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Delving into children’s travel dreams: a qualitative investigation

Derya Demirdelen (Department of Tourism Management, İstanbul University, İstanbul, Turkey)
Ziad Alrawadieh (School of Archaeology and Tourism, University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan)
Ahmed Zareer (Faculty of Tourism, Mersin University, Tarsus, Turkey)
Ismail Kizilirmak (Department of Tourism Management, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey)

International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research

ISSN: 1750-6182

Article publication date: 28 October 2019

Issue publication date: 29 October 2019




Drawing on a qualitative study approach using data collected from children in a primary school in Marmaris, Turkey, this study aims to intend to understand children’s vacation perceptions and preferences.


Students were asked to write a short composition describing where they would love to go for vacation (either in Turkey or abroad), why they would choose that destination(s) in particular and what they would do while on vacation. A task-based research technique was adopted, which is more adequate for research involving children participants. A total of 103 compositions were collected and a thematic content analysis was conducted. This approach has been widely used in tourism and hospitality research.


The findings revealed that children can clearly express their perceptions and preferences with regard to leisure activities. The majority of children wanted to visit overseas destinations (specifically, the USA, Germany and France), while a significant portion preferred local destinations within Turkey (specifically, Istanbul and Antalya). The desire for recreation and holiday, exploring new places and trying local foods and visiting families and relatives were identified as key travel motivations.


A key contribution of the current study lies in the fact that it adds to a research stream that shifts attention to insights gained directly from children rather relying on parents as a proxy. The paper has some theoretical and empirical implications.



An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 2nd International Child-Friendly Tourism Congress in Sivas-Turkey, April 2019. The authors would love to thank Dr Zaid Alrawadieh for suggesting the initial idea of this study.


Demirdelen, D., Alrawadieh, Z., Zareer, A. and Kizilirmak, I. (2019), "Delving into children’s travel dreams: a qualitative investigation", International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 359-367.



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