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Grey Nomads on Tour: A Revolution in Travel and Tourism for Older Adults

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Abstract:

The "grey nomad" phenomenon is a growth market in Australia. Grey nomads are one type of grey tourist, and are generally referred to as people who are aged 55 years and over, who independently travel around Australia by caravan or campervan for an extended period of time. This study used an ethnographic methodology to collect qualitative data from four couples who undertook an extended, multidestination holiday through the Northern Territory and the State of Western Australia. Narratives were used to illustrate a variety of themes that emerged about the everyday experiences of grey nomads on tour. Travel diaries, and a questionnaire that was completed at the end of the trip, were used as a means of investigating the nomad's engagement with friends and family while "on the road." This article argues that being "far away" physically did not necessarily mean that they were disengaged and isolated for their family and friends. Rather, the study results suggest that these ties were important connections that were maintained throughout their travels.

Keywords: ETHNOGRAPHY; GREY NOMADS; SOCIAL CONNECTIONS; TRAVEL

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3727/108354211X13110944387086

Publication date: 2011-10-01

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  • The aim of Tourism Analysis is to promote a forum for practitioners and academicians in the fields of Leisure, Recreation, Tourism, and Hospitality (LRTH). As a interdisciplinary journal, it is an appropriate outlet for articles, research notes, and computer software packages designed to be of interest, concern, and of applied value to its audience of professionals, scholars, and students of LRTH programs the world over.
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