Many hotels offer room service, a wellness center, a receptionist available 24 hours a day, wake-up calls, and many other features that are considered desirable by travelers over the age of 60. Two elements have been shown to have a significant influence on older adults’ hotel choices and help hotels stand out when it comes to serving those over the age of 60.
Establishing a good loyalty program can be very costly to hotels; however, targeting older adults by creating rewards that matter to them on their own terms can be a great way to make the investment worthwhile. Customers who are loyal to a hotel brand tend to spend more money and are willing to drive extra miles to patronize that favorite brand—even if they don’t have rewards to use at the moment.
Another factor that affects seniors’ decision-making process when choosing a hotel is accessibility. Even though this demographic has been experiencing a significant increase in quality of life over the last few decades, older adults might perceive accessibility as an important factor when traveling.
Although the demand for accessible rooms is high, by surveying 1000 hotels across six continents, Mobility Mojo found that most hotels only allow accessible bedrooms to be booked by phone and are often unable to provide in-depth accessibility information about their facilities when called. By overcomplicating their booking process, hotels end up missing a portion of travelers; and investing in accessibility provides access to a variety of demographics, like pregnant women.
Senior tourism is not and should not be seen as a niche offering, but rather as an integrated part of the mainstream tourism offerings based on elements of quality, comfort, and accessibility. The market’s growing size, purchasing power, travel patterns, and accommodation preferences make older adult tourism a worthwhile opportunity for the hospitality sector. Addressing the needs and wants of the older generations and ensuring that they can easily access all the information they need will be critical for the long-term success of the travel industry as a whole.
After all, every customer demographic will age one day, and including good accessibility now is simply planning for all our futures. This will increasingly be a great competitive advantage for hotels all over the world.