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Journal cover: Journal of Consumer Marketing

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Online from: 1984

Subject Area: Marketing

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Marketing travel services to senior consumers

Document Information:
Title:Marketing travel services to senior consumers
Author(s):Delphine Le Serre, (ISTEC Business School, Paris, France), Corinne Chevalier, (Université Paris-Sud – IUT de Sceaux, Paris, France)
Citation:Delphine Le Serre, Corinne Chevalier, (2012) "Marketing travel services to senior consumers", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 29 Iss: 4, pp.262 - 270
Keywords:Consumer behaviour, Older consumers, Segmentation, Senior consumers, Service marketing, Subjective age, Tourism industry, Travel motivations
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/07363761211237335 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – The purpose of this study is to identify the profiles of current senior travelers using accurate segmentation criteria based on ageing and behavioral tourism variables, shown to be useful in gerontology, marketing and tourism marketing literature.

Design/methodology/approach – A self-complete questionnaire was administered to a work status-based quota sample of 300 senior consumers (retired people aged 50-76). Using behavioral variables, cluster analysis was performed. The clusters were then profiled using a discriminant analysis, involving demographic, ageing, and also some behavioral variables not included in the initial analysis. Finally, the current tourism offers were studied, considering the segments characteristics revealed.

Findings – Four distinct segments have been identified. Each segment differs considerably from one another on a set of variables, including consumer behaviors variables.

Research implications – This paper fills a research gap, outlined by several previous researchers in the senior consumer field, by identifying the current travel motivations of seniors and the role of subjective ages in the consumption of tourism.

Practical implications – The paper provides dedicated tools to better understand the senior market. It also provides practical guidance for tourism companies to improve their current offer, better target and better satisfy each senior segment.

Originality/value – This research provides the first known tourism French senior market segmentation. It also reveals an interesting (discriminant) segmentation variable for the senior market: the discrepancy age, which has until now been neglected in senior studies. Finally, it addresses an issue linked to one of the major current opportunity markets, i.e. the senior market, for one of the most important service industries, i.e. the tourism industry.

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