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Place development for international retirement migrants: a decision-making process model

Ann Suwaree Ashton (Graduate School of Tourism Management, National Institute of Development Administration, Bangkok, Thailand)
Noel Scott (Sustainability Research Centre, University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia)
Therdchai Choibamroong (Graduate School of Tourism Management, National Institute of Development Administration, Bangkok, Thailand)

Journal of Place Management and Development

ISSN: 1753-8335

Article publication date: 19 June 2019

Issue publication date: 11 July 2019

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the decision-making processes of international retirement migrants. The development of a place in response to the high demand for international retirement migration has become an important strategy for stakeholders within host destinations; of particular interest is international retirement migrant behaviour and intention to stay and retire in a foreign country.

Design/methodology/approach

This research presents the results of a qualitative study using face-to-face interview techniques. Content analysis technique was used to analyse data from interviews with 33 international retirees in Thailand.

Findings

Destination stakeholders must consider creating awareness of the destination through WOM, trustworthy websites and government channels, which migrants evaluate a destination based on pre-retirement visits that create attachment and emotional feelings for the place, and finally, the decision-making processes of short stay, semi-permanent and permanent migrants.

Research limitations/implications

This qualitative study investigated migrants from Europe, Australia and the USA. An understanding of IR migrants from Asia needs further research.

Practical implications

The results can be used as guidelines for government, hospitality and tourism stakeholders. IR migrants want different destination attributes to mainstream tourists, especially a peaceful environment, mild weather (not too cold or hot), and to live among locals.

Originality/value

This study examines migrant decision-making processes. The results provide a theoretical foundation for how IR migrants decide to retire overseas. This comprises three components: destination awareness, secondly, evaluation of the destination’s resources, and finally, the decision and implementation of their plans.

Keywords

Citation

Ashton, A.S., Scott, N. and Choibamroong, T. (2019), "Place development for international retirement migrants: a decision-making process model", Journal of Place Management and Development, Vol. 12 No. 3, pp. 449-468. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPMD-05-2018-0035

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited