Older tourists’ travel motivations and overall satisfaction at the destination: The case of Sirmione

Vania Vigolo, Francesca Simeoni, Fabio Cassia, Marta Ugolini


Purpose: As the number of older tourists is progressively growing due to population ageing, tourism destinations are increasingly striving to attract them. For this purpose, destination marketers need to gain deep knowledge about the relationships between older tourists’ travel motivations and satisfaction at the destination. This paper aims to provide an in-depth examination of such relationships in a specific destination, highlighting the effects of four travel motivations (culture; pleasure-seeking; relaxation; physical).

Methodology: A cross-section design was adopted based on a survey among a sample of older tourists visiting Sirmione, a mature destination located on Lake Garda, Italy. Data were analyzed through multiple techniques, including analyses of variance and linear regression.

Findings: The results reveal that relaxation was the most important motivation making older tourists decide to visit Sirmione. Moreover, relaxation was the only motivation showing a statistically significant relationship with satisfaction at the destination.

Practical implications: The results of this study provide destination managers with valuable inputs to reposition their destination to effectively attract older tourists.

Originality/value: This paper contributes to enhance available knowledge – which is quite scarce – about the effects of travel motivations on satisfaction at the destination among older tourists.


Older tourists; tourist satisfaction; travel motivations

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