Leisure industry set to focus on over-65s

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Hospitality and leisure businesses in the North West are looking to capitalise on the opportunity of spending by the older generation, with over a third of businesses looking to cater to the over 65s.

New research released today by Barclays shows that the over 65s added £37bn to the UK economy through spending on the hospitality and leisure sector in the last year.

There appears to be a gulf between the perception and reality of the spending power of over 65s. By not fully focusing on the needs of this generation, businesses may risk missing out

This contribution equates to over a third more than the average consumer and 27 per cent higher than the 35 to 54 year olds who are the second biggest spending generation.

Despite this, the Barclays report reveals that the UK hospitality and leisure sector, including businesses in the North West, is missing out on at least a further £16bn in additional revenues by underestimating the spending power of the older generation.

However, businesses in the hospitality and leisure industry based in the North West are planning to make the most of this untapped opportunity.

Over a third of businesses have plans to introduce products or services aimed at the over 65s, compared to the national average of just 21 per cent.

Of the 59 per cent of business with no plans to cater to the over 65s, more than half (55 per cent) believe there already have enough products and services in place for this generation. However, a quarter of those surveyed said they have not yet considered catering to the older generation.

Michael Hartig, managing director for Barclays in the North West, said: “It is clear from the report that the over 65 age group is a huge and untapped opportunity for the hospitality and leisure sector within the UK.

“There appears to be a gulf between the perception and reality of the spending power of over 65s. By not fully focusing on the needs of this generation, businesses may risk missing out.

“In the North West, we have found that a third of businesses in the sector expect that the proportion of their turnover generated by over 65s will increase over the next five years.

“Yet there is still a significant number of businesses that are not planning to introduce any products or services aimed at the currently ‘overlooked generation’.”