Senior Tourism is a Solution to Improve the Health of the Elderly; Investigating the Pattern of Tourism for Senior Tourists in Khorasan Razavi

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Tourism Management and Planning, Jihad University Tourism Research Institute, Mashhad, Iran



Senior Tourism is a Solution to Improve the Health of the Elderly;

Investigating the Pattern of Tourism for Senior Tourists in Khorasan Razavi


Currently, tourism organizations around the world are putting plans on their agenda, based on which a special plan for senior citizens has been prepared. Through that, this group is provided the opportunity to travel. In fact, part of the costs of these trips is provided by subsidies and through governments because they believe that if the elderly go on a trip, many social and medical anomalies will be prevented. Iran will face the aging process of the population in the coming decades; the change in the composition of the population raises the necessity of planning to meet the needs of the elderly. Tourism for the elderly with the aim of prevention and treatment is a new approach that is of particular interest to policymakers in the structures of providing and improving the health and hygiene level of this demographic group. This research has been compiled to investigate the behavioral patterns of the elderly while traveling in order to improve their health and well-being in Khorasan Razavi province, which is one of the tourist-friendly areas for the elderly in Iran.


The current research is applied in terms of purpose and descriptive-survey in terms of the data collection method. A researcher-made questionnaire was used to collect information from Khorasan Razavi province. Descriptive and inferential analyses were performed in the SPSS software environment, and in order to determine the relationship between variables, chi-square tests, bivariate regression tests, eta coefficients, and Yeoman-Whitney tests were used in this software environment. The investigated variables related to the travel patterns of the elderly in Khorasan Razavi province include the motive and purpose of the trip, transportation (vehicle for travel, the vehicle at the tourist destination, how to travel to the destination; individual, family, etc.), accommodation and residence (place of residence and duration of stay at the destination), nutrition, buying souvenirs, willingness to visit attractions and their evaluation of the quality of the facilities in the attractions, travel costs, how to get to know the tourist destination and use electronic tools at the destination, the level of interaction with the local host community, travel satisfaction, their evaluation of the culture of hospitality in tourist destinations and the social capacity of tourists in tourist attractions.

Results and discussion

A prominent feature that can be seen in the studied sample and confirms their patterns is the livelihood of these people's travel because nearly half of them have traveled to visit friends and family, the first place of reference after arriving at the destination after settling in the destination was the house of their friends and relatives, and more than 80% of them did not search for information about the travel destination before the trip. Most of them have traveled by private car and stayed at the homes of relatives and acquaintances. They have also used private vehicles to travel within the city or have traveled on foot. Most of them have personally and independently traveled to the desired destination with their families. They have not used tour services and group trips, and most have cooked their own food. Most of the souvenirs have bought include snacks, beans, handicrafts, ornaments, local products, and consumer goods, which indicate the livelihood of travel among the senior tourists of the province. Most of them have visited religious attractions, and after religious attractions, historical-cultural attractions, natural attractions, and manufactured recreational attractions are in the second to fourth ranks. The most important reason for choosing historical-cultural attractions by the elderly is to get more familiar with the history and culture of the destination and previous experience. They have evaluated these attractions in terms of entrance price, originality, proximity and ease of transportation, cleanliness, facilities, the existence of guides such as brochures, tourist guides, attractiveness and beauty, and uniqueness. The carrying capacity of Khorasan Razavi tourists in visiting attractions is low; this index is influenced by factors such as traffic congestion, verbal arguments with other travelers, garbage in tourist places, and the effect of commercial construction on the attraction landscape. The rate of use of electronic tools by senior tourists in tourist destinations is very low, and few of them are used to find the address of places in the travel destination, identify historical, natural and cultural attractions, identify restaurants and cooking centers, choose and reserve a place. Staying and buying tickets have used electronic tools. More than half of the tourists have not interacted with the local community. However, senior tourists who have interacted with the local community have a higher average travel satisfaction (91.18) than tourists who have not interacted with the local community. More than half of the people have been very satisfied with their travel experience, because they have reached their trip goal, visiting relatives and friends, or for treatment and family fun.


The results showed that the pattern in travel is the main criterion for segmenting the market of senior tourists and the development of domestic tourism, especially the type of leisure tourism, the provision of special services for the elderly in tourist places, the design of recreational and health villages with special facilities for the elderly, and the planning of low-cost tours for the elderly through the activation of related communication networks and the membership of the elderly in them, it can turn senior tourism into a tool for improving the health of the elderly. The results of this research indicate that this model has unique characteristics in Khorasan Razavi, because the topic of pilgrimage in Mashhad and the special interest of Iranians in pilgrimage as a special competitive advantage of this region, destination planning and Tourism has affected the elderly.


Main Subjects

Articles in Press, Accepted Manuscript
Available Online from 21 April 2024
  • Receive Date: 24 November 2022
  • Revise Date: 17 April 2024
  • Accept Date: 21 April 2024