The number of over sixties has risen by a third over the last decade, making this the fastest growing consumer segment (Euromonitor, 2017). Global demographic changes and the increasing participation of senior citizens in tourism have prompted governments and tourism providers in many of the developed regions of the world to identify seniors as a developing and evolving market segment. There are many stereotypes and much lack of understanding surrounding ageing and senior travelers. Many travel businesses operate with a lack of understanding of the characteristics and concerns of senior travellers - and the different ways that they consume tourism (Patterson and Balderas-Cejudo, 2018). As people age, their situations and patterns of consumption change significantly (Meiners and Seeberger, 2010). What is more, few studies have been focused on the potential benefits of holidays on wellbeing in seniors (Ferrer, Sanz, Ferrandis, McCabe, & Garcia, 2016; Gu, Zhu, Brown, Hoenig, & Zeng, 2016). Undoubtedly these transformations and changes affect the tourism industry and consequently a comprehensive understanding of this market segment is needed. Understanding what type of tourism seniors want to do in the future, their future motivations and behavior and the impact of travel behaviour on the health and well-being of senior tourists will not only provide practical implications for industry practitioners and marketers but also for public policy makers. This paper outlines a general overview of senior tourists; offers a better understanding of the link of tourism to healthy ageing; and concludes with a discussion of key considerations.
Research Fellow, Institute of Population Ageing, University of Oxford, Spain
Doctorate in Business Administration, International Mention. Lecturer, research fellow Oxford University. Director of Master in Restaurant Management Basque Culinary Center. University of Mondragón, Spain. . Trainer and coach at several international hotel chains