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Travel Motivations of Seniors: A Review and a Meta-Analytical Assessment


  • Roberto Patuelli

    () (Department of Economics, University of Bologna, Italy; The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, Italy)

  • Peter Nijkamp

    () (Department of Spatial Economics, VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Faculty of Geographical and Geological Sciences, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland; The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, Italy)


Over the past decades, leisure travel has become increasingly popular in older segments of the world population, as a consequence of global factors such as a rise in life expectancy, improved health conditions, a higher disposable income, and increased availability of discretionary time in retirement age. Consequently, researchers have become more interested in studying the motivations for travel of seniors. A number of questions may be raised or have been addressed in the recent past: What are the main factors explaining the travelling choices of seniors? Are their travel motivations different from the ones of the younger population, which have been widely studied in the past? Are geographical differences in terms of motivations comparable between different age groups? Why is senior tourism a topic of particular interest with regard to Asia? In order to answer such questions, in this paper we provide a review of the literature on the travel motivations of seniors. On the basis of 29 articles published on the topic, we provide a qualitative and meta-analytic assessment of past findings, by investigating the dimensions of travel motivations most frequently employed in past seniors surveys. Finally, we discuss a research agenda for further analysis of senior travel motivations and for the integration of this branch of travel research within a wider framework.

Suggested Citation

  • Roberto Patuelli & Peter Nijkamp, 2015. "Travel Motivations of Seniors: A Review and a Meta-Analytical Assessment," Working Paper series 15-28, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, revised Apr 2016.
  • Handle: RePEc:rim:rimwps:15-28

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    JEL classification:

    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism

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