Senior citizens (55+) often have both purchasing power and leisure time, and represents significant economic market potential, whose demand and criteria for choice must be further investigated. In this context, the project ESCAPE launched a European-wide survey to identify the needs and expectations of older travellers.
Carried out during the autumn 2014, the survey gathered more than 900 replies across Europe; its analysis offers country-based insights alongside with wide-spread trends related to choices when travelling, and provides an overview of older people’s approaches to seasonality and preferences for themes and leisure activities. The survey also addressed intergenerational comparisons, accessibility and seamlessness issues, as well as underlined older people’s concerns when encountering barriers to their freedom of movement.
The survey underlined how heterogeneous the senior group is, with needs and expectations very diversified, in relation to age, health conditions, social and familiar constraints (e.g. care duties) and economic status. Nevertheless the survey highlighted some common patterns and preferences, especially concerning the age range 55-75, for example:
- They prefer to travel with a partner, with relatives or family members, as well as in groups with people they know.
- In average, they have with a budget up to 100€ a day, and prefer to take 4-7 nights breaks, and also to extend the length up to 13 nights.
- they prefer to travel in summer and spring
- they tend to be quite autonomous in planning and managing their travels, opting less frequently for all-inclusive packages, preferring to organise their holidays individually.
- Their preferred touristic themes are nature and culture
Survey’s replies also give some country-based insights for Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Italy and Portugal.