Airbnb has seen bookings increase among the older generation, which makes up a significant part of its hosting network.

The digital accommodation giant has seen more than a 90% increase in the number of bookings by over 60s seeking long-term getaways.

Over the past year, the number of older adults going digital in the US and booking an Airbnb stay online has risen by nearly 20%.

“Empowering all generations to connect has never been more important,” an Airbnb spokesman said.

“While the Covid-19 pandemic has drastically upended all of our lives, there is no doubt that older adults have faced some of the most severe changes over the past year and a half.

“Many older persons facing even higher risk for serious complications from Covid-19 have faced unprecedented and prolonged separation from their loved ones.

“As the world recovers, people are seeing travel on Airbnb as a primary way to come together again and reconnect, as part of a larger travel revolution including older adults.”

Why Airbnb?

Airbnb is seeing twilight travellers embrace its online business model, suggesting holiday companies should take further strides to tap into this segment of the population.

UX consultant Patrizia Morrillo says the company’s website appeals to older adults by catering to their needs and is now considered a leader within the travel space.

She told ITB Newsroom: “Online platforms are becoming easier to navigate for the older generation due to the implementation of web accessibility heuristics by digital teams.

“These include taking the needs of age-related impairments into how digital products are created.

“This could be for declining vision, reduced physical ability such as reduced dexterity making it difficult to use the mouse, declining hearing and cognitive ability.

“Airbnb addresses this with clean colours for contrast and enlarged font.

“It simplifies the booking process by using familiar language, and it’s clean interface, enlarged text and minimalist aesthetic addresses the older users perfectly by taking in the aging cognitive issues they may face.”

A Travel Revolution

More over 60s are learning to navigate the online marketplace not only as guests but as hosts too, accounting for 15% worldwide, according to the latest figures published in September.

Over 60s also remain among the most valued digital landlords, with nine in ten boasting five star reviews and making up 30% of super hosts, the company said.

The announcement follows the United Nations annual International Day of Older Persons last month which sported the theme “Digital Equity for All Ages” and aimed to bring awareness of the importance of digital inclusion of older persons.

Recent reports by the International Telecommunications Union show that older people are among those facing greater digital inequity. While efforts to connect more people are underway, they either lack access to technologies or are not benefitting from opportunities provided by technological progress, it said.

Age UK research found that more older people are using online services in the pandemic but that it is not enough to mark a sea-change in their use of digital technology.

The charity’s analysis of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing found that a third of over 75s not using email in 2018 to 2019 were doing so in 2020.

Following the same time structure, 15% of those who were not managing their finances online did so, 19% began looking for health information online and 30% took up online shopping.

READ ALSO: Airbnb sees opportunities in the bleisure segment

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