International tourism later in life : Innovation Theory related to benefits gained

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jill J. Naar (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
Web Site:
Kindal Shores

Abstract: As the Baby Boomer cohort (1946-1964) within the United States age the travel industry will demand a shift in services provided to the senior market. Although there are many research studies on older adults and others on tourism behaviors little research has considered the influence of innovation in the travel behaviors of this generation as they age. Innovation Theory (Nimrod & Kleiber 2007) considers the role of innovation as an opportunity to create a challenging and meaningful life through a growth mechanism. In this study innovation is conceived as new experiences older adults acquire during international tourism.  In an effort to test the reliability of Innovation Theory the current study adapted a previous study (Nimrod & Rotem 2010) which examined Israeli retirees' tourism behaviors with a sample of North Carolina Baby Boomers. Researchers collected 150 questionnaires completed by North Carolina residents who met the criteria of being born between 1946 and 1964 and traveling internationally within the last three years. The current study confirmed findings from the previous study resulting in three clusters of innovators as well as supporting Innovation Theory. The current study also included analyses of variance to compare clusters of travelers according to the benefits of their travel as well as the frequency of their participation in destination activities. Findings indicated that North Carolina Baby Boomers were similar to older adults in Israel related to innovation in international travel behaviors. Findings from the current research expand the literature on theories of aging to consider the emergent generation of older adults. Further findings may inform the tourism industry about appropriate services to a new market segmentation of senior travelers. 

Additional Information

Date: 2012
Recreation, Gerontology
Tourism--United States
Older people--Travel--United States
International travel--United States
Baby boom generation--United States

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