Canary Islands: The Ideal Winter Long-Stay Destination for Europe’s Silver Tourists

With its average winter temperature of 20ºC, the Canary Islands beckons for travellers over 55, a group of approximately 152 million individuals in Europe. These seasoned tourists, known for their flexibility and inclination to travel off-season, are enticed by the Islands’ pleasant climate, secure environment, diverse activities, comprehensive accommodation options, robust healthcare facilities, and excellent connectivity with the rest of Europe.

Credit: Canary Islands

The EU’s average age currently stands at 44.4 years, marking a nearly six-year increase compared to statistics from two decades ago.

The distinctive characteristic of the “silver tourists,” aged 55 and above, is their discerning nature when choosing a destination. With ample time to plan extended stays, they seek to immerse themselves in nature, relish local cuisine, and appreciate cultural experiences. In this light, the Canary Islands position themselves as an irresistible option during the winter months, offering an escape from the chilly European weather with their inviting 20ºC average temperature.

Presently, the European population over 55 amounts to 152.5 million, representing 33.14% of the total 446.7 million inhabitants. According to data from the American multinational P&G, this demographic controls up to 70% of the wealth in their respective countries and influences over half of the consumer spending.

Silver Europeans prize the Canary Islands for their agreeable climate, safe environment, accessible healthcare services, diverse lodging options, and a rich tapestry of cultural, culinary, and recreational offerings, all complemented by the amiable nature of the local populace.

Among European nations, Germany and the United Kingdom serve as the primary countries of origin for Long-stay Silver tourists in the Canary Islands. Their visitor rates to the archipelago stand at 23.4% and 19.9%, respectively, followed by the Nordic countries at 13%, Italy at 10%, and Spain at over 5%, among others (Irlanda 3,2%). Notably, 66% of Long-stay Silver tourists visiting the Canary Islands travel as couples, with 91% being repeat visitors.

In the Republic of Ireland, silver tourists account for approximately 26.33% of the total population, or 1,356,150 people out of a total population of 5,149,139. This can be broken down into an approximate 52/48 split between women and men. This is a substantial group for the Canary Islands to market to with their new “Skip this Season” campaign.

Credit: Canary Islands

“Skip this Season” Campaign

The Canary Islands Tourist Board has initiated the “Skip this Season” campaign, encouraging extended stays for tourists over 55 during the winter season. Residents of regions with harsh European winters can opt to “skip” a season by experiencing the Canarian winter instead, benefiting from the archipelago’s superior climate and maximizing their stay.

This international initiative primarily targets European citizens over 55, already familiar with the Canary Islands through brief visits, and who now possess the time to enjoy a leisurely and unhurried holiday in a destination boasting the most favourable winter climate. The campaign will be launched in October, November, and December 2023 in key European nations such as Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, the Nordic countries, and Ireland.

These individuals find themselves in a privileged phase of life, capable of evading the discomforts of the European winter and seizing the opportunity for extended yet finite stays, limited to a single season. Stays ranging from 30 to 90 days are considered feasible during the winter. Their familiarity and high loyalty to the destination position this demographic as a highly promising market for prolonged stays.

Communication will emphasize a meteorological comparison between the home country and the Canary Islands. Targeted individuals will receive predictive messages detailing the most undesirable weather conditions anticipated in their respective regions during winter, such as rainy days, darkness, or low temperatures, contrasted with the anticipated weather in the Canary Islands.

The World’s Best Climate

The Canary Islands owe their appeal to their exceptional climate, offering over 4,000 hours of sunshine annually and minimal rainfall. This abundance of sunlight not only contributes to an enriching holiday experience but also provides ample doses of vitamin D, revitalizing both mind and body. The islands’ location allows for the rapid access of visitors, with 668 direct routes currently linking the archipelago to 26 European countries. Additionally, the expansive coastline, lapped by nutrient-rich volcanic waters, provides the perfect setting for indulging in thalassotherapy.

Credit: Canary Islands