"Variations in tourism participation are strongly related to age, and this is evident in the style of which many tour operators segment their holiday products by age (club 18-30, saga). There are many inequalities in terms of age and tourism. In the uk, statistics indicate that those aged 16-24 and over 65 are more likely to not have a holiday than other age groups"
(Page, S and Connell, J 2006)
Page et al, 2006 suggests that for the youth tourism market, the 18-30 age range is primarily marketed as backpackers or as consumers of mass tourism. The writer suggest that for some people within this age range that, tourism is used as a symbol of status, as it suggest access to funds and free time from employment. "young adulthood is a time to experiment, to develop confidence in one's own identity, to establish independence, to broaden horizons and to experience sexuality and relationships, and tourism can provide a useful outlet for such needs" (page et al, 2006)
Muller (1997) suggests "older people have the desire to squeeze in as many new activities as possible into their lives, and have the need to explore the world around them for as long as they have good health and physical ability", this is a suggestion that the over 65's are an active tourism sector, which seeks to learn and discover, these are effects which could be sought from cruising or coach travel, which are both notoriously popular with the older traveller (page, 2004).
The thoughts of page and Muller, regarding the motivations of both youth and older travellers, although show regard to the particular age group, do suggest a similar motivation for the purpose of travel, to engage in new experiences and to widen horizons. This is supported further by Guinn (1980) who highlights six generic motivations for travel. Education, learning, rest & relaxation, physical exercise, fitness and to visit friends and relatives.
Not only are the motivations of youth and older traveller's similar but it could also be suggested that constraints to travel are generic. McGuire (1984) suggests five constraints to travel for older people, external resources, time factors, approval, social and physical, it could be suggested that these listed constraints are not only applicable to that of the older traveller but are actually generic.
A small survey was carried out which shows regard to motivation to travel, the survey sampled ten potential youth tourists and ten potential 'older' tourists. The survey simply set out a small number of motivations and asked the respondent there reason for travel, a small number of optional responses were given and the option was made for the respondent to list there own. The majority of "youth" respondents highlighted to 'escape daily routine' and to 'experience new places' as there main reasons for motivation to travel, which mirrors the responses of the 'older' tourist, who also wished to 'experience new places'. It may be noted that the older traveller may be retired and not follow a routine like that of the youth traveller, this mirrors the thoughts of Norman (2001), "variables of retirement and income altered the link between age and motivation to travel"
Understandably, the wide age range between the groups would mean that travellers within the groups enjoy a different type of travel experience, but from research and previous discussion it may be suggested that motivations between the two groups are similar. The holiday product for the age groups will continue to remain different meetings the travel experience needs, and the chances of club 18-30 and saga becoming direct competitors is slim.
As a concluding point, this paper has highlighted the similarities in travel motivation for the youth and older markets. But has barely considered the 'family establishment' and the 'middle aged', two distinctly important market segments of the tourism industry. It may be that again the motivations of these travellers are similar but these market segments have further consideration's such as the family unit, time restrictions and disposable income. Age alone would not be a strong enough basis for determining the tourist's motivation and travel choices.
Guinn, R (1980) Elderly recreational vehicle tourists: motivations for leisure, journal of travel research (19) 9-12
McGuire, F (1984) a factor analytic study of leisure constraints in advanced adulthood, Leisure studies (6) 313-326
Muller, T (1997) the benevolent society; value and lifestyle changes among middle aged baby boomers, in, Korle, L and Chiqouris, l (eds) values, lifestyles and psychographics, Lawrence Erlbaum associates, rhanwan, new jersey 299-316
Norman, W, Daniels, M, McGuire, F & Norman, C (2001) whither the mature market; an empirical examination of the travel motivations of neo mature and veteran mature markets, journal of hospitality and leisure marketing (8) 113-130
Page, s (2003) European bus and coach travel, travel and tourism analyst, (1) 5-30
Page, s and Connell, J (2006) tourism; a modern synthesis, Thomson, London