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Tourism for Seniors

The European Commission acknowledges the importance of fostering transnational tourism activities by developing tourism off-season for seniors in Europe.

Therefore, the “Senior Tourism Initiative” was launched in May 2012, as a pilot initiative to define the framework conditions to enhance senior citizens to travel in Europe.

The contribution of senior citizens to the European tourism industry is indeed significant and should be reinforced to face the challenge of seasonality, stimulating economic growth and jobs in Europe. Senior citizens (with 55 years old and over) represent around 25% of the European population. They have both purchasing power and leisure time (mainly in the retirement age), thus representing a significant economic market potential.

The first Call for proposals to facilitate transnational low season tourism exchanges in Europe encouraging Senior Citizens to travel was launched  in June 2013.
4 projects were selected for funding, representing in total 17 Member States. The implementation period started 1 September 2014 for 18 months.

Coordinating organisation Project

Cyprus Chamber of Commerce & Industry (Cyprus)

European Senior Citizens’ Actions to Promote Exchange in Tourism - ESCAPE

Lauku Celotajs (Latvia)

Seniors Go Rural - SenGoR

Eurail Group GIE (Luxemburg)

European Senior Rail Travel Project


International Social Tourism Organisation ISTO/eCalypso

Facilitating Low Season Tourism Exchanges in Europe Encouraging Senior Citizens to Travel: SENTOUR CONNECT


A new call "Facilitating EU transnational tourism flows for seniors and young people in the low and medium seasons" is open for applications until 15 January 2015.

The report Facilitating cooperation mechanisms to increase senior tourists’ travels within Europe and from third countries in the low and medium seasons” and annex 1 "Demographic change and the rise of senior tourists", drafted by a group of experts, gathers knowledge on the senior tourism market. Its objective is to set up recommendations for strategic actions, identifying the role that different actors might play in their implementation.

The Senior initiative is a follow up of the Calypso initiativewhich clearly highlighted how senior tourism can contribute to combat seasonality, strengthening the notion of European citizenship and promoting a regional development.

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