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Senior citizens: an aging market for hoteliers

The phenomenon of the aging demographic is affecting the whole world, people over 65 represent high-potential market for tourisme and hospitality industry.

In France, 5 million people are between 65 and 75 years of age and as many are over 75, and their number is expected to grow in the years to come. More generally, people over 50 represent one third of the French population. These clientele thus naturally make up a market with strong potential for the hotel and tourism industry, and it should become even more important. Another advantage is that demand from this clientele is less seasonal, and can thus constitute an important market for activity during off season periods.

This demographic transformation may be felt in the clientele-mix at hotels, where their presence has increased in recent years, as may be seen in the results of a survey by Hospitality ON with Olakala. 50% of respondents estimate that the share of clientele over 50 at their properties has grown in recent years, either slightly (35%) or significantly (15%). According to 39% of hoteliers interviewed, it remained stable and only dropped for 11% of the properties.

As they are still working and have both more income and free time (with children out of the home), people age 50 to 65 are the core target of hotels: this age group accounts for more than 20% of the occupancy of hotels according to 76% of professionals surveyed, and more than 50% of clients at 23% of them. Inversely, at most hotels (60% of respondents), clients over 65 represent less than 20% of all clientele. However, this segment is the one that is expected to grow significantly in the years to come in light of the strong demographic growth expected as those born in the post-war years reach this age group (a phenomenon also known as the "grandpa boom").

According to professionals interviewed, several criteria appear to be essential in order to meet the needs of this fast-growing market. In addition to comfort with excellent basics, this customer profile remains quite attached to human contact and is partial to the availability of personnel and the warmth of a property. The calm and accessibility of hotels constitute two other variables that may influence their choice. 

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