Sabine Switalla is an economist and marketing professional working in the tourism industry since 1995. She has worked as a destination manager for the biggest tour operator in several destinations world-wide.

Sabine has a Master’s Degree in Economy and Marketing from the University of Paderborn, Germany and a Degree in Tourism Management from the University Autonoma de Guadalajara, Mexico. During her postgraduate study, she has obtained a Human Resources Manager Degree from the Manager School of Harzburg, Germany.

In the last years, Sabine was involved in educational activities at the University of Cap Cana, Dominican Republic, as well as at the University of Poznan, Poland. The main fields she covered with her lectures were the topics of Destination Management and Destination Marketing – with the specialization being: Creating Destination Brands.

In the position of Area Manager, Sabine has received the Service Quality Award 5 times and the Innovation Award 6 times, chosen from the world-wide participating destinations for their achievements in Service Excellence, as well as Innovation Implementation.

Since 2012 Sabine lives in Greece and focus on Senior and Health Tourism Development, unfolding its future potential with the involvement of the country’s infrastructure and touristic benefits for the mature European markets. 


How do “ageing European Countries” affect the tourism industries?

By the year 2050, a third of the European population will be over 65 years old. These ageing European societies are a challenge for the health and care systems, whereby even today the German Care Sector is missing 36.000 workers. As such, the Tourism Industry is being affected by major demographic, cultural and economic trends and changes.

Have the changes already created a severe impact on the nature of tourism demand and how far are they expected to shape the future of tourism offerings for the senior citizen travel services?

The reasons for this demographic development are resulting from fertility rates and longevity of life. The well-traveled tourist of the twenty-first century, with widespread digitization of society and higher tech-knowledge has given older people better access to information. This increases their expectations of service quality and the type of care they expect to receive. Today’s senior citizens are not passive in this process.

New demands are placed on the travel industries by the market-conscious, and the growing industry market share. Guests with some index of functional incapacity will require a range of services which deal with the health, personal care, and social needs of individuals. This reinforces the need to integrate both health and tourism which results from the demographic challenges that are reaching a significant part of the travel industry market.

In conclusion, the unstoppable demographic development and the impact on tourism industries can no longer define senior citizens as a segment in the travel industry. Rather we must start a process of integrating these evolving needs into all parts and strategies of the two industries. The natural development is no longer a choice but a need of orientation and strategy.