Proving Age is Just a Number: Airbnb Seniors Surge in Experiences Growth

  • The number of Experiences hosted by locals age 60+ has grown by nearly 1100% in the last year.
  • The number of Experience bookings made by guests age 60+ has grown by 260% since 2017.
  • Our 60+ communities in the US, Great Britain and France are embracing Experiences the most, with all three countries in the top 5 countries with the most Experiences hosted by and taken by individuals over the age of 60.
  • Experience hosts over the age of 60 are most likely to be philanthropic, with Social Impact being the most hosted category by seniors.

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.*

growth in the number of Experiences hosted by seniors globally

increase in Experience bookings by seniors 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, ageing 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.”

Countries with the most Experience hosts age 60+*

United States
United Kingdom

Countries with the most Experience guests age 60+*

United States
United Kingdom

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.

Dr. Marc Agronin, geriatric psychiatrist

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 goes back to the organisation it benefits.

Top Experience categories hosted by seniors*

Social impact

Top Experience categories booked by seniors*

Food and drink

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.”

A few of our most active senior Experience hosts and guests took a walk on the wild side of Experiences and this is what they told us:

Toby Klayman, San Francisco

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, but hadn’t yet been an Airbnb Experience guest. Usually bestowing her affinity and skill for multi-media art through her Madame Renaissance Experience, Toby dove head first into a new art form through DJ Lamont’s Learn to DJ Experience:

It’s out of my comfort zone completely and it was very refreshing. This is my first Experience [as a guest] – it was wonderful, I loved it. [DJ Lamont] was wonderful – he’s very devoted to what he does. It’s not like looking at murals in the Mission, it’s not like going to a hotel where there’s a hundred musicians playing in a dance band — this is a different kind of art — it’s from scratch.”

Toby Klayman

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. She put her creative skills to the test in one of today’s newest art forms, drone photography, on Gwee Wan’s Learn to Fly a Drone Experience, by capturing photos of the iconic Singapore skyline. (Spoiler: she passed with flying colours).

“Being a guest was a very interesting experience. Like being a host, it gives me the chance to talk to many different people and learn many new things. As a guest today, I visited a part of Singapore that even I as an 87-year-old have never visited before. I have [also] not seen a drone before. I think it is an amazing machine. It can fly so high!”

Chwee Lian Tan

Luis Castro, Lisbon, Portugal

Luis’ natural born passion for life on the water has been with him nearly his entire life, having started sailing when he was just eight-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. It might come as no surprise that he took to surfing almost instantly with the help of host Filipe on The Surf Instructor Experience.

“This is a great Experience. Very fun. I’ve dreamed of surfing since childhood but never got the chance. I’m 60 years old and never imagined I would stand up in 10 minutes.”

Luis Castro

Susan Grave, Berlin

A self-professed nomad, Susan has lived and travelled all over the world with Airbnb and rarely sits still for too long. She has a wide range of interests – from lifting weights in her local gym to scuba-diving and photography. She wanted to be on the other side of the lens for one day so she was very excited to book Artistic Photoshooting with local Experience host and professional photographer Caterina Rancho. The results from the shoot will form part of a series of work Caterina is assembling for an upcoming photographic exhibition in Berlin.

“My philosophy in life has always been do whatever you love. Don’t put it off or wait for tomorrow because you really have to live for today. Travel keeps me young but so does trying new things and not being afraid of spontaneity. I had such a blast at the photoshoot – even though I still had paint in my hair the next – it was worth every minute of it. My friends think I’m crazy – but maybe they have a point!”

Susan Grave

Deo Angulo, Barcelona, Spain

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. As a guest, Deo witnessed the unveiling of some of the more hand crafted beauty blanketing Barcelona’s walls with host Yuri (or, as he’s known in the artist community, Pezkhamino) on his Paint the Walls with a Street Artist Experience.

“The Experience was very rewarding and it exceeded my expectations. Yuri is a very close person and makes you feel at home. He explained all the secrets of urban art and I had a great time. I recommend it one hundred percent.”

Deo Angulo

Madelyn Naber, Austin, TX

A self-proclaimed “Woman Gone Wine”, Madelyn Naber and her husband Rick have been producing different varietals at their Flat Creek Estate winery for nearly two decades in Austin’s Hill Country. Madelyn’s dedication and effervescence is even more memorable than the tasting for her guests who come from many backgrounds and familiarities with wine on her Hill Country Estate Winery Tour Experience. She transformed her knowledge of notes in dry reds to the notes on the drums with host Ben on his Play Drums in the Music Capital Experience.

The drumming Experience was a new adventure that I would have never thought to try.  I played the clarinet in high school and took a few piano lessons but, playing the drums never even crossed my mind. Oddly, after this Experience I have a new admiration for drummers and would love to take more lessons and learn more about the history of the drums!  It was so much fun!

Madelyn Naber

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. Applying the same cultural approach in his Shodo, to Ken-do, or samurai, Tenshin learned to wield a sword with host Yasu on his Practice Samurai Skills with a Teacher Experience in Osaka.

“I was so much impressed with the young host’s Samurai spirit. That’s why I could follow his lecture – by the end of the Experience not only [did I] study how to handle the sword but the Samurai spirit.”

Tenshin Ito

*Based on internal Airbnb data as of September 2018 measuring year over year growth in Experience hosts and guests age 60+ from Sept. 2017-Sept. 2018, the most popular Experience categories hosted and taken by people aged 60+, and the countries with the highest number of Experiences hosts aged 60+ and guests who have taken Experiences aged 60+.

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