Proving age is just a number: Airbnb seniors lead experiences growth

author_img F.A Published :  03rd December 2018 06:04 PM   |   Published :   |  03rd December 2018 06:04 PM

Aging is sometimes perceived as being synonymous with loneliness, loss and a withdrawal from surroundings. However, Airbnb reveals that senior community members are craving just the opposite. Increasingly powered by seniors, we’ve seen staggering growth in the over 60s age group both in hosts and guests, with a whopping almost 1100 percent growth in the number of experiences hosted by seniors globally, and a 260 percent increase in experience bookings by over 60s worldwide from last year.

According to Dr. Marc Agronin, a geriatric psychiatrist at Miami Jewish Health and author of The End of Old Age: Living a Longer, More Purposeful Life, aging itself can improve many aspects of our lives, including our senses of wisdom, purpose and creativity. And opportunities for human connection with new people from other backgrounds and countries can provide countless benefits. “Interacting with people from other places and ways of life stimulates our brains and inspires us to learn new ways of speaking and interacting. Learning words from a new language is a wonderful brain exercise. These encounters broaden our perspectives and enhance our well-being.”

And it appears many entering their golden years are discovering this new meaning of old age through authentic, handmade Airbnb Experiences led by locals, with the below countries leading with the highest numbers of over 60s hosting and taking them on Airbnb:

Countries with the most Experience hosts age 60+*- US, Italy, UK, Japan, France

Countries with the most Experience guests age 60+*- US, UK, Australia, Canada ,

Dr. Agronin explains the sharp growth in hosting, in particular, might partly be attributed to the long-lasting positive impacts of sharing with others a piece of your community, culture and life passions, through unique, one-of-a-kind experiences. “Hosting others is an amazing way to share your age-given experience, knowledge, and skills. It stimulates the brain through fulfilling social interactions. It gives you a sense of purpose, which in turn enhances well-being and overall health.”

And the Airbnb over 60 community is certainly sharing a vast array of interests. From exploring the unseen urban corners of Hong Kong with Alfred, to indulging in Havana’s rich culinary culture with Dayami, to taking a journey inside your brain with Phil in Sydney, and even mastering the rhythms of Latin music in a former San Francisco speakeasy with Quentin, the passions vary widely.

Yet of all the types of Experiences on offer, it may come as no surprise that the category seniors are most likely to host have an element of social impact, where 100 percent of the proceeds go back to the organization it benefits.

Elders around the globe are also welcoming the opportunity to get outside their comfort zone - particularly in the music, arts and lifestyle categories - something Dr. Agronin says brings a new sense of freedom and liberation. “It only takes one new experience to awaken and engage these age-given strengths, boosting our self-confidence and providing the motivation to re-invent ourselves.”

Here are a few of Airbnb’s most active Senior Experience hosts:

Odette Mascarenhas, Goa, India
A television host, a celebrated author and a critic of culinary preparations – Odette Mascarenhas is all this and more. Popularly called the ‘culinary queen of Goa’, her journey with food and her passion has been a long yet exciting undertaking of preserving the rich traditions, culinary preparations and styles of the native people of the state. Through the Brought in by the Portuguese Caravels Experience, Odette shares the history and traditions of Goan cuisine with her guests.

Toby Klayman, San Francisco, US

As one of San Francisco’s original Home hosts and one of the first Experience hosts, Toby has shared her home and her life’s passion with people around the world. Toby is usually seen bestowing her affinity and skill for multi-media art through her Madame Renaissance Experience.

Chwee Lian Tan, Singapore
At 87 years-young, Chwee Lian has witnessed a lot of change in Singapore’s history. For the past 70 years she has worked to preserve the last Taoist deity shop in the country, and now shares its story and effigy making art with visitors from near and far on her Where Gods Are Born Experience.

Luis Castro, Lisbon

Luis’ natural born passion for life on the water has been with him nearly his entire life, having started sailing when he was just 8-years-old. Decades of racing boats later, he now takes guests on a trip through time on his Historical Boat Tour on Classic Yacht experience in Lisbon.

Deo Angulo, Barcelona
As the most booked 60+ Experience host in Europe, Deo knows a thing or two about exposing guests to the natural beauty of Barcelona on his Sail & Relax with Captain Deo Experience.

Tenshin Ito, Osaka, Japan

With 45 years of experience in Japanese calligraphy, or Shodo, under his belt, Tenshin shares his passion with hundreds of people around the world on his Brush and Ink Social Impact Experience in Tokyo, giving all of the proceeds to children in Vietnam suffering from AIDS.