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Tourism as a recruiting post for retirement migration

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Abstract:

The cohabitation of space by tourists and residents in Spain poses a number of important conceptual and policy issues. However, research in this field has been confounded by the lack of resilient and transferable definitions applicable to the many subtle categories of tourists and migrants, as well as by the administrative obstacles and behavioural traits that hinder effective quantification. Yet, the massive scale of the influx of foreign tourists and residents, seasonally or temporarily, underlines the need for a scientific analysis of this phenomenon. The objective of this paper is to deepen our understanding of the mechanisms by which many elderly North Europeans have made the transition from being working-age tourists to retired residents in the Costa del Sol. The starting point for the analysis is their previous experience as tourists and their personal affirmation of spatially mobile behavioural life styles, but the paper also considers the attractions of the environmental conditions of the Costa del Sol, and the tourist images of Spain and Andalusia. The paper ends with a brief commentary on the influence of the retired foreign populations on the destination areas and the future trajectory of tourism-informed migration.

Keywords: COSTA DEL SOL; NORTH EUROPEANS; RESIDENTIAL TOURISM; RETIREMENT MIGRATION; SPAIN; TOURISM

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14616680010008702

Affiliations: Institute of Economics and Geography, Spanish Council for Scientific Research, Spain

Publication date: February 1, 2001

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