Hotel Industry Welcomes Seniors

By Barbara Risto, INSPIRED Senior Living Publisher

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The impact seniors are having on various industries, as consumers, is coming to light more each day. Recently, the BC Hotel Association, in their trade publication "Inn Focus" talked about how to attract seniors and presented some immensely helpful statistics about their buying habits. While the article focused on the hotel and hospitality industry primarily, the findings cross into other retail areas, so it's a good read for any business that has an interest in attracting the senior consumer.

Highlights of the article:

  • Seniors are healthy, youthful (perceive themselves 15 years younger than their chronological age) and wealthy. They control more than three quarters of North America's wealth and are responsible for half of all discretionary spending.
  • Many larger hotel chains are beginning to offer services that cater specifically to the senior demographic. They are finding the senior traveller is more physically active, they are savvy, veteran travellers, have more time available, and want to intensify their pursuit of travel, new experiences and adventure. Luxuries are considered necessities, including travel and fine dining. They seek self-fulfillment, authentic world cultures and active experiences, and they will comparison-shop to get it. Culinary tourism, learning a new language, eco-adventures and activity-pampering packages fit the bill.
  • Four out of ten boomers are grandparents, making multi-generational travel one of the hottest trends in tourism. In top travel companies, family trips now account for more than 10% of their business. Cruise lines are luring multi-generational families to the high seas and promoting off-peak vacations for groups larger than 16.
  • Family trips are planned around life events, like birthdays, anniversaries, family reunions or weddings. Value added packages like group pricing, celebration event packages, multiple-room packages, reunion activities and all-inclusive meal plans are part of the incentive. Activities for a wide range of ages are required. Longer term stays with week-long or month-long rates are common.
  • Health oriented activities rank high, like trekking, biking, yoga retreats, art classes and spa getaways. Nature, stress-free environments, or self-improvement experiences are attractive to this consumer.
  • Seniors account for 80% of all luxury travel.
  • By 2016, mature travellers will account for one third of Canadian overnight hotel expenditures.
  • Most seniors travel by car and make 41% of new car purchases; cruisers are also common as senior boomers live out their rebel days of riding Harley motorbikes. Chains such as Sandman Group, Prestige Hotels and Resorts, Accent Inns, and others are ideally situated location-wise in Western Canada to cater to this crowd.
  • More hotels are offering benefits and rewards programs geared for seniors.
  • Dining out is rampant with this demographic - requiring menus that offer larger print, a few comfort food items alongside fusion choices, and attentive service.
  • Consider installing handrails in tubs, extra lighting and improved accessibility.
  • Music entertainment interests expressed by seniors is shifting, moving from big band to rock 'n roll and Motown to reflect the nostalgic tastes of aging music lovers (Mick Jagger is 70 and so are the fans who rocketed him to fame).
  • As the boomers move into their senior years (the first one turned 65 in 2011), the opportunities to serve the exploding numbers of mature customers are vast. "For professionals that are not focusing on this, it will be their mistake," says Lindsey Ueberroth, President, Preferred Hotel Group.

To read the entire article in Inn Focus, CLICK HERE.


Would you like to know more about targeting your advertising to reach the senior consumer?  Senior Living offers marketing opportunities through a monthly magazine distributed BC-wide, a website and an annual Senior Expo. We can help you put together an advertising campaign to fit almost every budget. Give us a call at 1-877-479-4705 or email

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