ActivSeniors is about linking health and rural development networks. Its aim is to train people in the tourism sector, and the sectors that work indirectly with it, to create services and products aimed specifically at travellers over the age of 55.
The project targets people in this age range who are looking for destinations that include nature-based activities within a beautiful environment with upscale services
People over 55 are well-informed travellers. They are looking to enjoy restful activities, while at the same time developing their interests and actively participating in the development of the places they visit. Past so-called senior tourism programs have not always involved a real adaptation of destinations to the needs of this type of tourist. ActivSeniors aims to change the way the tourism sector views this market.
Creating a friendly environment is not just about design and accessibility — it is also about awareness of the people who live in these spaces. Furthermore, the use of nature and tourism in natural areas as a tool for active ageing is an opportunity for the social and economic development of an area, placing value on environmental conservation to protect sources of health and wellness.
These are reasons why Ambienta 45 — Environmental Advisers and member of the EIP on Active and Healthy Ageing, which promotes the enhancement of tourism in areas of high environmental value as an active ageing strategy — has carried out significant research in the tourism sector in Extremadura (Spain) and Alentejo (Portugal). These are two border areas with high biodiversity; great natural beauty; low rates of pollution; and a separation from traditional “sun and surf” destinations. In addition, these regions have solid health infrastructure and residents with the social skills necessary to welcome this type of traveller. However, these conditions are insufficient because it is necessary to learn how to use all of these resources for health and well-being. Nature can be the best of therapies, but it is necessary to know how to use its benefits.
As a result of Ambienta’s research, ActivSeniors has been working in collaboration with Catalina Hoffmann Holding Group, promoters of the Hoffmann method, which has revolutionized the care and treatment of the elderly in Spain and which is expanding internationally. The Hoffmann Method is a rehabilitative and preventive treatment aimed at older people for their physical, cognitive, psychological, and social benefit. Created by Catherine Hoffmann in 2004, it has been registered as a scientific work in intellectual property.
ActivSeniors combines the experience and knowledge of both Ambienta and the Catalina Hoffmann Holding Group. The goal is to prepare tourist destinations for the new reality of an older population. This new concept integrates tourism in natural areas with the specific care and attention for people over 55 years, allowing them to discover the therapeutic potential of each territory and resource.
It seeks to work with hotels, restaurants, rural farms, spas, and nature conservation organizations, as well as health experts and general tourism professionals, in order to provide knowledge on how to best meet senior tourists’ needs. These are the different products that are part of the project: training, provision of advice, marketing, and development of activities specifically designed for tourists over the age of 55. Senior tourism will give a new impetus to the tourism industry and the territories that implement it.
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