Senior tourism is one of the fastest growing tourism markets as today’s young blood move steady as a group towards senile decay. With their muscles frail and minds fastidious, their travelling quests must be properly fed with efficient designed tour packages, and you have a very promising future in this sector of tourism. There are enough tourists falling in the senior citizen age group ready with their accumulated savings to embark on quality tour destination.
Most importantly, it is not only the leisure and pleasure that senior tourists look for in a vacation. They also seek beyond-the-border elective and non-elective medical treatments, wellbeing enhancing activities and programs along with enjoying a fulfilling vacation.
In this Senior Tourism Guide, you will know about the following:
A Complete Guide to Senior Tourism by Dr Prem Jagyasi – Definition, Interesting Facts, Essential Components, Planning Tips, Top Destinations and Many More
What is Senior Tourism?
Who are Senior Tourists?
Interesting facts and figures about Senior Tourism
History of Senior Tourism
Key Drivers of Senior Tourism
Essential components of Senior Tourism
Why Senior Tourism matters?
Is Senior Tourism for you?
How to get more information on Senior Tourism?
Activities in Senior Tourism
Best practices to implement in Senior Tourism
Importance of planning in Senior Tourism
Budgeting in Senior Tourism
Preparations for Senior Tourism
Travel and tourism arrangements in Senior Tourism
Precautions and prevention in Senior Tourism
Dos and don’ts in Senior Tourism
Things to do post Senior Tourism
Countries promoting Senior Tourism
Top 10 Destinations for Senior Tourism
Branson, Missouri, US
National Parks in the US
Pondicherry, South India
What is Senior Tourism?
Senior tourism aims at offering travel and touring exposure to a specific age group of tourists those have retired from active employment and have a lot of leisure time in hand. The quality of service provided by the tour operators is a very important criterion with close monitoring and utmost care.
Old age makes the senior tourists physically weak and vulnerable to weather fluctuations, stress and other hardships of tour that the young people can withstand. But that does not make seniors less keen to travel. In fact, the aging population is rapidly transforming the tourism industry as the baby boomers and Generation Z are retiring.
Senior tourism has found a significant slot in the global tourism market in general. The potential needs to be tapped and the concept to be upgraded with delivery of efficient service with the additional element of care properly built in. This age group is emotionally very sensitive and with advancement in age they behave like kids and psychologically as vulnerable. It should be a serious effort from all starting from the tourism department, tour operators including administrative machinery not to hurt the sentiments of senior tourists in any way.
Who are Senior Tourists?
Senior tourists are a heterogeneous group that could be categorized based on their age, social status and lifestyle. In a research paper, Moller categorized seniors based on different life stages:
Empty nesters within the age group 55-64 years
They are likely to be in the earning stage, lesser financial liabilities as their children have grown up and no longer dependent on parents. They have modest financial debts and can have enough savings to meet their needs. They have relatively higher and stable income and can afford luxury. They take shorter trips but travelled frequently.
Young Seniors within the age group 65-79 years
They are most likely to be the retired class with enough time at their disposal. They depend on their savings to run current expenses. They are highly aware of their health. If they do not have major health issues and have money to spend, they choose to travel and spend on quality products and services.
Seniors aged 80 and above
They are in their late retirement phase. Their health is likely to be declining and therefore there is an increased need for healthcare homes or retirement homes. They travel less and prefer domestic travel.
Trips for senior tourists need not be quick and time bound with a stress on covering as many tour destinations as possible within a limited time frame. The pace must be slow, gentle and leisurely giving the senior tourists a feel they are being well cared for as their children would do for them.
While on tour, they must enjoy the security and attention as if being in a blissful repository and at the same time the feeling of isolation or being neglected must not creep in. The tour package must be so designed that their mental appetite is fulfilled and they do not feel neglected.
Emphasis should be more on medical assistance and other health care support enabling the senior citizens enjoy the trip to their heart’s content full worth of money. Therefore, organizing trips for senior tourists is not an easy affair. Cozy accommodation, smooth and hassle-free transport arrangement are primary requisites.
Quality and content of food on offer is equally important with an assurance that it is loaded with minimum spice suited for easy digestion keeping in mind the weakening of the organs over the age. The destination should be pleasant and soothing.
It is imperative that the tour destination is calm free from the harsh grating, and the colorful bustling crowd which is generally appealing for the younger age group may be a disturbance for some senior tourists. However, the senior tourists have certain inherent advantages. They have saved enough money at the end of their career to spend on quality tour programs.
Interesting facts and figures about Senior Tourism
A senior tourism guide can never serve its purpose without mentioning some interesting facts and behavioral patterns of elderly travelers. As mentioned earlier, senior tourists are heterogeneous group that need careful segmentation to attract them with special offerings and packages.
- According to the World Tourism Organization, more than 593 million global travelers were aged 60 plus years and accounted for nearly 1/3rd of vacationing spending. This number is projected to reach 2 billion trips annually by 2050.
- Seniors will account for nearly 1/4th of the global population by 2050 compared to only 10% in 2000. This implies more tourism spending by them in the future than the spending of younger generation travelers combined.
- In the UK, people aged above 50 years account for nearly 60% of the travel and tourism expenditure which is 3 billion more than the millennial travelers.
- Senior travelers are likely to have higher disposable incomes, and have enough free time post-retirement to go for long trips for 8 weeks or more.
- Baby boomers born between 1946-1964 travel 4-5 times a year on an average and are most likely to afford travel without any discomfort.
- Baby boomers enjoy leisure travel and often seek meaningful and enriching immersive experiences especially through site-seeing.
- Senior travelers make up a heterogeneous fabric. While leisure and relaxation may be the perceived preferences, many seniors love adrenaline-rushing activities like paragliding, rafting, canoeing, scuba diving, and skiing.
- Senior travelers old-at-heart look for benefits related to their physical, mental, and social wellbeing. They enjoy tourism activities at a leisurely pace, look for picking up new skills, indulging in interesting activities, and interacting with new people.
- They prefer to put up in cozy luxury stays, and look for packages that ensure all their tourism-related needs well taken care of along with giving a chance to socialize with other senior travelers.
- 38% of the older travelers are concerned about their security, threats, and health safety due to some form of physical disability.
- Most popular products in Senior Tourism according to the study by the Journal of Hospital Marketing and Management –Sightseeing (89.3%), visiting places of historical interest (88.1%), restaurant dining (85.7%), and shopping (77.4%). Hunting, fishing, water sports, sunbathing, camping, and hiking can be considered less popular among senior travelers. (data credit: checkfront.com)
- A recent survey by Silver Travel Advisor finds, 77% of senior travelers are planning to book and travel within 6 months of getting vaccinations. 46% respondents of the same survey say, they prefer to travel as much as possible making the best use of the opportunity. They even said missing overseas travel badly owing to pandemic-induced restrictions.
- According to Skift, bookings from senior travelers have shot up drastically in 2021.
Senior citizens over the age of 55 represent 25% of the European population and is likely to have a great impact on the European travel market. The EU funded ESCAPE project aimed at improving tourism infrastructure in different European nations observed certain behaviors of senior tourists within the age group 55-75 years in their survey.
- Most senior tourists like to travel with a partner like spouse, relatives, or other family members or with like-minded groups.
- They are willing to spare a budget of up to 100 Euros a day, spend 4–7-night holidays and can extend it up to 13 nights if possible.
- They like to exercise autonomy in travel planning and managing opting less for all-inclusive packages. They prefer individually-planned organic holidays.
- They prefer nature and culture-themed tourism with improved accessibility and security.
- Older and retired generation like choose summer and spring seasons for travelling.
Other interesting insights are also worth reporting:
- Need for more awareness on accessibility especially those with permanent disability or immobility. This means easy accessibility of phones and digital devices for fast and smooth communication, and other allied services.
- Security goes beyond petty thefts and airport security. Seniors look for accessible entrances with proper provision of lifts and elevators, ramps, and specially-designed washrooms.
- Regarding health safety, they need to be ensured safety from viral and bacterial infections through proper information of standardized hygienic practices and available healthcare support. Food safety is also a prime concern for them.
- Travel insurance costs can be expensive for senior travelers for their age-related issues and immobility. Higher transportation costs like car rentals can be a barrier for enjoying a fulfilling vacation. Tailor-made tourist packages with cost sharing options can be worked out.
- Cost-effective room sharing options where seniors travel in groups more than 2 persons should be considered. Some senior travelers may also prefer single room.
History of Senior Tourism
Senior tourism is not a recent phenomenon fueled by only baby boomers and the modern aging population. Expeditions and voyages particularly inspired by religious motives have inspired the senior tourist down the ages and from different corners of the world. Unless physically incapacitated and worn out by age, the long-cherished desire to explore the world is always inherent in man and it doesn’t go on the wane even though age has him in grip.
It is a proven fact based upon verified data that confinement in close quarters speeds up the ageing process, and it certainly has its toll on the mind and body. The very desire to survive diminishes. This is a ground reality realized by our forefathers, and they did not stop from undertaking long voyages.
Travelling through forests, by the sea side, down the valleys or canoeing across the lakes had been done in the past where man moved in groups circling the aged and the infant keeping them under close watch and protection. It was during the time when man led the life of a hunter gatherer.
The going was tough. On the way to new pastures, they met dangerous hazards. Most of the movement was done of foot. The water bodies like rivers, lakes and lagoons were crossed in indigenous boats and canoes. The test of the hardship was a mammoth ordeal and those survived lost a fraction of their original team to animal attacks on land and in rivers.
Rival tribes quite often were major threats resulting in bloodsheds and more casualties. There were cannibals on the route. Human flesh was simply their dietary preference. In the end of the long treacherous voyage, perhaps only a small portion of the prehistoric tourists reached the ultimate destination. Whether it was purely the thrill and adventure of the trip or a mix of necessity and fun inspired these large migrations are not clearly defined.
Depictions inscribed in the natural cave paintings, raw murals, rock art and stone sculptures often give a sketchy detail of the voyages undertaken. They crossed through nameless countries and geological boundaries.According to history, Greece has been a major tourist draw for the senior citizens all over the world for its wealth of culture, history and amazing sun kissed pristine Mediterranean shoreline.
Cultural swaps were carried out between Greece and the Roman Empire. The philosophy and cultural achievements were very rich, and there were impetus enough for the aged whose minds have been seasoned with experience and wisdom.
The Pre-Columbian era saw a spurt in senior tourism where large groups of people migrated from one place to another through the dense growth of Meso American jungles across rough terrains in quest of cultural pursuits.
Awe inspiring monuments and Mayan pyramids stood as grand architectural feats and magnificent temples for adoring the sun god. These legendary structures attracted the senior tourists in the past, and they still do now.
In Japan, the aged tourists have been on voyage and pilgrimage since antiquity. There is the famous place called KomanoKodo, and the ancient track along which aged pilgrims travelled is still in existence although in semi ruins. This legendary place has many important shrines and temples for pilgrims to pay homage, and the custom is almost a thousand years old.
The ancient social infrastructure and support was congenial enough in those days to encourage tourist to undertake religion motivated trips and pilgrimages. Kumano Kodo is the oldest centre for such sacred expeditions along with three more shrines called Hongu Taisha, Nachi Taisha and Hayatama Taisha.
In India, senior tourism has a great history as well. Visits to Kumbhmela at an interval of twelve years are still quite popular among senior citizens. It was often felt this sacred spot washed by sacred rivers was the most sought-after destination for a voyage, and the dreams of life remained unfulfilled unless the holy Kumbh is visited.
Key Drivers of Senior Tourism
The growth of senior tourism depends upon how effectively the idea of tourism appeals to the age group of sixty years and above. The stability of health is an important factor as moving around the world would require a physically fit body encasing an equally fit and enthusiastic mind.
As age creeps in, the tourist becomes vulnerable to stress and strain. Physical limitation is a significant factor posing obstacles to free and unrestricted movement.Hardship of travel is a fact we need to deal with. The senior tourist needs to be bubbling with gusto that they should be mentally on a high pitch full of beans. It is exactly here where the tour agencies step in.
Their efficient and closely monitored guidance throughout the entire trip would enable the aged tourist to go on a smooth and exciting cruise. The most imperative element here would be to discharge the tour operator’s responsibility with compassion and patience. The aged tourists have an inherent fussiness built in their demeanor.
It won’t spring a surprise if they express a fastidious attitude assembled around the comfort and quality of the trip touching areas of accommodation, transport, medical attendance, insurance coverage and eventually the charm of the destination selected. This should not, however, disappoint the tour operator as this is in fact an acid test for him to taste success while organizing an itinerary for the senior tourists.
Senior tourism has a huge potential and is a key driver that can shape the future of tourism industry in a big way. The aged, having retired from an active service life have enough money at their disposal from the savings they have mobilized throughout their working career. There is ample leisure time in hand to spare on tourism and sufficient money to fire the launch with fewer commitments.
So, the fuel needed to feed the passion for a trip is already in existence. The only catalyst required is a proper infrastructure for touring, an organized support dispatched with utmost care, the role played by the tourism department and ultimately the government encouraging tourism in this section of the society.
If necessary, the senior prospective tourists need to be educated on the value addition aspect of touring. The help of media, slide shows, video recordings and field lectures can be fruitful devices. Inputs must be powerful enough to spark interest in the minds of the senior tourists with an additional assurance for safety and security.
It should be a fun voyage ensuring widening of knowledge, nourishment of senses exposed to the scenic beauties of a wonderfully landscaped destination or a magical charisma of a historical, cultural or a religious site or a merry cruise amid the sparkling and foaming blue. All this should come with a relaxed tone where the mind and the body get uncoiled experiencing the amazing quality of a wholesome trip.
Once embarked on a booming scale, senior tourism becomes instrumental to the economic development of the tour destination. Considering the enormous size of tourists falling in this age group, a substantial amount of money flows in that goes to improve the financial conditions of the locals generating employment in the tourism industry in general.
The money flowing in can be utilized for the upkeep of tour sites as well leading to sustenance, upgradation of roads and other tour infrastructures ensuring that the tour destinations do not get worn out for lack of preservation, which heavily rests on the availability of funds. For making senior tourism popular, these key drivers need to be identified and prompt action taken.
Essential components of Senior Tourism
Senior tourism has a marked difference when compared with that undertaken by younger people. A combined demand for security, personalized attention and health care aspects is a pronounced element of senior tourism. A lot of success in senior tourism depends on how well all the critical entities have acted in concert in order to give the senior tourist a tour experience to be remembered for ever.
The essential components include the destination for travel, the attitude of the government and locals towards the senior tourists, the efficiency of the administrative machinery and law and order wing. The existence of hospitals with the latest medical facilities is a must supported by a team of efficient medics. In case of a senior tourist falling sick, the avenue for prompt admission and treatment should be available without going through procedural red tapism.
Special care should be taken to give preference to senior tourist so that he might enjoy an easy access to treatment. This would build in confidence in the senior tourist, which is a fundamental ingredient for him to gather mental strength and embark on a travel program. Winning the trust of this section of aged tourist population is one of the most important components that can bring in success to senior tourism.
The infrastructural set up is an essential component, and it should cater to the needs of a senior tourist. A cozy and peaceful accommodation is what is required with the room attendants delivering prompt service with a little extra compassion and care that the tourist feels fully secured and the set up looks as if they are comfortably surrounded by children, relatives and friends. A homely atmosphere is what they look for.
City transport is an important component. The mode of travel should be safe and relaxed. The system should reach the tourist as near as possible to the site sparing them the hardship of walking up to the tour spot from the place they are dropped. Seats in buses, tramcars and trains should have a portion reserved for the senior tourists.
The sites should have sufficient resting places and shades for the senior tourists. This would help them break into a respite as fatigue may naturally sulk in after a hectic day. Old age is susceptible to weariness. An answer to this issue should be readily available to see that senior tourism doesn’t lead to an all-tiring experience.
‘May we help you’ booths need to be installed at strategic locations. Experiencing difficulty with ATM operations or mounting steep flight of stairs leading to a famous shrine or climbing up a vantage point to view a panoramic valley are practical problems faced by senior tourists.
Posting of trusted helping hands beside the ATM booths and installation of cable cars at the foot of steep climbs specifically reserved for the aged could be a solution and are certainly the essential components. The local population must show a respectful attitude towards the visiting senior tourists. They must always be ready to extend their helping hand when the aged gets into trouble.
This should come from within as a genuine heartfelt gesture. The show of kindness is a cultural trait, and it doesn’t come overnight. The local residents and the business that grows around a touring locale should realize the economic significance of senior tourism. More senior tourists pouring in would mean more business for them and generation of more tourism-based employment.
The role of the ministry of tourism and culture functioning in collaboration with the travel agencies is not to be overlooked. They constitute an important component as well. It is their combined effort that can make senior tourism a winning venture boosting the growth of the nation’s tourism industry in its entirety.
Why Senior Tourism matters?
Senior tourism matters at the fag end of your professional life when you do not have a concrete target. Tourism gives the aged the necessary support and a bliss filled avenue with the realization ‘there is nothing you are too old for’. If you have a life, just enjoy it to the brim as no one is going to stop you from exploring the wonderful world around you.
The most encouraging fact is you need not worry about how to go about it at this old age. Every bit of your trip is customized courtesy trip providers and the only information provider, the internet. Right from your sitting room with the laptop at your command you can plan your trip to any desolate corner of the world.
All you need is to be in the right frame of mind, get the right pieces of information, get the right contacts, arrange your finance and take a dive! You will be surprised to see another bright shade of your life. Exposure to a new place, its people, culture and history, art work and folk dances, music and festivals, monuments and museums, and rituals, the wealth of mother nature, the exquisite landscapes, forests and sea beaches leaves you mesmerized.
A window opens up within you letting in a fresh gush of air that cleanses up your entire self or it is like a shot of that magic potion that sends through you electrical pulses goading you to move on and see and feel all that is wonderful around those that you haven’t tasted before. Touring in its truest sense adds a dose of spice to the life of the aged.
Meeting new people and places in fact is an educative and brilliant exposure that adds variety and a meaning to survive and live a life full of zest, purpose and a productive target. Just think of the inventory of money you have built keeping aside a fair chunk from your pay packet throughout your active working career.
Now you have free access to all those dough, an unlimited leisure with fewer commitments and even lesser activities to keep you occupied. With the time horizon expanding, you will be moving closer and closer towards getting more exhausted with age.
So this is the right opportunity to utilize your money and time and engage in the thrilling and idyllic journey to discover new places and all the good things that come in your way. Just pack your luggage and put an arm around your spouse and set off to ecstasy! You will repent that you haven’t done it till now, but you can always look for such a welcome change any time. Better late than never!
Your drive for travel eventually pans out into the economic growth of the destination travelled and is no doubt a boost for the tourism industry in general. It is the millions of senior tourists like you whose combined desire to travel would generate more employment, boost local business scenario, and the pressure of tourism would see that infrastructural set ups like hotels and transportation network is upgraded attracting and drawing in more tourists. This cycle rolls into operation pumping in more and more money into the system and an all round progress is registered.
The joy of senior tourism is embedded with hassles and unforeseen troubles as well. Like a rose shrub with its distribution of thorns for an unwary plucker could hurt himself if not watchful. No matter whatever be the unanticipated hurdles and unsavory surprises planted on your path the benefits derived neatly outweighs the demerits of travel and actually could be minimized putting a little thought, foresight and following the tips and precautions advised in websites.
Is Senior Tourism for you?
If you are sixty plus, physically fit and financially stable, you take the first chance seeing an opportunity to travel. If you sit back home pushing aside a scope for touring, you are certainly foregoing a big slice of entertainment which can bring a spark at this stage of life. However, access to joy and fun filled exposure do not have any age barrier and one of the best sources it can be drawn from is tourism.
This is considered one of the most educative forms of entertainment that feeds both your mental and physical appetite doing you good on an immense scale. Meeting alien people, exotic culture, customs and life style would be entirely a novel experience for the senior tourist.
Breathtaking exposure being surrounded by majestic mountains or getting a nice tan on a sunny beach could rejuvenate your spirits, which might have been a little dampened by senility. It is his instinct that has made man seek a change in life else monotony and dullness would cloud overhead speeding up the mental age than the biological age, which will show up soon with a plethora of physical and mental disorders walking in.
Touring is the best way to remove this frustrating block of monotony as it spices up the life of a senior citizen, most assuredly making him or her feel a few years younger.Since your commitments have diminished and spending areas reduced as well, you have money and time in your hand to spend on touring.
Your kids have grown up able enough to look after themselves. Now, you are free to get some quality exposure through tourism. What you have saved to create a sizeable bank balance should see a satisfactory way out. Tourism could definitely be an area where you can spend and draw unbound bliss.
Sitting back home brooding over old age isolation may result in leaving behind your wealth for no one after your soul has departed. It does you no good. What you have saved all your life should be fruitfully consumed and the best way to do it is to spend it on clean and healthy sources of delight. What could best fit the description other than packing up your luggage, putting your arm across your spouse’s shoulder setting out for a good destination? Why not add a new dimension in your life through touring?
Senior tourism does not compulsorily mean the aged needs to travel to faraway places to taste pleasure. It could be just a few hundreds of kilometers away from home or even lesser. The tourist may be unaware of a lovely piece of landscape or the roaring sea or a slice of dense greenery not very far from where he stays.
It needs a bit of travelling around with expert guidance of someone knowledgeable and trustworthy to steer you through. With the growth of tourism industry, several tour operators have come up with efficient services. The tourist needs to find the right contact and the rest would go as smooth as a stress-free cruise.
It is fair enough to do justice to your weary mind and body after they have slipped into retirement from an active life. Injecting a dose of thrill and adventure off course within measured limits could be achieved by travelling for the sheer joy of it. Voids created by inactivity and worries are dangerous for health especially when your muscles are tired and emaciated with age. Tourism for senior citizens would act as a health therapy and is a much-needed break at this stage of life.
How to get more information on Senior Tourism?
Information on senior tourism can be obtained from more than one source. Exploring through media the senior tourists can have the latest updates on places to visit, right season for the visit and the means available to make these visits feasible within the framework of an optimal budget in line with the range of services on offer. Internet access is the quickest way to know a detailed picture of senior tourism.
Tourism magazines and periodicals
Different tourism periodicals and magazines feed the aged with the much sought-after information on basic questions of where to go, what to see, when to travel and what would be the rough expenditure.
In most cases, the texted facts and figures are backed by lively illustrations, statistical data and guide maps. One of the most important features of this information is the contact numbers.
This is the most trusted communication channel to know about the latest developments of a tour destination with reference to weather conditions, socio political scenery, law and order, visibility of exquisite land feature like whether a snow-capped range of summits will be visible or remain obscured behind heavy clouds.
Senior tourism forums and travel clubs
Forums, travel clubs and nature camps organized by senior tourists themselves help bring up valuable data that may serve as a guiding factor for a travel program. Exchange of opinions and counter opinions recollecting past experiences both sweet and bitter and general discussion could become vital supply points for information on senior tourism.
Tourism information bureau
Tourism information bureau is another reliable source of information. They publish texts and maps designed effectively for capturing the interest of the tourists. These print media are generally free of cost containing significant information, which the senior tourists might find useful.
Illustrations, maps, places of interest, updates on local flora and fauna, availability and quality of hotels, the nearest airports and rail heads, festivals, fairs and carnivals, local handicrafts and other exotic works of art crafted locally, folk dances, operas and other cultural highlights are all put on these brochures. Just rummaging through these catalogues would help the senior tourist with a clear guideline as how to go about the entire voyage.
A good source of information on senior tourism is to contact the destination country’s embassy. They will be able to bring to light all important features of an attractive touring locale which the senior tourist is looking for.
Finer areas of art and culture, language and local vibes come up with prominence. Socio political state, attitude of the locals towards senior tourists from another country, foreign exchange scenario, accommodation and inland transport issues are covered quite elaborately.
For the aged section, information on tourism is not a scarce commodity these days. The European Community has launched an old age friendly platform with a view to make Europe the most tourist friendly and an amazing destination for the senior citizens scattered worldwide.
The drive is backed up by the spread of significant information on senior tourism at different levels of administration. Units have been established at rural and urban pockets, national and international levels to propagate information, and market the beneficial aspect of tourism among the aged clientele who are all bubbling with enthusiasm for travel aspect of tourism just waiting for the right piece of information to have their desires met.
Internet search engine
Of all the channels of information available, the internet search engines engaged properly with the choicest keyword selection which would lead you the answers to the set of queries you had on senior tourism. This net option is fast with a wide coverage, and you can handle the entire search comfortably nestled in the cozy little corner of your bedroom. The important phone numbers are uploaded on the ‘contact us’ page. You can talk to the concerned person directly in case the webpage fails to answer your query.
Online and offline travel aggregators
Online and offline travel aggregators with proven track record can be real senior tourism guides. They are aware of the nitty-gritties of senior travelers, their behaviors and patterns and can create exclusive tailor-made packages factoring in individual needs. You can find them on social media along with reviews, ratings, and testimonials.
Activities in Senior Tourism
In this senior tourism guide, we will try to cover a wide spectrum of activities.
A picturesque landscape or a serene avenue cut alongside the base of a hill would certainly inspire in you a drive to break into a long walk. This is a healthy way of spending your holiday to fill your lungs with clean air. Instead of sitting inside your beach side cottage, you will be inspired to take a refreshing stroll by the sea at sunrise and sun down.
Exploring the foam washed sandy shoreline would get you wonderstruck. Plenty of marine flora and fauna gets washed ashore in a bizarre display of color, size and shape pointing out to the diversity of life forms.
Shell collection while walking down the beach could be a fun filled activity that rejuvenates the spirit of the aged tourist. You walk together with your spouse with fists clasped together. This certainly brings back memories of sweet old days. The soothing sunrays at dawn and at sunset with the eternal blue sheet in the foreground simply lift your spirit. The wonderful pattern and architecture of the conch shells are simply amazing to look at.
They shine with a faint hue and are decorative enough to add to the beauty of your drawing room interior. For some, shell collection on the beach is a favorite pastime and definitely is a value adding activity for a senior tourist visit a sea side locale. It polishes up the aesthetic side in you, and every time you bend or sit with your knees bend to collect the shell you get to feel more of health and more blood pumping through your system and this does you tons of good.
The amazing nature captivates the tourist. He finds it a highly gratifying activity to use his camera and catch the breath-taking beauty for future preservation. He may as well set up his canvas, easel, paint and brush and freeze nature permanently with carefully delivered brush strokes and subtle choice of pigments. Senior tourism can become a wonderful combination of activities that can be educative and can impart immense benefit to the health, spirit and the creative side in the man.
Visiting historical sites
Tour to archeological sites or to historical places opens before the tourist the wealth of an ancient culture and a civilization that has assumed a legendary scale in literary circles. Visits to museums, monuments and art galleries are activities that enrich the tourist’s knowledge.
He can carry note pads to gather down in ink all that has been explained to him by his tour guide. He can record the tour guides lecture altogether, and this would be a prudent act for bringing back the experience in an instant flash whenever the senior tourist would so desire.
Themed learning-based activities
While on tour, the idea of meeting people from different walks of life would fascinate the aged tourist. When touring tea gardens, the planter’s way of life and garden culture could be a wonderful experience.
For that matter, lives of wine producers in a wine country could add value to the storehouse of knowledge the senior tourist already has with him. The tourist can taste the local cuisine while on tour and get themselves acquainted with alien culinary skill. Back home he can entertain the guests and see them off smacking their lips!
As regenerative tourism picks up, senior travelers find activities in enhancing a destination more interesting. They have seen different facades of life and have a better vision of the good and bad. They enjoy taking part in green activities promoting judicious usage of resources and recycling that they are used to back home. Such destination uplifting activities do not need extensive movement and by their dint of knowledge and experience they can influence others on such useful practices.
You may not find elderly people taking part in volunteering activities in many senior tourism guides. With ample time at their disposal, they are the best group to take part in various community uplifting practices like teaching, organic gardening, cleaning, and recycling. Healthy seniors within the age group of 55-65 years find such activities highly entertaining and beneficial for their wellbeing as well.
Activities while on a leisure trip tunes up the senior citizen. A sense of wellbeing is connected with each activity taken. However, the charm shifts from one activity to another. Being inside an imposing cathedral amid a serene and sacred atmosphere would be quite different from joy of peeping through your camera towards a majestic mountain summit! The activities on tour are multifarious and more the frequency and variety of activities better it is for the senior tourist.
Best practices to implement in Senior Tourism
The best practices in senior tourism have multiple targets to strike. Enhancing the quality of life of senior tourist and exposing them to physical and mental bliss through the amazing avenue of holiday tourism is perhaps the most important benchmark that the best practices of senior tourism can accomplish.
Senior tourism is a major revenue earner and can bring about an economic development of the destination country. The side benefits are many. The local hotels, eateries, vendors, and transportation network gets more business. More employment is generated. The socio-cultural interaction between the host nation and the tourist improves.
Effort must be put on expanding the volume of senior tourists pouring in every year by making tourism destinations more appealing ensuring an easy and trouble-free access by the senior tourists. Tourist friendly schemes must be designed to facilitate senior tourist visits.
Their needs, methods of fulfillment and possible areas of complaints should be identified. The ministry of tourism, cultural affairs, travel agents, legal wing and the government must work in a consortium in order to see the senior tourists visiting their country is well cared for with respect to infrastructural facilities mainly accommodation, transport, law, administration, security measures, healthcare and emergency treatment and lastly the touring locales.
Basically, the senior citizen should feel at home while travelling in an alien country. Tapped properly, the senior tourism market can yield a bumper harvest for its immense business potential. Age and suspicion are inherent features in a senior tourist, and so care must be taken to make sure that the travel agents, host nation and the existing set ups do not earn a bad name by providing inferior quality service.
Once the senior tourists get disenchanted, the tourism industry is sure to lose business. So, the best practice would be to sustain the charm.The media must be effectively employed to endorse the image of a tour destination that would enthrall the senior tourists. Efforts must be initiated by the tourism promotion department to guarantee that what the media puts across must reach the aged population and win their hearts.
No barrier should exist between the information provider and the recipient with respect to the significance of senior tourism. The media should not paint any rosy picture which in reality is not true. This will certainly tarnish the credibility of the future of senior tourism.
There are exotic remote regions spread across the globe having a great tourist potential. Mesmerizing landscapes and astounding scenic beauty exist snuggled in complete solitude having a beneficial impact on the body and mind. Yet these areas have remained secluded or shut out from the human eye. These unspoiled locales need to be exposed to the senior age group of the society, and upgradation of these exquisite milieus becomes imperative.
Good and tranquil accommodation should be set up to take care of the elderly tourists. Emphasis should be put on construction of a network of railway tracks and roads so that these isolated and yet beautiful spots come within easy reach of the senior tourists. Concerted endeavor to improve the quality of tour spots is a much-needed exercise to lure the senior population for a visit and get their yearnings fulfilled.
This should be a multiparty enterprise where the government, department of tourism and the local population should blend into a single entity with a positive attitude and come forward to see the dream of crafting a wonderful senior tourism locale gets realized.
The best practices would stay in a printed rule book and never see the light of the day unless pursued with dedication and determination. Successful implementation of a set of best practices is eventually the last word for promoting the idea of senior tourism.
Importance of planning in Senior Tourism
Planning in tourism is imperative and when a senior citizen engages in a trip, swimming in uncharted water could be dangerous. Without planning how would the entire venture look like within a specified time? As you proceed on your tour, your planning would serve as a guide map and the entire itinerary would start taking a definite shape.
Planning in senior tourism takes in the combined areas of selection of destination and the travel agency which will handle your travel related issues smoothly. A tour destination may have several attractions like amazing landscapes, sunny sea beaches, historical monuments, museums and sacred shrines.
These may be very appealing for a senior tourist, but at the same time age being a limiting factor all of these beautiful places cannot be touched in one go. It will be a time-consuming exploration, and each site with its unique attraction should be booked to a separate day and in proper sequence depending upon a multitude of factors.
The entire site-seeing program must be clearly mapped in the trip schedule. Their relative distances from the hotel you are staying are to be taken into account. The airport, which is your entry exit point, needs to be given a thought with reference to its distance from your hotel and the tour sites as well.
This mapping exercise will help you decide which spot to visit first and which to visit the last. This will also decide the number of days of your stay including your lodging and food bills.It is quite normal that the senior tourist will be prone to health hazards and old age infirmity. Plan perspective should see that enough medicine especially for cold, cough and fever is taken onboard and get health insurance coverage.
With all the savings in hand the senior tourists have an edge over tourists of relatively younger age group so far as the financial potentiality is concerned. They have enough leisure time in hand and want to enjoy the retired life in a relaxed mode. However, the expenditure should be planned in a prudent manner. Enough money in hand may lead to thoughtless expenditure.
At this point, planning a wise expense budget becomes urgent to leave the senior tourist with enough money for the future trips. Plans may incorporate the idea of renting out retirement residences in exquisite locales to spend a considerable length of time with an adjoining sanatorium built to provide support as and when required.
Planning in senior tourism sees that the whole expedition unfolds evenly taking care of possible hassles. It gives the senior tourist the right kind of entertainment that he was looking for. It finally helps wrapping up the venture efficiently and the tourist finds the experience completely gratifying.
For the senior tourists planning makes the future trip transparent. It breaks the entire journey and related activities into fragments with the aid of micro plans. It is a necessary feature to make senior tourism a successful endeavor. Without planning, the tourist would feel like being in rudderless ship cruising aimlessly.
Planning also includes the procurement aspect in the ongoing trip. Buying on tour should not be at random. It should be preceded by a well thought out exercise. If you are visiting Japan, you will be fascinated by the Japanese toy market.
An assortment of quality toys might catch your fancy on your trip to Japan. Instantly you decide to take a piece back home for your near and dear ones. This certainly needs planning the expenditure else your cravings may not get fulfilled due to lack of cash.
Budgeting in Senior Tourism
Budgeting senior tourism program is instrumental to the entire planning process preceding the actual trip. At this age, a senior tourist has the all the money he has earned and saved to be spent on quality life like venturing outdoors and try to know the world in all its amazing aspects.
However, medical expenses have steadily been on the rise and more important the source of earning a monthly salary has been halted for good. So utmost care must be taken to frame the tour budget and see the hard-earned savings do not go waste on unsatisfactory voyages.
Out of the entire financial planning a chunk of the share should allocated and set aside for possible medical expenses. Your tour budget must make enough room for proper clothing especially warm clothing as old people are susceptible to sudden attacks of cold.
Proper estimates for expenses covering transportation and accommodation aspects should be worked out to enable the aged tourists enjoy a peaceful trip in a comfortable transport arrangement and rest in a cozy accommodation. Demanding personalized care by the service providers may call for extra tips to room attendants and service boys.
These extra outlays which figure out as a negligible fraction of the total budget should be taken care of. Drawing up a realistic budget points out exactly where you stand in the light of tour expenses and availability of funds. Most importantly, the trip and its charm and the associated costs could become a deciding factor whether it will be worthwhile to launch the trip or otherwise.
The foreign exchange factor is to be taken into account with updates on currency conversion rates if the senior tourist wants a fair sketch of what the expense figure would likely to strike in terms of home currency.
Budgets should be framed covering basic services like flight booking costs, local transportation, hotel expenses and food depending upon the duration of stay and other ancillary items like photography kits, apparels, medicines and extra fund for unforeseen circumstances.
The travel agencies often offer discounts on senior tourism packages. The rebates must be considered while drawing up the budget and availed at the first opportunity. You can save money on different areas especially where consumption of food on tour is concerned which should be plain and simple. Ensure that your tour has proper insurance coverage particularly on issues concerning health and on trip medical treatment. The necessary premium cost should feature in your budget.
While working out a budget, emphasis must be put by senior tourists on curtailing costly activities involving pompous outdoor adventurous enterprises which the age and health may not permit. Rather importance should be attached to spending on keeping oneself healthy and fit while on tour and include this in the budget. Once the budget is drawn up, keep enough balance in your bank account to take care of the possible deviations and carry your bank cards for withdrawals as and when required.
Preparations for Senior Tourism
Of all the areas covered while preparing for a tour, the most important would to get mentally ready. Since aging has its own inherent weakness, a senior tourist must be mentally ready weighing out all the pros and cons of a trip after which his physical preparation will start to the beat of countdown.
The most significant aspect of preparing for a trip especially if it requires a journey abroad is to form a group of like-minded fellow tourists. At this stage of life, it is risky to venture all alone hence the need to collaborate becomes imperative. Availing the service of a reliable travel agent could be a great solution.
However, the selection of the agent rests on you. Here, you need to do some preparatory ground work. You can search the net or other media of information to locate one with the range of services offered and the price factor. If you are going abroad, passport and visa formalities become a necessary burden. Travel agents do offer to take care of these official proceedings at a price. Check if it suits you and take the decision accordingly.
Next preparation that you need is to book the up and down flight to the destination and fix your accommodation. Do not worry as your travel agent is normally supposed to take these entire headaches on your behalf.The excitement of your trip may blur your sense of reasoning, and in a rush the following last-minute preparations slip from your mind.
The following check list is very crucial, which you need to follow step by step. Aging often leads to forgetfulness therefore the necessity of the check list.
- Carry enough stock of your essential medicines if you are on regular medications.
- Carry doctor’s prescriptions and medical records. You may need them in case you fall sick at the destination.
- Know the rules and regulation of availing healthcare services in the destination especially if you are travelling abroad.
- Inform your GP about your travel itinerary and save his/her contact number.
- Check about the available healthcare support available in the destination.
- Your travel agent should be aware of your physical conditions and issues.
- Buy necessary clothing and gears to prevent any sort of physical or climate-related discomfort.
- Check the ease of accessibility of your hotel or accommodation.
- Set up an auto reply in your e-mail that you are away specifying the time.
- Give standing instructions to your nearest post office or courier delivery office to dump all your incoming mails or parcels together so that you can collect them on your return.
- Regular suppliers could be given a clear indication that you will be away to avoid piling of newspapers and milk pouches at your doorstep.
- If settlement of bills and creditors accounts falls on the duration of your tour, just send prior intimation to them to avoid miscommunication and misunderstanding.
- Before leaving, doublyensure that you have locked your house properly.
- Just ensure your pets like your cat or your puppy does not get locked shut in a cupboard due to your carelessness. Hand them over to a local kennel or pet care center a day before you leave. Else you may have a bad experience or your return.
- If you have planned to carry your debit or credit cards, ensure that you are thoroughly conversant with operating ATM machines abroad. Also check on the availability of ATM machines in the particular destination you have planned a visit or else you may need to carry liquid cash.
- Get a few photo copies of your passport and leave a copy back home with someone reliable.
- Knowledge of the currency exchange rate is important if you are visiting a foreign country.
These are the essential factors that should be considered seriously. You may be an enthusiastic person, but often negligence in small things can create havoc giving you trying times, which may be quite punishable at this age.
Travel and tourism arrangements for Senior Tourism
Travel agencies have come forward to extend special services to the age group above 50 years. The specialty of these services directed at senior citizens is more personalized and carry that bit of extra care than those they usually deliver for a younger age group. Apart from shouldering the usual responsibility of managing passport and visa formalities, booking air tickets, hotels and transport arrangement they even take a step forward to ensure that your health is in proper condition and get certified to withstand the hardships of a trip.
Tour operators, big travel agents, tourism bureau and the ministry of tourism attach special importance to senior tourism. They work together to ensure that the needs of the senior citizens are attended properly as this age group ensures a promising market as well.
Travel agents have services tailored to the exact needs of senior tourists. The exclusive tourism agencies have their professionals scattered across the globe to idyllic and charming localities. This exposure is educative and professionally supportive.
It permits them to acquire concrete and direct knowledge and an all-embracing exposure to famous hotels, resorts, health spas, legendary monuments and breathtaking locales. They concentrate on the target of offering precision, ingenuity, legitimacy, entertainment and the most constructive on and even off duty supports.
Now, there exist the high-end travel agents catering to the requirements of the aged tourists having sufficient money and free time. High spending is hardly a limitation for them. Consequently, the grade of customer service provided comes in a standard package.
They contemplate on working around a senior tourist’s trip schedule with a very professional and well-mannered approach. They most sincerely strive for making most of the benefits of travel arrangements within the reach of senior tourists, dispatched with expertise for the value of money paid.
The personalized service directed tourism policy is touched on all aspects taking care of the needs of the aged tourists. Sometimes the services are incredibly good but not always. At times, they fall short of expectations. Many of the tourism professionals are specially trained to achieve multilingual proficiency to enable easy and free flowing interaction by senior tourists.
Travel agencies target finding dream holidays for their aged clientele. One of the most important features of travel agencies is to build a reliable rapport with the senior citizens. The better the rapport bigger would be the size of the customer tourist.
There are specific cells organizing and supervising welfare meetings, grievance redressal, medical attention and the like for making senior tourism more congenial winning the hearts of this age group with proficiency and concern.
However, senior tourists before embarking on a travel program should ensure that booking is made with a certified travel counselor. The counselor should be qualified and had been to school and thorough industrial training to learn about the finer side of the trade. Travel agencies often ask about the preferences, interests and hobbies of the aged tourists.
This helps them design the itinerary with all these customer inclinations factored in. The journey should end in a thrilling rhapsody and not in a boring manner. Regarding the service fee structure, the agents are usually paid either at an hourly rate or they earn a piece of commission on trips booked.
With the advent of electronic media, the ready access to information on travel has become simple and even the older generation turn to travel agents just for information alone. The functional duty of travel agents has changed into delivering more of travel consultancy service.
They help decide the course of your trip bringing in a bit of more life worth to your tour program. The travel agents still have a say in information gathering. A net conscious agent can differentiate between useful information and crap. He knows all the short cuts to the right portals for getting the latest news and tariffs, and bounces back to the client with a handful of best possible options.
Travel agents can be located downtown or they can operate from call centers. They guide the tourist, locate an appropriate holiday package, and search for availability of selection on the net or over telephone. They organize collection of payments from customers and contact them upon the arrival of tickets or cancelled flights if it so happens. They also organize the entire document handling in relation to senior tourism.
Precautions and prevention in Senior Tourism
Nothing could be as worse as falling sick abroad on a tour at old age. Prior to leaving station, the aged traveler must get clearance from his doctors. All parameters of health are to be put to test, and the traveler should be certified medically fit for a tour.
Needless to say medicines to be carried on tour with portable health monitoring devices like a blood pressure monitor for example. These little measures would keep the aged traveler aware of him and help build confidence.
Get photocopies of all the important documents like your payment receipt to the tour agent if you have hired one. Similarly, photocopies of passport, visa, advance hotel booking documents, ATM cards and flight boarding tickets are all important evidences that you might need in the future in case litigation or a dispute arises. Keep one copy with yourself and another back home with someone you trust.
Get a list of all important phone numbers handy including the contacts of the local embassy, police station nearest to the hotel you are staying, hotel contact number, office of tourism department and in addition the contacts of nearest relatives and friends must feature in your list.
Always carry packaged water wherever you go. Quality of water in some countries of Africa and Asia are not reliable. Take enough warm clothing if you are visiting a country during winter. It is a fact that old age is vulnerable to cold and cough and ailments like pneumonia and lung congestion.
Owing to their old age and physical weakness the senior tourist become potential victims of criminal assault. There is a general notion that they carry a substantial amount of money saved from their active working career now to be spent on leisure and travel. This makes them a burglar’s target.
At the airport, the tourist is advised against any slackening of watchfulness regarding his luggage, laptop and other valuables. Only the authorized airport personnel should be allowed to touch your belongings.
There are often incidents of dummy disasters like someone banging against you in a trick to knock you off your alertness in an attempt to steal your belongings. So be careful against such ploys. Keep your wallet inside your clothing to prevent a snatch.
Keep a list of luggage you are carrying. Keep the valuables in a bag close to you are never display them in public to invite attention of crooks. When leaving your hotel, lock your luggage inside and handover the keys over to the reception desk.
When someone is knocking at the door, do not open the door without proper checking. He might mean harm. Avoid providing your hotel address to strangers no matter how much intimacy might have developed on tour. Ensure that your luggage is handled by authorized hotel staff only against issue of proper acknowledgement.
Never stop a stranger to ask an address you might be misguided. Look instead for the traffic police. He will be there to help you out. While on street, try to avoid alleys and deserted lanes. These places are possible criminal hideouts and when you are assaulted there is a remote chance of drawing crowd attention.
If you suspect a stalker, take your cell phone and pretend to call the police intentionally uttering the word ‘Police’ repeatedly. This will fend off the suspect. An area which you are familiar with is not necessarily safe. Look around to have a general idea of the place. Try to feel the pulse of the surroundings and see if something unusual comes to notice.
Dos and don’ts in Senior Tourism
As age has now gripped you making your strength go on the wane, your eyesight turning a little blurred, your response to a changing environment and adaptability slowing down, the need to abide by a set of principles have become imperative. Specially while travelling, you need to take your strides with extra care than what you usually do back home.
Prior to going on a holiday tour, make sure you have gone through the most recent health checkups and obtained an approval from your doctor. Focus needs to be put on your cardio vascular health in particular as travel often results in shooting up the stress level. Be frank and tell the doctor about your entire trip program with specific reference to the climatic conditions, temperature and the general topography of your destination.
Checking the location of your accommodation prior to booking is important. An accident on trip at this stage of life could confine you to bed for a long time with a number of side ailments invading your body. In a mountainous country, be very careful about selecting your accommodation.
Many hotels exist high up on the slopes with a long flight of stairs snaking up finally touching the entrance. There is just a reverse picture where your accommodation is located far below from the ground level where the flight of stairs runs down posing a risk of accident. Simply avoid selecting such hotels!
With age, the medical requirements rise so take your stock of medicines in your trip. Care should be taken not to be overpowered by sudden cold, which can bring in a series of complications. So carrying sufficient warm clothing is a must when you are visiting a destination in winter.
Never invite any stranger or let them know the location of the hotel you have checked in. Never move alone, try to organize groups and move together. Check the credentials of your travel agent if you are travelling with him. Once you drop in to your destination try to get the contact of the nearest police station in case you need help in emergency situations.
Maintain proper safety of your money, bank cards and other expensive belongings. Inattentiveness and forgetfulness are newly added traits of aging. Therefore, problems can crop up any time. Maintain a small notebook containing all vital information that will support you when needed.
Do not experiment with exotic food no matter how much attractive they may appear. Take easily digestible conventional diet that won’t fall heavy on you foiling the pleasure of your trip.
Do not buy an antique piece of art which may fall in the weapon category. An exquisitely decorated knife for example may get you in trouble at the airport customs clearance. Antiterrorist measures are widespread in airports; so watch out for every article you are carrying, which should not be stained with a label of suspicion.
When entering a religious place or a shrine pay homage following the customary gestures practiced locally and make sure taking photographs does not offend the concerned authority or the local crowd. Study the cultural differences between the country of your visit and your own country and follow some rules specifically especially in the Islam countries.
Patiently try to adapt the ruling customs and local practices. It will help you mingle in the crowd easily. Be cautious of your smoking and drinking habits, which may not be entertained in some countries. Do not ridicule or show displeasure towards local cultural practices even if they appear funny. While entering a religious place, ensure that you are dressed properly.
Things to do post Senior Tourism
Like the blazing spark of a flashlight gets registered to the eyes moments after it flickers off, the memory of a nice trip becomes a permanent collection. The lovely beach resort you had been put up or the amazing meanders that came your way while riding up a mountain road brings back the reminiscence in a flood.
Your journey has been through. Your accounts with your travel agent have been settled. Your current trip episode has been shut. It is all there once you shut your eyes and take a sojourn down the memory lane hanging on to every fragment of the enchanting experience you had while on tour.
These are the shades of beauty that makes your life filled with bliss. They say old age and isolation go hand in hand. This void can easily be replaced by the flash back of the trip that you just had to an excellent locale. How well the senior tourist has retained the trip exposure would definitely depend on the gear and gadgets employed.
Your camera is the best recording device to go with. And if feasible on trip a movie camera would work wonders. Snippets of scenes of joy run live on your drawing room, and you and your partner watching it cuddled together is a unique example of the quality time spent.
Aging that might have left a stain of weary dullness in your lives would disappear in a moment. It can be quoted with certainty that you will crave to step outdoors once again. Clippings, photos, antique and exotic artwork collected on tour helps you recollect the pleasure.
You are now updated with a glut of information. The contacts you have collected would be immensely helpful. The touch with the tour operator, hotels you have boarded, the restaurants where you had lunch and the tourism offices from where you managed additional information would help you a lot to plan a repeat visit.
Your trip has made you wise enough, and it becomes easier to work out a scheme for your future trips. The hassles faced could be combated effectively next time. You have now analyzed the cause and effect relationship which led to sweet and bitter experiences in your trip as well. You need to do homework post tourism and devise ways to make your future trip even better.
The gamut of tourism touches multifarious areas. For example, in culinary tourism you can have classes while travelling and train yourself with the subtle intricacies of preparing an exotic dish. Try it back home, delight your guests and win their hearts. You can even exhibit your dexterity in cooking competitions and win accolades.
On a parallel line, you may get yourself acquainted with an alien art. Paintings and craftworks may fascinate you and fire the passion of the artist in you. Different nations have their unique influence on art, and this deviation in the tone of paintings, sculptures, woodcrafts and lithographs from country to country are pronounced features.
As your globetrotting feet moves on you find the subject gripping! You can certainly buy paintings, sketches and carvings, close replicas of those done by the masters and try out your creative hand back home at leisure time. You have enough time after retirement to explore the finer side that may have been latent in you.
Countries promoting Senior Tourism
The prime factor that has made senior tourism an important revenue earning segment of the tourism industry is the immense leisure time and money available with senior citizens. There are no serious commitments or other busy schedules that would keep a retired man preoccupied.
Longer the stay in a tourist spot, more money gets pumped into the industry. Sensing this potential market of senior tourism, many nations have come up with innovative ideas and resources to promote senior tourism, encouraging enough to bring out the senior citizens from recluse. Here is a brief sketch:
Poland has taken a major drive to make tourism appealing to the senior citizens. An association exists here called the Association of Tourism against Barriers. The body firmly believes to make the product available to the customer. Tourism is an important escapade that removes all the obstacles put on the way by old age and physical disability.
Age is no barrier to movement amid nature with a serene set up. Exploring the marvels of nature would in fact bring in a fresh gush of air that would rejuvenate the body, and the spirit which would otherwise be exhausted with age.
South Africa has taken commendable measures to make the country an attractive destination for the senior tourists. The safari parks give discounts to those aged 60 years and above provided the booking for park visits have been made in the name of the senior citizen. Evidence of age proof is to be furnished.
There is even wheel chair arrangement in the park resorts that very senior tourists need not stay confined to one place. He can well move around on a wheel chair in the resort lawns and feel the bliss of being close to nature. In airports, assistance is available for senior citizens to facilitate their movement.
Thailand has taken encouraging strides to make their culture and country immensely appealing to the senior tourists. Different activities with diverse exposures have been on offer like visits to monasteries, sea and river cruises and thrilling elephant rides through tiger infested dense Thai woods.
Senior tourism has paid rich dividends to the Thai exchequer. Massive efforts have been launched to upgrade the infrastructure and tourism policies so that foreign senior citizens leave the country with pleasant memory and come back again with enhanced fervor.
Greece has worked out a unique senior tourism program with a precise focus on hospitality and care. Holidays are crafted to achieve a gratifying level of medical and cultural exposure. Guided tours to archeological digs, monuments and museums are organized around Greece, and extend as far as to Crete.
On tour the senior citizen can avail the opportunity of health checkups and specialized treatment. Rental of a private yacht for a closely guided cruise is on offer. In addition to walking along long and beautiful promenades, the senior tourist feels ten years younger!
China believes that one is not old enough when it comes to exploring the world. Many travel agencies in China have put in dedication to design travel itinerary for the aged. They often stay with this section of tourists in order to figure out the kind of problems encountered by the senior citizens and put in the best efforts to find out a solution.
Discounts are offered to senior tourists. Shuttle bus services run to the doorsteps of the senior tourists so that age doesn’t pose any obstacle to their movements. Personalized care is extended to such a level that there are instances of aged and infirmed tourists being received on wheel chairs.
Top 10 Destinations for Senior Tourism
There are amazing destinations and picturesque locales that hold enough attraction for the aged tourist no matter whether they are travelling with family or are on a solitary venture. The retirement from active employment has opened before them the doors to the eternal leisure time. An attempt has been made here to portray the charms offered to senior tourists by top ten destinations of worldwide fame.
Branson, Missouri, US
This popular tourist destination has been ranked top drawing a number of senior tourists every year. Branson is perched in the majestic Ozark Mountains and is famed to be the live music show capital of the world. The city offers a quiet and yet lively stay suiting the budgets of tourists coming from various economic background.
It promises clean fun and entertainment. The city is homely and hospitable with a range of exciting activities for different age groups. If you have come with your family and grandchildren, you can take all of them on a round to Silver Dollar City theme park. The park has theatres staged for rock shows and other musical entertainments.
National Parks in the United States
To the amazement of tourists, US boasts of having as many as 392 featured national parks comprising of rugged terrains, lush green forests, unspoiled meadows, lakes, majestic mountains, rapids and fast flowing streams, historical shrines, museums, art galleries and the legendary white house as well. One of the special attractions of the US national parks is that they offer fantastic rebates for senior tourists.
Specifically on the Veterans Day the entry fee is waived. Parks like Yosemite and Yellowstone have reached a highwater mark on the popularity scale, and they are like the Garden of Eden for the aged tourists. Thrill packed opportunity for nature camping and hiking is available. The parks offer a quaint and pollution free environment amid nature much to the liking of the senior tourists.
This 50th US island state surrounded on all sides by the placid and yet enchanting magic of the Pacific is a senior tourist’s dream paradise. The islands of Oahu and the magnificent Maui are too beautiful for words to describe.
The sun-baked shoreline, the tranquil sea and the foam breaking onto the sand with ethnic culture and colorful dance rituals would be a hot favorite. For age group between 50 and 60 years, there is a chance of closely guided snorkeling and scuba diving where you explore the underwater marine paradise under the careful supervision of experts.
The glamour and the pulsating rhythm of this legendary fun gamble fabled casino land is a tourist trap luring the young and the aged alike. Dotted with high end shopping malls, posh bars and dining joints Las Vegas is simply throbbing with life. It is much more than just a gamblers’ den; it is safe to move around and would qualify as a major fun packed destination for the senior tourists.
Downtown Las Vegas, the Fremont Street and the awesome fountain show on the strip at the Bellagio merits special mention. Free outdoor live show displaying pirates is on offer at hotel Treasure Island. Wedding chapels are scattered around and, they do draw tourist interest. The senior tourist may take a day trip to the famous landmarks like Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam.
This Central American tropical country is home to a wonderful spread of flora and fauna. It is a senior tourist’s paradise as well. The dark green setting featuring primitive rain forests is filled with exotic wildlife like tropical birds, monkeys and reptiles.
In the background stands awe inspiring volcanic mountains and one side is bounded by wonderful coastline. Exquisitely painted bull driven carts is a common sight. Costa Rica is inexpensive, and the senior tourist can afford a longer stay. This country is a famous retirement destination and well worth a visit!
Pondicherry, South India
This union territory located in South India is a noted resort for senior tourists with a spiritual bent of mind. The seaside town is noted for its colonial structures, churches and buildings recalling the days of the British domination over India. However, the chief attraction is the Aurobindo Ashram, a wealthy repository for seeking spiritual salvation. The atmosphere here is serene and tidy, and the senior tourist would feel here a touch of perpetual bliss.
These majestic mountains bordering on the US Canadian interface are great attractions for the senior tourist. Stretching from British Columbia in the west up to Alberta in the east, these chains of mountains present a breathtaking view.
There is a glass dome encased train called the Rocky Mountaineer. It offers a cozy ride and meanders along the rocky terrain with amazing scenery racing past up and downhill slopes. It is a deluxe ride answering all the needs of a senior tourist.
Alaskan cruise is a hot favorite venture among the senior tourists. Here, the locale offers gorgeous scenery one which is unspoiled and laden with outdoor activities like fishing and hunting. The locals are friendly towards outsiders and there is scope of some great shopping.
While listing top senior tourism destinations, you cannot just miss out Thailand. Thailand, ‘The ‘Land of smiles’, is an enchanting destination for senior tourists. Bankok, Pattaya, Phuket and Chiang Mai are simply great tour experiences with respect to the panoramic beauty, amazing rainforests and sun kissed beaches, wellness, meditation and massage centers and the mouthwatering Thai food.
The Thai people have great respect for seniors, and bow before you as a mark of respect. It is a polite response to bow back. Thai culture is rich, and their architecture is splendid with Buddhism being an overwhelming religion. The nation of monks is a senior tourist’s paradise with tranquility ruling.
Yet the sign of life is deeply felt with the ‘tuktuk’ running of motorized three wheelers, bamboo rafts cutting across rivers, boxers on bout in the ring, and monks scurrying across the streets in order to reach the places of worship. Life moves on, and yet there is so much of serenity in the air. Thailand could be rightly called a senior tourist’s delight.
Here, the infrastructural set up is world class and medical facilities quite remarkable. Senior citizens will find the trip to South Africa a very worthwhile venture. The senior tourists are well cared for, and help is always ready at shopping malls and airports for the aged. There are rebates in fees for senior tourists for entrance to theme parks and other sites of tourist appeal.