MORE than 30,000 people over the age of 55 chose Andalucia for their holidays last year thanks to the Senior Tourism Europa Programme.
Andalucia has been taking part in the programme, aimed at people between 55 and 80, since 2009. This age group makes up 127 million people in the EU, 17.4 per cent of the total population.
Germany has the oldest population, followed by Italy, France and the UK, but just because they are older, doesn’t mean they are not healthy and free to travel, something which Andalucia, the Canary Islands, Valencia and the Balearic Islands have wanted to take advantage of, especially because this age group has higher spending power than many young tourists.
They stay 7.7 days on average and spend some €323 on average, apart from the hotel price.
All Andalucia’s coastal areas, Almeria, Cadiz, Granada, Huelva and Malaga, are taking part in the project, although the most popular have been Benalmadena, with 29 per cent of the visitors, Marbella, Torremolinos and Punta Umbria in Huelva.
The third edition of the programme starts this month and finishes in April, a time when Andalucian hotels, restaurants and leisure facilities are keen to receive visitors from places such as Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Austria, France, Italy, Bulgaria, Romania and the Czech Republic.
The Junta de Andalucia is promoting the programme in Eastern Europe, as well as strengthening the region’s popularity in more traditional markets.
By Jennifer Leighfied