Best Practice

Long term accomodation

Silver Tourism at 5* Hotels and long term Accommodation in Turkey

Elderly tourism, also known as third age tourism, generally covers the whole of the travels of individuals over a certain age who have completed their active working life to different destinations. When the literature is examined in detail, it has been determined that while the concept of “third age” is mentioned in the studies conducted for the tourism activities of elderly individuals, there are differences in the age ranges that define this concept (Patterson and Balderas, 2018). 

According to WHO; 

∙ Adolescent between the ages of 0-17, 

∙ Young people between the ages of 18-64, 

∙ 65-74 age range, young and old, 

∙ The age range of 75-84 is elderly, 

∙ The age of 85 and over is expressed as the elderly.

A more comprehensive explanation about third age tourism will be given in the following sections, as it is the main subject of the study. According to WHO, approximately 15% of the world’s population (i.e. around 1 billion) consists of people with disabilities. Disabled tourism, on the other hand, refers to the ability of disabled individuals to participate in tourism activities without any problems like other healthy individuals (Bulgan, 2015). Since it is aimed to eliminate all obstacles that individuals with physical, mental or social disabilities participating in this tourism activity may encounter during their travels, it can also be encountered as “barrier-free tourism” or “accessible tourism” in the literature. Considering the obstacles that the group evaluated within the scope of third age tourism may encounter due to their advanced age, they are considered on a common ground with disabled tourism activities.

Accommodation Restrictions of Third Age Tourists 

There is a need for home care and services to improve social life for individuals in the third age group to continue their daily lives. Due to these care needs, service provider centers should arrange their physical conditions in line with the needs of elderly individuals in terms of patient safety. In long-term care services, different types of service providers and caregivers are needed (TÜSİAD, 2019). Albayrak (2014), in his study in which he examined the problems experienced by third-age tourists in restaurants affiliated to hotels, found that third-age tourists mostly encountered problems such as fatty and caloric meals, not specifying energy values, not including diabetic products in the menu, and not writing the content of the meals. The type of accommodation to be preferred during the trip is determined depending on the reason for the trip and the income level. Elderly individuals determine their preferences in a wide range when choosing accommodation facilities (Alen et al., 2017). The restriction of physical mobility due to advancing age and the resulting disability affect accommodation preferences.

Elderly tourism in Turkey 

Although the ratio of the population aged 65 and over to the total population in Turkey was 8.75% in 2018, it is expected to reach 10.2% in 2023. According to TurkStat’s population projections, the elderly population in 2060 is expected to be more than 2 times the elderly population in 2023. In 2080, it is predicted that one-fourth of the total population will be the elderly population.

When the 5 * hotels in Antalya are examined, it is seen that tourism services for elderly individuals are generally concentrated in the fall, winter and spring seasons, when the temperate climate season is at normal temperatures. During these periods, older tourists prefer to stay for a longer period of time compared to summer tourists. The arrangement of physical spaces in accordance with the priorities of elderly tourists, the arrangement of hotel rooms and other areas in accordance with the characteristics of the elderly encourage them to stay for a longer period of time.

As a result of the examinations, it is seen that the hotels that provide all inclusive services economically attract the attention of elderly tourists more, and the elderly prefer to stay for more than 2 weeks and up to 1 month in hotels where the main needs such as accommodation, food and beverage, health and care are met.

In addition to the physical characteristics and service quality of the hotels, it has been observed that Antalya hotels do not have sufficient technical support personnel and expertise in terms of including in-hotel and out-of-hotel activities and activities that will support the socialization of the elderly.

Transferring the best practices and practices in Europe in carrying out non-hotel daily tours and activities for these social needs of the elderly, meeting the need for skilled personnel accordingly will increase customer satisfaction and the participation rate of the elderly in tourism activities.