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"I Traveled Alone, but Never Felt Alone": An Exploration of the Benefits of an Older Women's Group Tour Experience

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Older women's group travel is a neglected research topic in tourism studies. Furthermore, research into the sociopsychological benefits of travel is in its infancy. The purpose of this study was to explore the benefits of a group tour leisure experience for older women. Using self-directed photography, 30 members of the Red Hat Society, an all-women's social leisure group, took photographs during their vacation. Later, they expanded on their photographic selections through personal narratives. Findings suggested that the group tour afforded "Red Hattishness," a multidimensional context to have fun, to be self-expressive, and to develop social relationships. Participants articulated that Red Hattishness fostered positive emotions, which in turn led to expressions of well-being. Results are discussed by extending current conceptualizations of group travel for older women and the role of positive emotions in the travel experience, and by exploring possible links between older women's group travel and their well-being.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-03-01

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  • Tourism Review International is a peer-reviewed journal that advances excellence in all fields of tourism research, promotes high-level tourism knowledge, and nourishes cultural awareness in all sectors of the tourism industry by integrating industry and academic perspectives. Its international and interdisciplinary nature ensures that the needs of those interested in tourism are served by documenting industry practices, discussing tourism management and planning issues, providing a forum for primary research and critical examinations of previous research, and by chronicling changing tourism patterns and trends at the local, regional and global scale.
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