How far is the mature traveller included in marketing approaches in Tenerife?
There are, as you would expect, lots of attractions that are ideal for the mature visitor to this popular holiday destination, but the question is how far do marketing strategies make this clear. For example, all the street tour/excursion booking stands have the same range of promotional material and yes, it is up to the visitor to search for anything they fancy trying. However, looking closely at the leaflets and brochures, you can see family groups or young couples enjoying what is on offer, rarely more mature visitors.
Unfortunately, there is still an expectation of what the ‘British’ tourist wants. Bingo everywhere, karaoke, drag shows, and the pub scene, are the main events targeting British tourists, especially the mature groups or football supporters.
The coast is the main attraction for visitors and where many of the tourist attractions are naturally located. Puerto Colon is a very busy port with focus on promoting water activities, such as diving or snorkelling, which is great for the more active amongst us. With the two largest colonies of Pilot whales and Bottle-nose dolphins in the Strait between La Gomera and Tenerife, this port is where most of the boat trips leave from. Suitable for all ages, you are highly likely to spot these spectacular creatures at close range. Note there is a contradiction here between the demand for boats to venture so close to the pods, despite strict protocols being in place, when you consider the mature market’s desire for more sustainable ecotourism.
There are some tours that appear to be ideal for all age groups, although the information may not be so easy to find. The star gazing experience from Mount Teide is wonderful, especially if you include the Champagne meal and remember to take warm clothing, but note the leaflet shows groups of men or small children enjoying the night sky. As you would expect in most tourist destinations, there are shows where you can experience local cultural history. For instance, Spanish dressage at Gladiux Xanadu watching gladiators fight while you munch your way through dinner. Or a Medieval adventure in Castillo San Miguel in the south of Tenerife, jousting and dinner, plus a Flamenco show in Coliseo Night Club or Piramide de Arona for the dance of the Matador.
While there are tours of vineyards in Tenerife, as well as quality food producers, the information is less easy to find. I have asked for more information from the Tourism Office so that we can get a better picture of what is actually on offer for wine tastings and specialist foods, such as the trip to Bodegas Monje wine producer which included making our own mojo sauces. Their guided tours can only be found through their website, including a special Wine&Sex event held quarterly (yes, you did see the title correctly!). A similar show, with dinner and several ‘gymnastic’ performances by scantily clad dancers, takes place every Saturday evening at the luxurious Scandal club. Are either of these aimed at the mature sector? Not sure, but the food and service were excellent, all perfectly timed to go with the breaks in performances.
So, whether you are looking for activities such as water sports, paragliding (to cross off the Bucket List), or 6.5-kilometre hike in the Reserva Natural Especial, there are lots of options for the mature traveller. If you like food and wine and exploring the culture of the island, there is a lot to choose from once you can find the details. The island is geared towards tourism so they already have lots of experience from a marketing point of view. It may just be that a few sources of information could be extended to target the mature market without resorting to typical cliché views of what we might want from our holiday in Tenerife.
Additional notes. Enrique Martin from Four Communications in Tenerife has put together the following list related to food and wine tours.
- Cantour– Gastronomy route of Canarian cuisine
- El Cardón Natur Experience – Tour: “Secrets of Punta Teno”
- Senda Ecoway– visits to banana plantations, craft brewery, vineyards and more cultural visits linked to gastronomy
- Anaga Experience– variety of excursions and some that are linked to gastronomy, a visit to a cheese factory, wine route, etc.
- Tenerife Wine experience– wine tours
- Volcano Teide – Bruch at Teide plus cable car
- Feel Tenerife– wines and contrasts north/south
- Viajes Teide– wine route
- Bodegas Monje– variety of activities linked to gastronomy and wine
- Bodegas Ferrera– visit to winery + tasting and other activities
- Tip and trips– Anaga and its gastronomy
Dr Jacqueline Jeynes
Member Silver Marketing Association/ British Guild of Travel Writers/ Non-Fiction Authors’ Association. Travel writer, art historian, food and wine lover.