Makarska, Turists, tourism.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Jure DIVIĆ/ ik

With over 1.2 billion nights spent during their trips all over the world in 2014, tourists aged 65 or over (hereafter "older tourists") living in the European Union accounted for 20% of the tourism activity (in terms of number of nights spent by EU residents), according to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

Older tourists mostly chose domestic destinations and in Croatia they account for 13% of all overnights, according to Eurostat, which published a selection of data on participation in tourism of older people residing in the EU on the occasion of the World Tourism Day, marked on 27 September. The theme of this year World Tourism Day is "Tourism for all: promoting universal accessibility".

Although the share of older tourists in overall overnights is relatively high, their share in tourism expenditure is a bit lower, standing at 16%, Eurostat said.

The proportion of people aged 65 or over in all tourism nights was particularly high for residents of France and Cyprus, where they accounted for a quarter (25%) of all tourism nights in 2014, as well as for the Czech Republic, Greece and Sweden (all 24%), Ireland and Portugal (both 23%).

At the opposite end of the scale, older tourists represented around 10% of nights spent by residents of Malta (9%), Bulgaria, Latvia and Slovenia (all 10%) as well as Estonia (11%).

In a small majority of EU Member States, older tourists favoured domestic holidays over outbound trips, with the highest shares being recorded for residents of Spain (94%) and Greece (92%), followed by those of the Czech Republic and Romania (both 89%), Italy and Portugal (both 88%). In contrast, a large majority of older tourists living in Luxembourg (99%), Belgium (91%) and Malta (82%) went abroad in 2014.

With the share of older tourists in overall overnights standing at 13% or a total of 6.2 million overnights, Croatia is ranked in the middle of all EU member states. A total of 60% of overnights generated by older Croatian tourists was done in Croatia and 40% abroad.

In 2014, older Croatian tourists participated in the overall tourist consumption generated by domestic tourists with 7% or €127 million, which is approximately €20 per day.

Across the EU Member States in 2014, the older tourists who spent the most on average per day were those of Luxembourg (€120.8) and Austria (€106.9), ahead of Malta (€93.7), Belgium (€89.5), Ireland (€88.0) and Denmark (€85.1).

At the opposite end of the scale, the lowest average expenditure per person and per day were
recorded for older tourists living in the Czech Republic (€13.7), Romania (€13.8), Greece (€18.0) Lithuania (€19.1) and Hungary (€19.2).

For all Member States except Belgium, the average expenditure of older tourists was lower than the overall average. This was notably the case for Lithuania (€19.1 euros per person and day on average for older tourists, compared with €48.4 for the total average, or a difference of €29.3) and Slovakia (-€29.2), followed at a distance by Cyprus (-€24.8), Estonia (-€24.3) and Finland (-€24.1). At EU level, an older tourist spent on average €52.6 a day, compared with €65.3 for the overall average, or €12.7 less per day. It should be noted that tourism expenditures are influenced notably by the duration of trips and by the proportion of holidays spent in second homes or during off-peak seasons. 

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