All the more senior citizens are looking into the vast potential of home-sharing platforms, and are currently renting their homes via Airbnb and/or booking as guests.
According to data released by Airbnb, citizens over the age of 60 now constitute the platform’s fastest growing age group.
There are currently over 400,000 senior hosts on Airbnb worldwide, while the number of the “over 60s” who booked as guests grew by 66 percent in 2017, according to Sofia Gkiousou, Public Policy Head for Airbnb.
“We think that this technology platform is exclusively used by the millennials, but this is not the case,” Gkiousou underlined during the Delphi Economic Forum 2019, which was held in Delphi earlier this month.
What is becoming clear is that by opening their homes to travelers, senior citizens overcome loneliness and isolation and earn extra income, while as Airbnb guests, they manage to travel in a more authentic way.
According to the data, in 2017, seniors globally earned over $2 billion hosting through Airbnb, welcoming 13.5 million guest arrivals from over 150 countries.
Furthermore, new Airbnb data points to a growing trend of multi-generational family travel where the booking guest is over 60 and traveling with children. In the past year, there has been a 75 percent increase in these kinds of bookings, half of which were made by first-time bookers on Airbnb.
‘Silver tourism’ on the rise
The growing number of senior Airbnb hosts and guests is attributed to the rise of the so called “silver tourism”. The term usually refers to senior tourists over the age of 55, but as world population is ageing, researchers tend to extend the limit to 60 or 65 years.
According to data released by Athens-based research firm diaNEOsis earlier this month, silver tourism is a growing trend in Europe, with the percentage of travelers over the age of 65 expected to increase from 15 percent in 2010 to 25 percent in 2020 and 35 percent in 2050.
This is due to the fact that life-expectancy is increasing; senior citizens have better health, and therefore more opportunities to travel after their retirement.
Senior tourists go on short holidays, however a large number prefers to rent or buy a secondary residence in a preferred destination, thus travel for longer periods.
In addition, many senior tourists travel for health reasons, thus contribute to the development of health tourism and its three segments – medical tourism, spa and wellness.