Targeting the young at heart: Seeing senior vacationers the way they see themselves

Thomas E. Muller, Aron O'Cass*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


Should senior vacationers be segmented according to how old the person feels, in order to develop and position new tourism products that match the senior's self-perceived age? In this study, 356 people in the 55-plus age group revealed how old they felt, how healthy they felt, and their personal values, travel motives, travel risk perceptions, travel patterns and holiday destination preferences. Upon dividing the seniors into two groups - the young at heart and the not so young at heart - it was discovered that the subjectively younger senior felt in better health, sought fun and enjoyment in life, travelled for physical stimulation and a sense of accomplishment, and had higher expectations of the holiday - and was thereby more prone to disappointment if the holiday turned out not to be satisfying.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-301
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Vacation Marketing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • cognitive age
  • perceived risk
  • segmentation
  • senior vacationers
  • subjective age
  • travel motives


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