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Senior tourists sociability and travel preparation

Glenn F. Ross (Adjunct Professor, Tourism Programme School of Business, James Cook University Cairns Australia)

Tourism Review

ISSN: 1660-5373

Article publication date: 1 February 2005



Social interaction is a vital facet of life for all age‐groups; for older individuals, the exercise of interpersonal exchange, and the expectation of an accompanying sense of well‐being, can assume an even greater importance when other aspects of life no longer provide opportunities for positive reward. Sociability experiences are likely to influence major indicators of both emotion and cognition, such as life and context satisfaction. The demonstration of personal competence, as may be found in the exercise of problem‐solving strategies, is also an important facility for seniors. This study of both domestic and international senior tourists has examined preferences for travel planning as the expression of a measure of personal control that are associated with sociability needs in regard to family and friends, cultural contacts, entertainment and nightlife, and to retail experiences. Also examined was the extent to which various sociability needs and planning control preferences influence measures of destination satisfaction, intention to return and also a willingness to recommend the destination. This study has found that seniors with higher sociability needs for cultural contact and associated with family and friends would more likely perceive the necessity to prepare for their trip, and also would express higher levels of satisfaction; destination satisfaction was also found to be associated with both the expressed intention to return to the destination, and also a willingness to recommend the destination to others; travel planning was not found to be associated with destination evaluative measures. Implications of these findings for destination managers and for researchers in the senior travel domain are considered.



Ross, G.F. (2005), "Senior tourists sociability and travel preparation", Tourism Review, Vol. 60 No. 2, pp. 6-15.



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Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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