Senior tourists’ preferences in the developing countries – measuring perceptions of Serbian potential senior market

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Abstract

Senior leisure travel became a significant part of the global tourism market, and developing countries with lower GNP, such as South-East European countries, are also part of this trend. The principal aim of the paper was to explore the senior tourists’ preferences (choice of destination, transport, and accommodation), their travel motivation, and travel limitations of this fast-growing market with immense potential in this country. A questionnaire was used to collect data from 320 senior tourists in the five biggest cities of Serbia. The results indicate spa and mountain centres as preferable travel destinations among the potential senior tourists in Serbia, while the major factors for choosing a destination showed to be travel costs, climate conditions, and destination proximity. The research findings also showed that the principal travel motives are rest and relaxation and health improvement, and in connection to this, the most preferable activities on the destination are engagement in spa and medical treatments and spending time in unspoiled nature. Moreover, the study indicates financial difficulties and health concerns as the major travel barriers of potential senior market in Serbia. The research findings can be used as a framework for all tourism stakeholders involved in tailoring a specific tourism product for Serbian senior travel market.

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