When customers were asked which hotel amenities are most important, an unsurprising 80% said ‘Internet Access’ was number one for them. The answer in second place may shock you.

A whopping 52% said ‘Accessibility’ was the most important hotel consideration for them.

The statista survey conducted in 2017 continued to reveal that 45% said room service and car parking were important while less than 30% said wellness & spa, laundry, pet policy, wake-up call and TV were what they looked for.

At first it may come as a real surprise that over 50% of guests search for accessibility before booking a hotel, but delving deeper into this demographic we discovered more insights into this massive market.

Here are 9 reasons why 52% of the population search for accessibility and why this number is likely to grow.

  • 50 % of the U.S. population will be over the age of 50 this year.
  • There are now 76.8 million baby boomers – ages 51 to 69 in the U.S.
  • Baby Boomers will turn 65 at a rate of 10,000 a day over the next 18 years.
  • 70 % of the disposable income in the U.S is controlled by Baby Boomers. They spend the most across all product categories, and it is even greater when people 67+ are included – yet they are targeted by just 5-10 percent of marketing.
  • Almost 51% of Boomers took at least one international trip in 2018 with an average spend of $6,000.
  • Bucket list trips were among the top 3 reasons for international travel, followed by summer vacations and family get togethers.
  • 62% still prefer hotels and motels over other accommodation options because of their location and services they offer.
  • Europe is currently home to almost 100 million seniors (age 65+).
  • Older travelers, particularly those with physical challenges, are more likely to travel with a partner, multi-generational family members or groups for added support.

Baby boomers and older adults are a large lucrative group of travelers. They have the money, time and desire to travel throughout the year.

So how are hotels advertising to the baby boomers and to the overall accessible tourism market?

The answer to this I’m afraid is generally very poorly. Older guests with access needs have increased requirements and, as shown in the statistics above, they look to hotel websites for assurances that their needs will be met. This information is often lacking.

When marketing your hotel to older guests and particularly guests with physical challenges, it is important to remember that one person with accessibility needs is usually the determining factor for where the whole group stays.

In other words, the rest of the group are generally happy to stay somewhere that caters well for the needs of the least able person in their group.

Therefore, to tap into this market, it is hugely important for hotels to provide clear, easy to navigate websites, ample photos and good quality accurate information that truly aligns with the needs and questions of these guests. A seamless easy-to-use accessibility information snapshot and booking experience is central to winning this audience.

U.S. Census Bureau, immersion ACTIVE, AARP, Eurostat, 2017 United States survey statista.