Donegal is in the top five favourite destinations in Ireland for actively retired people.
It follows a survey amongst almost 9,000 actively retired people throughout Ireland compiled by Golden Ireland, a specialised hotel booking platform.
Ireland’s actively retired are estimated to be worth over €560 million to the Irish hotel industry with the average retired person spending €956 every year on hotel breaks here.
The survey for this demographic shows that 80% of this age group also believe that Irish hotels offer good value for the actively retired, with 23% of them taking more trips than they did pre-pandemic.
The survey also revealed that 82% are booking more hotel stays now that they are retired/semi-retired with almost 90% taking an average of three hotel breaks per annum with autumn and spring being the most popular seasons to escape. The top five most popular destinations are Kerry, Galway, Donegal, Wexford and Mayo.
Of those surveyed, 65% believe Irish hotels have friendlier staff than their European counterparts, with 58% of those surveyed planning hotel breaks with friends or as part of a group. When asked what the most important thing a hotel can offer: comfort, friendly staff and a good breakfast rated in the top three. The biggest bugbears for guests included poor housekeeping, rude staff, rooms not being ready at time of check in and bad dining experiences.
Speaking of the survey, Geraldine McGlynn, CEO, Golden Ireland said, “This survey has highlighted many interesting and positive findings which are very encouraging for Irish hotels who cater for this important market. We have long known the importance of offering the actively retired better value deals and the fact that 80% of respondents believe that Irish hotels offer good value for money for the Actively Retired is proof that we are getting it right for them.”
One of the main comments that came up time and again from hundreds of respondents was the superior personal customer service that Irish hotels offer and the importance of well trained and friendly front of house staff.
“This age demographic is very discerning as they have had a lifetime of experience of staying in hotels and know what they like. It’s so important to get the basics right like making guests feel welcome and cleanliness throughout the hotel.” A warm welcome seems to be paramount and customer service can make or break an experience.
“We work with almost one hundred hotels in Ireland to tailor packages for this demographic and it’s one that delivers loyalty and repeat business for hotels, and more importantly positive or negative word of mouth. From talking to our customers on a daily basis, we have learnt what they like, where they want to go, and what they expect. Little extras like early check-in, a welcome drink and more competitive rates for solo customers go a long way in ensuring these valuable guests return again and again.”