Analysis of studies on the travel motivations of senior tourists from 1980 to 2017: progress and future directions

Felix Elvis Otoo, Seongseop Kim

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


As the global senior population expands, there is increasing scholarly interest in the intersection between tourism and the aging population. After nearly four decades of scholarly inquiry, there is the need for a comprehensive review of emerging studies. Therefore, this study was initiated to investigate publications on senior tourists’ motivations from 1980 to 2017. Specific objectives include the identification of publication trends over the years, the identification of research methodologies, and an analysis of the nature of the motivations that have emerged over the past three decades. To accomplish these, a systematic and snow-balling process was employed to identify relevant publications on travel motivations. Furthermore, a classification of senior tourists’ motivations into domains is provided. The findings suggest a potential increase in publications in the coming decades, domination of certain markets, including the USA, Australia, and China, the emergence of four broad senior travel motivation domains divided into 13 sub-domains, and some distinctiveness and similarities in senior travel motivations in comparison with other motivation schemes. These motives vary across different generations of seniors. The variables identified in this study provide a useful theoretical understanding of the senior travel phenomenon and for future studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-417
Number of pages25
JournalCurrent Issues in Tourism
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2020


  • aging
  • motivation
  • nostalgia
  • Senior tourism
  • socialization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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