Online Communities As A Resource In Older Adults’ Tourism
Keywords:Internet, Social Networks, Leisure Travel, Later Life
AbstractPrevious research found that tourism is a subject commonly discussed in seniors’ online communities. The present study aimed to explore tourism-related contents in these communities and to discover specific age-related themes. The study applied an online ethnography (Netnography) approach, and was based on a full year’s data from 14 leading seniors’ online communities. The final database included 3,425 posts. Contents were divided into three main categories: ‘Practical information exchange’, ‘Search for contacts’, and ‘Travel stories’. Specific age-related themes referred to retirement, seniors’ tours, health insurance concerns, and special rates for elders. Results indicate that online communities serve as a resource in older adults’ tourism both before and after traveling. Dedicated to seniors, they also provide a sphere for expressing age-related issues, which are probably less discussed in other online forums.