Tourist Activity of Senior Citizens (60+) Residing in Urban and Rural Areas

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The objective of this study was to analyze the influence of place of permanent residence (urban or rural) on the tourist activity of senior citizens (60+) of different socioeconomic statuses. The study involved 380 senior citizens (305 female and 75 male) aged 60 years and older who were permanent residents of the region of Warmia and Mazury, Poland. In this group, 244 subjects resided in urban areas and 136 participants were rural dwellers. The respondents were asked to complete a questionnaire regarding their socioeconomic status (place of permanent residence, age, gender, educational attainment, financial status, membership in senior organizations, marital status, and professional activity) and tourist activity. A significance test of two structure coefficients (α=0.05) was applied. Factors such as gender, professional activity, and marital status were not related with the travel propensity of seniors from different groups (urban and rural), but were significant when rural residents were compared with urban dwellers. Seniors residing in urban areas of Warmia and Mazury, Poland, were significantly more likely to travel for leisure than those residing in rural areas. The tourist activity of seniors decreased significantly (p<0.05) with the age (60-74 years) and financial status of rural residents. The travel propensity of elderly people increased significantly (p<0.05) with educational attainment and membership in senior organizations. The study revealed considerable differences in the socioeconomic status and social characteristics of seniors residing in rural and urban areas, and those variations significantly influenced their propensity for travel: urban residents traveled more frequently than rural residents. It can be concluded that place of residence was a crucial factor determining the tourist behavior of senior citizens, and urban dwellers were more likely to travel.

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