LinkedAge is a virtual chain of luxury living facilities in seniors' homes. It is supported by a booking engine for exchanging of accommodations for 65+ persons
LinkedAge is a system for exchanging accommodations in luxury senior living facilities of seniors' homes. It would enable seniors that still like to travel, but for various reasons need a higher degree of trust, safety, and personal assistance at their travel. It could be called AirBnB for seniors or Erasmus type of exchange of rooms between residents of senior resorts. In several countries, the resorts have a high average occupancy rate, yet they have some free rooms. For this reason, the free capacities can be offered to senior tourists at lower prices than in hotels (down to 30%), inclusive of all accompanying services. Any special needs of the senior tourist would be professionally addressed at the holiday destination by the local staff of residential facilities. Currently, no online worldwide booking tool for seniors in hotel-like senior residences is available offering integrated social activities and health & social care services. LinkedAge has been building a global virtual hotel like a chain for 65+ population. It aims at augmenting senior tourism and consequently spending. So far a business model and a marketing plan have been prepared, a webpage established (www.linkedage.com), and the booking engine set-up and tested. Promotion activities in several media and locations in the EU have been performed. The main stakeholders and beneficiaries of the practice are elderly tourists, providers of free accommodation capacities in senior homes, and local tourist services.
Four people (coordinator, informatician, 2 marketing) have been intensively working for 24 months. The project needs intensive financial investments preferably from different stakeholders in the range of 2 mio EUR, predominantly for marketing and recruitment of partners.
Evidence of success
LinkedAge project is good as it would enable millions of seniors to travel at lower costs enjoying short/mid-term holidays, long-term stay (retirement abroad), a swap of the rooms, assisted traveling, and on-site adapted services.
Results: a) Over 70 promotional articles published in e-media (EU, Asia, Middle East, North, Central, and South America); b) several demonstrations in EU; c) two awards for the innovative business idea.
The Linkaged team has been challenged at attracting investors that would support a take-off of the project. With several applications for funding from different resources, the team has not been able to assure further development of the project. Recently, COVID-19 is a great thread to the project.
Potential for learning or transfer
The developed business plan of the project offers institutional membership for different stakeholders that may use the platform and offer the facilities to their regional senior tourists. It has a huge recruitment potential to build a global network of providers consumers of specialized accommodation. Additionally, they may establish/arrange/activate their own touristic facilities with supportive services for the senior tourists that might come to their region. So the members may share potential incomes with the platform holders from the spending of the senior tourists. As an individual membership to LinkedAge is also offered interested stakeholders may build communities with common interests and/or needs/requirements. Good practices being successful may be shared among regions and countries to overcome potential barriers due to different socio-economic systems or cultural differences.