Travel demand of elderly travelers is increasing, but the tourism industry has not yet prepared to provide enough facilities and accommodations to serve them.
The United Nations states that the population over 65 is growing the fastest. Therefore, travel businesses need to meet their travel needs as they will account for a larger proportion of the tourism market.
However, the tourism industry still does not have the necessary facilities for elderly travelers. Many travel businesses face difficulties in serving this group of customers.
According to Kelly Torrens, Kensington’s vice president of product, during tours, this group needs more breaks. They are more susceptible to the effects of heat, and need assistance when getting on and off vehicles, and on rough terrain.
People with disabilities will make up the majority of the older tourist segment. Nearly one-fifth of people 65 and older said they had difficulty with seeing, hearing, communication, mobility, memory, concentration, or the ability to take care of themselves. Among them, the most common problem is mobility, including walking or climbing stairs.
Creating favorable conditions for elderly travelers is a big challenge for tourism businesses. Installing elevators in historic destinations and older hotels is challenging because the structure of these structures needs to be maintained.
Many hotels do not have vehicle services for this specific group. It’s hard to find elevators that can accommodate over two people in motels and hotels in cities like Rome and Paris.
Hotels can adapt if they are willing to invest resources. For example, the Brooklyn hotel in Manchester, UK, worked with the design team to implement innovations such as removable handrails in the bathrooms and a spacious restaurant with seating options for those using canes and other mobility aids.
Besides, traveling by cruise or boat is also preferred by many elderly. However, the ports still need more services and equipment to help these tourists get off the ships.