physical and mental condition and, therefore, very willing to travel. In addition, this tourist is more integrated with technology, for example, according to a 2017 Promotur statistic, senior tourists booked their accommodation and flight through websites.
When it comes to traveling, senior tourists are looking for a destination that helps them maintain their physical, mental and social well-being, as well as increase their personal enrichment, so that they can best face the challenges of their old age (such as the case of loneliness).
Likewise, one of the main reasons why older people travel is to enjoy their vacations or retirement. There is also visiting your relatives, relaxing and getting out of the routine.
Services that the Senior tourist seeks
Something that every owner or investor of Seniors Resorts must take into account is the fact that there are certain services that senior tourists consider very important when choosing accommodation.
These services are: safe medical assistance, direct and comfortable transportation, secure accommodation, food appropriate to their needs, means that facilitate communication, trained personnel to care for them, as well as a wide range of recreational activities.
The activities most in demand by senior tourists are all those related to recreation, rest, culture and religion.
European senior tourist
Now, taking into account the European senior tourist, it has been seen that there is a high propensity to travel abroad from countries such as Belgium, Germany, the United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Denmark, the Netherlands and Austria, while countries such as Spain, Italy, Greece and Portugal the propensity to travel abroad is low.
Another very important aspect to consider, especially the owner and investor in the senior resort sector, is that there is a willingness on the part of northern European countries to travel to countries on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, among which Spain stands out.
On the other hand, the issuing countries for senior tourism that stand out the most in Europe are Germany and the United Kingdom.
The “Senior Resort” concept
Finally, we have the senior resort concept. This term refers to a tourist-residential complex designed specifically for people over 65 years of age. Senior resorts are made up of individual homes that can be apartments, villas, bungalows, farmhouses or chalets. They generally consist of 1 or 2 rooms.
These homes are built near or around one or more central buildings that offer medical, restaurant, recreation and security services for seniors.
Most of these complexes are equipped with special sports facilities and green areas for seniors to enjoy.
The senior resort functions as a vacation establishment or as a recovery center for a defined period of time.
They are also designed for retired people who want to stay for long periods or even for people who want to stay permanently. In the latter case, the person can buy the property or enter into a lifelong rental contract.
For more information regarding senior tourism and accommodations for this audience, do not hesitate to contact us. At IHCS we are specialists in the tourism and hotel market.