Organization

CULTURAL VOLUNTEERS PROGRAMME OF PARQUE DE LAS CIENCIAS SCIENCES PARK (Granada, Spain)

Parque de las Ciencias is an interactive museum of over 70,000 m2. Located a just a few minutes’ walk from the historic city centre of Granada, it has one of the most varied offers for cultural and scientific leisure in Europe. This activity is part of a National Programme started in 1998, the programme affects cultural equipment of different regions. Elderly people who want to be a cultural guide apply for this at the institution. Then they receive training (2 months): general information about the institution, itineraries for the visit, basic rules for dealing with the public, etc. Each volunteer chooses a day (from Tuesday to Friday); preferably in the morning. The programme is aimed at elderly people. Volunteers are people over 50 years old. They guide groups of the elderly. The central government funds the cost of insurance of each volunteer. This best practice has been chosen because of its innovative character. The Science Park is one of the main tourism resources of the province; elderly people have an important place in the planning centre. Another important reason has been the features of this building, adapted to people with reduced mobility; wheelchairs can be requested at the information point. Guide dogs are admitted. All the itineraries are accessible. This is not usual. The programme has been operational for more than 10 years and the results and the success of it have been checked. The main challenge is to adapt the training course to the circumstance of each person. The volunteers change every year and the programme has to be adapted for them. The institutions that are involved in the programme are: Parque de las Ciencias as the institution. Volunteer group of the park work, European Union, Spanish Confederation of Elderly Centres (CEATE); Central Government, Cultural Department and Social Issues Department (IMSERSO). Read more here



TOURISM PACKAGES 55+ (Bourgas region, Bulgaria)

Tour Operators in Bulgaria (Aero travel, Bohemia and Profitours) have contracts for the implementation of the  social programme of the Spanish government to support tourism. This programme is for people above 55 years  old (55+) from 20 European countries, incl. Bulgaria to spend one week in the Canary Islands and Valencia in the  off-season, i.e. spring and autumn. Younger people may join the trip if they are accompanying a person above 55  years old. The tourism packages for 55+ include flight tickets, 7 days’ FB, one excursion with a guide. The total  price is 450 EUR per person. The Spanish government pays between 100 – 150 EUR per person. Read more here



STATE SPECIFIC SUBSIDY FOR RETIRED PERSONS IN THE SLOVAK REPUBLIC (Prešov region, Slovakia)

This activity is directly aimed at seniors and the support  of senior tourism in Slovakia. The State subsidy for  retired persons in the Slovak Republic is an activity  declared by the Ministry of labour, social affairs and  family of the Slovak Republic. The activity has a  multiplication effect: in accordance with the subsidy  programme the hotel company SOREA expanded its  offer for seniors and target groups who are not eligible  to ask for the subsidy (disabled persons, working  persons above 55 years of age...) and offers various  discounts via the programmes “Senior fit” and “Senior  relax-fit”. The holiday stay offers other services such  as wellness, relaxation procedures and further similar  products aimed at senior tourism. Read more here


MICRO – CLUSTER COLLABORATION MODEL (Vidzeme Planning Region, Latvia)

The tourism advisory board of Valmiera and its surroundings was established in 2010 to act as a micro-cluster collaboration model to develop tourism. It consists of Valmiera City and three small neighbouring municipalities, which are linked functionally to provide tourism in the area. Tourism specialists, entrepreneurs, service providers in local municipalities as well as research and education institutions cooperate to promote a common destination. The establishment is aimed to be competitive both at a regional and national level, attracting more people and benefiting local economics by knowing target groups to work with, including seniors. The basic statement is to create a high-quality, attractive and recognisable brand of tourism destinations. Joining the network is open and free of charge, it is not tied to a specific territory anymore. The board meets regularly to discuss the further development of the local tourism as well as to share information and cooperate in implementing new projects. Read more here


SENIOR TOURISM PACKAGES AND SENIOR DISCOUNTS OFFERED IN THE TOWN OF HARKÁNY (South transdanubia, Hungary)

Harkány is one of the most frequented tourism destinations of the South Transdanubian Region, having an  international reputation thanks to its unique thermal and curing waters and therefore being very popular among the  65+ senior tourists. In the surroundings of the town an unspoilt environment, rural-like architecture, good quality  local cuisine and wines are found, widening the portfolio of attractions. In Harkány several hotels, restaurants  operate to accommodate and serve tourists coming from Hungary and abroad. The tourism offer of the town  is managed through local cooperation under an umbrella organisation called Harkány Tourism Management  Organisation (TDMO). TDMO operates closely with private touristic entrepreneurs and with public organisations  as well. From the latter, the Thermal Spa Harkány and the Medicinal Spa Hospital of Harkány are to be mentioned. The good practice addresses the problem that a significantly low number of senior tourists visit Harkány in the  low season. By providing differentiated, targeted packages to seniors at a reduced price including relaxing and  curing treatments, considering their special characteristics and accommodation needs, the number of senior  tourist visits could be increased in the low season. It has also been coupled with urban development measures  to build public fountains, benches and a meeting place for seniors in the town. The challenge is to get seniors to  shift their travelling from high to low season, but also to increase their stay and spending in the less frequented  tourism period. The cooperation behind this work and the tourism packages offered to seniors are the core  elements of this practice.

The lesson learnt from this good practice shows that senior tourists are not an age group, but rather a special  market niche. Bearing this in mind, TDMO created a new tourism product type with its own senior tourism  packages. Read more here

 


FEDERATION OF SOCIAL ORGANISATIONS – FOSa (Warmia- Mazury, Poland)

The FOSa Federation of Social Organisations of the Warmia-Mazury region aims at creating complete solutions facilitating a better standard of living of senior communities. Working together with a coalition of more than 100 organisations and partners, including the Warmian-Masurian Regional Government, NGOs, as well as public administration and private companies, the Federation implemented the Regional Programme for Seniors 2009-2013. It also took a leading role in the preparation of the new edition of the Programme for 2014-2020, which included senior tourism as one of its key areas of intervention. The most visible and comprehensive actions of FOSa include, among other things: establishment of the office of a Regional Ombudsman for Seniors, establishment of the Warmian-Masurian Network for Seniors, organisation of Regional Meetings of Senior Communities, organisation of the School of Social Organisers working in senior communities, establishment of the Warmian-Masurian Academy of the Third Age. FOSa develops and promotes senior tourism through the Generation periodical, international voluntary work and study visits for seniors. Since 2013 FOSa has been actively engaged in a new initiative promoting senior tourism entitled Silver Sharing which, through a series of exchanges between hosting and visiting senior organisations, combines social tourism with education and the self-improvement of seniors. Read more here


TDM ACTIVITIES OF HAJDÚSZOBOSZLÓ (Hajdú-Bihar county, Hungary)

The Hungarian Great Plain (Hajdúszoboszló is the 3rd  most visited spa in Hungary, the average number of  spa visitors annually is more than 1 million, one third of  them are foreigners). Its main attraction is the bathing  complex with its famous spa, open-air bath, Aquapark  and Aqua-Palace. The conditions for active and passive  recreation are available in Hajdúszoboszló thanks  to the features and services of the city. The catering  units, hotels and the city of Hajdúszoboszló offer a  wide variety of programmes in addition to bathing. The  well maintained and landscaped resort city is perfectly  suitable for the recreation of families and those who  wish to recuperate and refresh themselves.

The complex service provision for elderly people  visiting Hajdúszoboszló Spa is the most important  activity of Hajdúszoboszló TDM. In offering services  for other age groups as well, one of the main target  groups of the TDM is to serve domestic and foreign  senior tourists. Read more here


MAZSALACA SENIOR INITIATIVE (Vidzeme Planning Region, Latvia)

Mazsalaca is one of the small towns having lost great numbers of population due to emigration and the limited local labour market. Therefore the older generation comprises a great proportion of the local population. The senior organisation “Atbalss” was established in 2010 and it is one of the best and most well recognised senior organisations in the region, being a very good example for others. The organisation is aimed at promoting an active lifestyle by doing lots of physical activities, continuing to socialise with other seniors and exchanging experiences through travelling. Cooperation with the local municipality is very strong and it helps to organise common activities with other seniors organisations at a local, regional and international level. Read more here


MECSEK ÖKOCSALI (South transdanubia, Hungary)

Mecsek Ökocsali’s good practice offers special tourism and leisure programmes for seniors in the rural areas of  the Mecsek hills. Vörösdombi Guesthouse is an Ökocsali location in a village called Cserkút, with the settlement  being part of the conurbation of the South Transdanubian regional capital city of Pécs. Mecsek Ökocsali could be  translated into English as an appetiser, whetting the appetite for ecotourism in the Mecsek hills. The idea behind the practice is to target seniors, middle aged, young people and children, the main target group  being 65+ men and women showing an interest in rural/village ecotourism and socialising with others their age  as a part of this.

Mecsek Ökocsali offers services of active leisure in eco-tourism which enables families with seniors to leave the  older people at the guesthouse where the hosts take care of them, involving the older people in traditional rural  activities while the family is away from them. Also, seniors can spend time at the guesthouse with the grandchildren,  where they may play the almost forgotten games of old times, or learn together with their grandchildren about  plants, trees in the forest, traditional rural raw-material production, food processing and making.

The common element of Mecsek Ökocsali services is ecotourism in a rural environment with senior involvement.  In a wider context, Mecsek Ökocsali is a truly bottom-up initiative, building on the offers of various guesthouses,  accommodation at different service providers in Cserkút, who cultivate the historical ethno, cuisine and leisure  activities of the rural area targeted by this good practice. Last but not least, seniors can be not only tourists, but  also offer the above mentioned eco-tourism services as guesthouse owners or senior entrepreneurs. Read more here


SENIOR INITIATIVE – INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGE VOLUNTARY WORK (Vidzeme Planning Region, Latvia)

The exchange programme of international voluntary work for seniors is based on a project activity called “International work” and was implemented from December 2010 till December 2012. Gulbene region seniors from Latvia and Cornwall seniors from England participated. The project was supported by Gulbene Municipality and “Point Europe” England. The target group of these activities are seniors (aged 55+) as well as youth who help to communicate better with English. Seniors did voluntary work in the grounds of a cemetery. Read more here

 

PENSIONERS’ CLUBS (Bourgas region, Bulgaria)

Pensioners’ Clubs started to be implemented in  Bulgaria in the middle of the 20th century. The activities  of Pensioners’ Clubs are funded by the budget of each  municipality. Each year the Municipal Council approves  and votes the annual budget for their activities. Retired  people have plenty of spare time. Some of them are  alone. They want to communicate with people their  age, be involved in social, cultural and sports events.  In order to coordinate their activities each housing  area can establish Pensioners‘ Club. Usually the  municipality or state provides the club with premises.  The equipment of the club is usually donated. There  is a small coffee shop that is managed by a member  of the club. It sells coffee, tea, soft drinks, beer, etc. to  those people who visit the club. Every month people  from the club organise different events – folk evenings,  excursions, meetings, lectures, etc. Members of  Pensioners’ clubs travel in order to meet people from  other clubs in other towns either in Bulgaria or in  nearby countries. Read more here


COUNCIL ОF VETERANS FROM THE PETRO–CHEMICAL REFINARY (Bourgas region, Bulgaria)

The aim of the initiative was to create an organisation of retired people from the biggest company in the Burgas  region “LUKOIL NEFTOCHIM BOURGAS”. This was done by a group of veterans from the petrochemical plant  and with the assistance of the Management Board of the company “LUKOIL NEFTOCHIM BOURGAS”. The  organisation was called the Council of the veterans–petrochemists and was established in May 2003. The  Council of the veterans-petrochemists is a voluntary, free and self-governing association that carries out activities  in favour of its members - veterans-petrochemists. One of the priorities of the company in the social policy is care  for petrochemist pensioners. The organisation is unique in the country with regard to its conception, with regard  to the Company attitude to its former workers and its strength – 4251 members. Read more here


WOMEN’S COOPERATIVE OF KOKKINOGEIA (Region of East Macedonia and Thrace, Greece)

The Cooperative was established in a rural area of the Regional Unit of Drama in 1997, by 21 women - first generation refugees from Pontos (Asia Minor). These women transferred and conserved the knowledge and skills of their ancestors’ recipes from the East. When they first started, they only bought some pieces of equipment, but as they progressed they managed to buy more through European Community funding and house their own facilities. Gradually, they developed unique and diverse food products, which were distributed beyond the local market. Today, the Cooperative is a highly profitable activity that meets many imitators. Its establishment is next to the cave of Aggitis, providing a further attraction to senior tourists. Read more here


OLD TRAVELLERS CLUB (Podkarpackie Region, Poland)

The main objective for the Old Travellers Club is an offer dedicated to elderly people who require a special approach and expect proposals regarding all the restrictions caused by their advanced age. The strong educational component allows them to keep mentally active. The Club helps to build new interpersonal ties in the elderly group of local society. The aim of the activities is the intellectual improvement of the participants, mainly retired people (over 65). Members of the Club are often experienced members of the Polish Tourist and Sightseeing Society (PTTK) – the Club is part of the structure of PTTK Rzeszów branch. Read more here


ACTIVE RETIREMENT IRELAND (West Region, Ireland)

Active Retirement Ireland (ARI) is a national network of over 500 local Active Retirement Associations with over 23,000 members. ARI combats ageism through the reality and everyday work of the self-organised local associations and the regional councils. ARI has a large voluntary base with local, regional and national voluntary committees. ARI ‘s principle aim is to help retired men and women, usually over the age of 50, to lead a full, happy and healthy retirement by offering organised opportunities for a wide range of activities including holidays, outings and socials, creative and learning programmes, indoor and outdoor sports and community work. The ARI was founded in 1978 and continues to grow year-on-year. There are currently 74 Active Retirement Associations in the West Region of Ireland. Read more here