What drives senior tourists to travel to islands? The case of the Azores

What drives senior tourists to travel to islands? The case of the Azores


Purpose – According to the theory of push and pull factors, the current work aims to present two objectives: (1) to detect what attributes drive senior tourists to travel to the Azores islands, the role played by lecturing activities (LA) as push factors and their influence on the island’s offer (pull factors) are analysed; and (2) to understand the personal and contextual barriers of tourists to provide information to the agents who form part of the tourism supply process on the island.

Design/methodology/approach – The data has been processed using the statistical package SmartPLS version 26. Using an exploratory methodology based on SEM structural equations applied to small sample sizes, a tentative model has been generated to define the drivers of tourism for elderly people who visit the islands.

Findings – The research study reveals that LA are the key factor in completing the offering of tourist destinations in the Azores. Educational packages should be made available to senior tourists. Likewise, several tourism barriers, such as flight times, cost of the trip, concern about the safety of destinations, type of accommodation, language difficulties and medical and health care should also be revised by tourism authorities and flight stakeholders with regard to the Azores Islands.

Research limitations/implications – The reduced sample has made the results impossible to show greater predictive power.
Practical implications – The role played by push factors, such as lecturing or educational activities, and pull factors, such as the tourism offering by the island, allows us to envisage educational packages based on the preferences of senior tourists, such as attending lectures on the history of the Azores, gastronomy (traditional food), active ageing flora, and interesting facts and legends of the islands.

Social implications – As a push factor, social interaction has become the main motivation among senior tourists. Such tourists have conveyed not only their desire to meet other tourists but also their interest in socialising in tourist activities, relaxing and visiting other new places.
Originality/value – Even though LA are relatively common among university students and those with bachelor’s degrees, educational packages for senior tourism are now gaining in popularity. Better socio- economic conditions worldwide and easier access to education for mature people have allowed them to expand their knowledge by travelling to exotic destinations such as the Azores. This paper links that interest with barriers to travel as well as to the Azores’ rich touristic offering.

Keywords Push-pull factors, Senior tourism, Destination offering, Planning activities, Lecturing activities, Azores

Aceder ao Artigo Original

Comments are closed