Why are seniors a great opportunity for the tourism sector?
Spain is now a world leader in various tourism segments, but it will still have a huge potential for growth if it aims to meet the demands of the new senior travellers (also called silver travellers). Idoia García de Cortázar, professor at the FITS and Master’s Director for Designing Services for the Silver Economy at the IED, explains why these tourists are so important.
Senior (silver) tourism is “a rough diamond”, according to Idoia García de Cortázar, who recently participated in Vida Silver (Silver Living), an event organised by IFEMA MADRID. There are several reasons for this: “This tourism segment is comprised of people who have more schedule flexibility for travel, have more free time and higher purchasing power, they are independent, pleasure-seekers and explorers of local design, craftsmanship and gastronomy”.
The term silver tourist applies to people 55 and over, therefore “the target is quite ample and diverse, as well as the various solutions and services they need and require, according to the different age groups”. Additionally, according to this expert, this is a tourism segment that “will not stop growing in coming years”, and therefore it is “a strategic sector of the economy”.
Silver tourists “are usually available for travel any time of the year and are able to extend the number of days at their destination; they are also people who are inquisitive and curious. And, in many cases, these are clients who have not had the chance to take their preferred trips until now, either due to time or money constraints”.
However, we must also bear in mind that “silver tourists are very demanding, they want quality, real experiences, to get to know the people, the customs and gastronomy of the different places; but they are also very loyal clients”.
According to García de Cortázar, the forecasts for 2022 show that silver tourists will spend more money on leisure, travel, health and food; and the types of tourism experiences that will increase the most are nature, culture, family, historical and gastronomy.