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Greek Island holidays for the elderly

Alykanas beach Zante

Greek Island holidays for the elderly.

Greece must provide more if it is to turn around its troubled tourist markets it is claimed. A recent study predicts a massive growth in tourism among the elderly in the future and Greece has yet to cash in on the booming holiday market.

Now the chief of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels, Giorgos Tsakiris, warns that although Greece offers great luxury class family holidays both on the mainland and in the Greek Islands it has failed to go after the elderly market or to put together holiday packages that appeal to senior holidaymakers.

Senior tourism could be a critical factor in lengthening the tourist season for Greece and the Greek Islands, according to a study from the Institute for Tourism Research and Forecasts (ITEP).

It says Greece is in a great position to tap the lucrative markets for those older tourists who have time and money to spare and who enjoy travel.

The elderly are expected to take a 24% share of the global tourism market by 2030, rising to 28% by 2050 according to travel industry experts.

The report says: "The world's population is ageing, creating a big niche of old people who have retired and want to spend some of their time travelling."

According to surveys of tourism in Greece, the highest numbers of the elderly visit hotels in Central Greece (42.5%) and in Epirus — Thessaly (42.9%). In contrast, the smallest elderly tourist flow is in the hotels in the Greek Islands, notably in the Cyclades and Dodecanese islands (29.9%) and in the Ionian Islands (31%).

The survey also showed that only 9.5% of the hotels across Greece offer service packages that might appeal to the elderly such as traditional wine and food tasting evenings or senior parties.

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