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Kingdom, a premium destination for senior travel

by Staff

Cambodia holds significant potential as a senior-friendly travel destination, offering a rich tapestry of cultural, historical, and natural attractions. To fully harness this potential, addressing challenges such as improving accessibility, ensuring quality healthcare, and adapting to the tropical climate is crucial.

“Tailoring travel experiences to cater to senior needs, including cultural tours, river cruises, culinary experiences, and wellness retreats, can enhance Cambodia’s appeal,” said William Lake, co-owner of Olive & Lake to Khmer Times. With strategic investments in infrastructure and tailored travel packages, Cambodia can be a premier destination for senior travellers, blending cultural enrichment with comfort and care.

Senior travellers represent a lucrative market with their increased disposable income and flexible schedules, felt Craig Dodge, Director of Sales and Marketing of Phare Circus. Cambodia, with its vibrant cultural heritage and captivating historical sites, holds immense appeal for seniors. The nation’s developing infrastructure, including senior-friendly accommodations and transportation options, is steadily enhancing accessibility, further attracting this discerning demographic.

Given the escalating demand for retirement facilities in ageing nations such as China, India, Japan, and Korea, Cambodia emerges as a strategic location for their development, was the opinion of Catherine Germier-Hamel, Founder & CEO of Millennium Destinations. “Specifically, I believe repurposing unfinished structures in Sihanoukville into retirement homes aligns with the objectives of the ‘Special Investment Promotion Program in Sihanoukville 2024’,” she added.

“For westerners the things that are important are security in terms of health, investment and personal security, which I think is well taken care of in Cambodia but for health, the reputation I’m afraid is not high enough to convince people who might have weaker health conditions,” pointed out Alexis de Suremain, Maads brand Founder. “If we are looking at the upper segment they need cultural life and a lot of elderly wealthy people are interested in contemporary art, which is virtually non-existent. It depends on which crowds you want to attract but if you want to attract very wealthy western seniors you need to boost the contemporary art scene and related events,” he said.

Quality is the biggest challenge for attracting more seniors, explained Allan Michaud, Lodge Manager, Cardamom Tented Camp. “They need a little luxury, but also they need to be sure the food they eat is safe. Countries in Asia have a reputation for unclean food in many western countries and judging by the number of guests arriving at the camp sick, it’s a serious problem. We follow UK standards in our kitchen, to ensure our guests are safe.”

Cambodia’s tropical climate can present challenges for seniors, necessitating careful planning and potential itinerary adjustments to ensure comfort, continued Dodge. Visitors should be aware that uneven terrain, a lack of ramps, and narrow pathways at some locations may pose mobility difficulties. Furthermore, access to quality healthcare, especially in the event of emergencies, might be limited in remote areas, highlighting the importance of planning and preparation for senior travellers.

“I think the seniors market is huge as many seniors have money to spend. For us at Cardamom Tented Camp, a large percentage of our guests are 50 to 60 range and we get quite a few 70 to 80 year olds, many of which are very active,” added Michaud.

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