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Title: An examination of senior and mature/senior diaspora tourists' travel motivations and their roles in explaining travel preferences and destination-related assessments
Authors: Otoo, Felix Elvis
Degree: Ph.D.
Issue Date: 2019
Abstract: Over the decades, there have been increasing concerns about the welfare of the aged in society, with most of the discussions focusing on their psychological, physical, and social wellness. Central to the discussion has been the engagement of seniors in leisure and leisure-related travel. Suggestions from various reports project an increasing growth in the senior travel demand up to the year 2050 globally. The absence of scales to measure seniors' motivations for oversea travel has constrained understanding of the senior tourism market. The study was informed by four objectives: first, to develop a scale to measure senior tourists' motivations; second, to examine the differences in preferences for travel types and destinations attributes across senior tourists' motivation clusters; third, to develop a scale to measure mature/senior diaspora tourists' motivations; finally, to test a model to explain the effects of mature/senior diaspora tourists' motivations on destination evaluation, satisfaction, place attachment, and future intention. A rigorous and comprehensive process of scale development was followed for this study. Two sets of questionnaires were developed, pre-tested, and pilot-tested on the targeted samples. The main surveys included an online panel data collection for North American senior tourists, a field survey for Chinese senior tourists, and a field survey in Ghana for mature/senior diaspora tourists. The sample comprised 532 North American seniors, 496 Chinese seniors, and 419 mature/senior diaspora tourists. Regarding senior tourists, eight motivation dimensions were extracted: seeking knowledge/learning, seeking once-in-a-lifetime experience, escaping, experiencing culture/nature, seeking self-esteem, achieving a sense of socialization, seeking time with family, and seeking nostalgia. Cluster analysis was conducted where five distinct motivation clusters were identified. Marked differences were observed across clusters for both North American senior tourists and Chinese senior tourists. For mature/senior diaspora tourists, five motivation factors were extracted: achieving a sense of pride and learning, escaping, seeking connectedness, attending diaspora events and exploring and spirituality, and seeking a memorable experience. All the factors with the exception of 'escaping' had a direct positive effect on destination evaluation. Destination evaluation positively affected satisfaction and place attachment while satisfaction positively affected place attachment and future intention. Place attachment also positively affected future intention. Important differences were observed in both North American and Chinese senior tourists' preferences across the motivation clusters. The study on mature/senior diaspora tourists generated important implications for destinations that aim to promote diaspora tourism. Overall, participants have positive future intention if they attain a sense of satisfaction and place attachment. Contribution to knowledge and practice of the senior and diaspora travel phenomena were identified. Essentially, eight motivation factors are consistent for both North American senior tourists and Chinese senior tourists' whereas five motivations inform mature/senior diaspora tourist travel. Important variations exist in sociodemographic and travel features across the five motivation clusters of North American and Chinese senior tourists. Similarly, diaspora tourists generate a set of interesting motivations that are different from mainstream tourism motivation theory. In practice, important segments exist for both North American and Chinese senior tourism markets. The study sheds light on which segment of senior tourists is more attractive to destinations in terms of market positioning. For example, appealing to cluster 3 seniors will be more effective when targeting a more elderly clientele within the Chinese senior sample. Targeting a more commercially viable cluster 1 is appropriate for the North American senior supply market. For mature/senior diaspora tourists, promoting place attachment and satisfaction boosters such as festivals and the enactment of historical events is suggested to destination managers and marketers.
Subjects: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Older people -- Travel
Pages: xvii, 329 pages : color illustrations
Appears in Collections:Thesis

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