An exploration of the Innovation Theory of Successful Ageing among older tourists

Galit Nimrod, Arie Rotem

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


This article aims to examine patterns of innovation in older adults' tourism, and to explore whether innovation is associated with the benefits gained from the overall tourism experience. The study was based on a national mail survey of 298 retirees, who travelled abroad at least once in the year prior to the survey. Results indicated that participants' involvement in new experiences during their last travel abroad was quite high. Factor analysis of new experiences data identified two factors: 'external innovation', which included experiences that were associated with the external environment visited; and 'internal innovation', which consisted of experiences that were associated with some intrapersonal processes. Cluster analysis conducted on the new experiences' factors identified three groups of older tourists: non-innovators, external innovators and absolute innovators. These groups were differentiated in terms of travel patterns and destination activities. In addition, the absolute innovators reported a significantly higher level of agreement with various benefits statements than the other groups. Examining the findings through the lenses of the Innovation Theory of Successful Ageing helps to explain older adults' tourism experiences. Moreover, since the findings imply that experiencing 'internal innovation', rather than 'external innovation', amplified their overall tourism experience, this article suggests a new principle to the theory, which should be tested in future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-404
Number of pages26
JournalAgeing and Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2012


  • ageing
  • benefits gained
  • destination activities
  • innovation theory
  • leisure
  • travel


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