When you think of today’s travelers, who comes to your mind?
Are you picturing your 18-year-old niece boarding a flight to London for a college semester abroad?
Or is it that 20 something-year-old solo backpacker you follow on social media that’s eating and drinking his way through Italy, France, and Spain?
Perhaps you’re picturing ambitious businessmen and women in their 30s flying to new client sites each week to close new deals? You know, think, George Clooney, 2009, Up in the Air.
Or maybe you imagine the new family who just moved in two houses down from your, that eagerly showed you their family beach vacation photos after coming over to introduce themselves.
No matter who comes to mind when you think of travelers today, you can bet there are a few core reasons for why these nomadic types are likely young, curious, ambitious, and physically fit. To be fair, those attributes do make 16-hour international travel days more bearable.
But get this, when it comes to market growth and increased spend in the travel industry, we actually don’t have any of the younger demographics listed above to thank for that.
Recent studies find that travelers over the age of 65 are responsible for the growth of the travel industry over the last 15 years, particularly the last 5 years.
When you think more about it, this statistic comes to little surprise considering senior travelers are healthier and more mobile than ever thanks to new technology, medicine, and new healthy living movements happening all over the world.
In fact, senior travelers aren’t just growing the industry, but play a key role in how the travel industry will shape out in the next decade. Since many travelers are moving from hotels to vacation rentals, seniors are doing the same, just with cruise ships and resorts. They are opting in for a vacation rental due to the accessibility, authentic community feel, and affordability.
The younger generations are not the only ones traveling worldwide as well. New Zealand is actually ranked number one as the top destination for senior travelers, followed by Australia, Denmark, and the USA coming in fourth. South Africa has even been voted the 10th top destination for senior travelers (Cape Town, anyone?).
With the vacation rental industry already on the fast track to being the new norm for travelers at any age, it’s important to be able to market your vacation rental to the generation who is making one of the biggest impacts on the growth of the vacation rental industry, senior travelers.
Here are our top 4 tips to market your vacation rental to senior travelers.
Use your location to your advantage
JZ Tip: Every location, no matter the climate, can be marketed and sold to senior travelers.
We have this stereotype in our head that tells us senior travelers are only looking for mild climates that sport 70-degree weather and year-round sunshine, perfect for yard games and afternoon tea.
But, as we’ve learned from the ranking of top travel destinations, senior travelers are just as curious for something new as any other traveler, so even if your vacation rental isn’t sitting on the Florida coast, you still have a lot to offer.
Highlight the four beautiful seasons that your midwestern town sees throughout the year. Dustings of snow that’s perfect for grandchildren to play in, the smell of spring rain in April that accompanies a double rainbow, warm summer days perfect for the lake mid-July, and how ravishing the streets look in the fall when green leaves turn to red.
Not every senior traveler is in search of sunny and 75, so highlight your authentic climate, and someone out there will be searching for exactly what you have to offer.
Highlight property accessibility
Recent studies find that around 40% of seniors, over the age of 60, have a disability of some kind. The biggest concern facing senior travelers is simply mobility over anything else.
With this in mind, you can best accommodate your property to fit those in need of a little extra support.
Just because senior travelers have more mobility concerns, that certainly does not stop them from traveling, they are simply in search of accommodation that supports their needs. This is why vacation rentals are perfect for those treasure hunting for the feelings of comfort and support they get at home.
You should highlight the accessibility of your vacation rental through your photos and property description so senior travels know right away that your property is fit to accommodate those with mobility needs.
Small budget friendly, add-ins such as handrails in the hallways will make any traveler feel more safe and comfortable.
JZ Tip: 1st-floor bedrooms and easy parking are a great place to start when promoting accessibility!
Pitch local activities to your guests
Although mobility is common among those over 60, it’s also known that those in their 60’s are in better shape than ever before, with almost ¼ of seniors working out a minimum of five times per week.
With how active elderly travelers are, this can be a great selling point for your vacation rental. Showcase some of the day to day physical activities those in your community enjoy doing. This can be anything from fishing, hiking, biking, and walking trails in parks!
Once they’re done with their favorite physical activity, offer activities in town that have discounted rates for seniors such as art museums, galleries, restaurants, and cafes to grab an afternoon snack.
All of these activities will not only let the senior traveler partake in their favorite daily activities while in a new environment, but get a true experience in what it’s like to live like a local and be part of a new community for a few days, as community and togetherness is very much valued in senior travelers.
Highlight the relaxing spaces in your home
Since your guests day has been spent hiking through parks, fishing on sparkling lakes, or touring the local art museum, any guest, senior or not, will enjoy going home to an environment they can relax in.
Highlight your most comfortable and relaxing features in your property listing.
This can range from a front porch where travelers can watch the sunset from, a recliner or daybed in the TV room where they can wind down during a family movie night, or perhaps the bathroom that allows for a hot bath at the end of a long day.
Offer discounts for senior guests
Senior travelers say that comfort is far more important than money, and we have to agree with them. So although senior travelers might not be seeking out discounts, if you were to offer them, it will be the cherry on top and a great way to lock in those travel bookings.
Get creative with vacation rental discounts. Perhaps this is a cheaper price for those only staying during the weekdays, free transportation to and from the airport, or partnering with local restaurants in town to offer your guests a senior discount.
Not only does this build more rapport and trust with your guest during their first stay, but the five-star experience and going the extra mile will make your senior travelers want to return right away.
Adding authentic value will alone attract more senior travelers to your vacation rental, but this is also a wonderful way to express your creativity on how to better serve and accommodate senior travelers.
If you want to learn more about how we can help you market your vacation rental to different age groups, click here and reach out to us today! As for the senior traveler, we would love to know what your favorite aspects of a vacation rental are! Let us know!