Retirees’ tourism behaviour in Andalusia: stability and change in the first decade of the twenty-first century

Karina Nielsen
  • Anatolia, September 2015, Taylor & Francis
  • DOI: 10.1080/13032917.2015.1083205

Seniors’ tourism behaviour in Andalusia

What is it about?

This article examines changes in retirees’ tourism behaviour, focusing on life cycle and period effects. Two questions are discussed: Are there stable patterns in retirees’ tourism behaviour? Do retirees simply act as other tourists, following mayor tourism trends? Based on microdata exploitation of a broad survey of visitors to Andalusia, first, retired tourists’ behaviour was compared to other tourists, and a specific cluster analysis of retirees’ behaviour was repeated in three separate time periods (2000, 2004, and 2008). Second, the results were compared over time. The results show, on the one hand that retirees’ behaviour is both different from other tourists and heterogeneous, and on the other that there are signs of both stability and change in retirees’ behaviour. The study highlights how the retirement situation may influence tourism behaviour and underline differences with respect to other (younger) tourists.

Why is it important?

Current population ageing is expected to continue over the next decades in the industrialized countries, highlighting the importance of the older group. Moreover, some destinations receive relatively high rates of retired or older visitors. The article adds to the few temporal approaches by examining changes over time in a destination, widening understanding of stable and changing patterns in seniors’ tourism behaviour. Also, two key variables are suggested for examining seniors’ varied tourism behaviour in a destination: the travel arrangement and the length of stay.


Dr Karina M Nielsen
Universidad de Malaga

Older tourists may show similar preferences and motivations to other (younger) tourists, but new market trends seem to be adopted in a different way.

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