Tourism experience and quality of life among elderly tourists

Tourism experience and quality of life among elderly tourists

Tourism Management 46 (2015) 465e476 Contents lists available at ScienceDirect Tourism Management journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/tourman ...

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Tourism Management 46 (2015) 465e476

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

Tourism Management journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/tourman

Tourism experience and quality of life among elderly tourists Hyelin Kim, Eunju Woo*, Muzaffer Uysal Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, Blacksburg, United States

h i g h l i g h t s  The study examines travel behaviors of elderly tourists.  The level of involvement and perceived value increases satisfaction.  Travel experience plays an important role affecting leisure and overall quality of life.  Leisure life satisfaction and overall quality of life are the predictors of revisit intention.

a r t i c l e i n f o

a b s t r a c t

Article history: Received 8 November 2013 Accepted 4 August 2014 Available online

The main purpose of this research is to investigate the relationship between the travel behavior of elderly tourists and overall quality of life. Specifically, the study examines the interrelationships between six main constructs: involvement, perceived value, satisfaction with trip experience, leisure life satisfaction, overall quality of life, and revisit intention. Using a sample drawn from elderly tourists in South Korea, the research model investigates nine hypotheses using a structural equation modeling approach. The results show that all nine of the hypotheses are supported. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Elderly tourist Involvement Perceived value Satisfaction with trip experience Leisure life satisfaction Overall quality of life Revisit intention

1. Introduction Forecasts estimate that the number of people over 65 will more than double, consisting 26% of the world's population by 2050 (Haub, 2011). This means that the percentage of elderly tourists, who already make up a significant segment of the hospitality and tourism market (with their substantial population portion as well as their purchasing power), will increase (Bai, Jang, Cai, & O'Leary, €der & Widmann, 2007). 2001; Lohmann & Danielsson, 2001; Schro The size of the elderly tourists has great market potential and economic significance for the hospitality and tourism industry (Bai et al., 2001). The tourism industry has recognized this market potential for a number of years, and tourism policy makers as well as industry practitioners have been focusing on developing competitive business and marketing strategies to target elderly tourists (Bai et al., 2001; Sedgley, Pritchard, & Morgan, 2011). * Corresponding author. 342 Wallace Hall (0429), Blacksburg, Virginia, 24061. Tel.: þ1 540 838 5289; fax: þ1 540 231 8313. E-mail addresses: [email protected] (H. Kim), [email protected] (E. Woo), [email protected] edu (M. Uysal). http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2014.08.002 0261-5177/© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Accordingly, the scholarly literature has examined elderly tourists and their travel behavior, especially travel-related activities, socio-demographic characteristics, preferences, and tourist motivation (e.g., Anderson & Langmeyer, 1982; Bai et al., 2001; Guinn, 1980; Jang, Bai, Hu, & Wu, 2009; Javalgi, Thomas, & Rao, 1992; Norman, Daniels, McGuire, & Norman, 2001; Shoemaker, 1989). For instance, Hsu, Cai, and Wong (2007) examined elderly tourist motivation from Beijing and Shanghai. Based on a qualitative survey and review of motivation theories, the study proposed a conceptual model of tourism motivation for China's elderly tourist. Another example is a study conducted by Shoemaker (1989), who explored the segmentation of the elderly tourist pleasure travel market. The study found that the elderly tourist market is not one large homogenous group but rather that it can be segmented into smaller homogenous groups based on reasons for pleasure travel. In order to understand the elderly's behavior, major psychosocial theories such as disengagement theory, activity theory, and gerotranscendence theory have been developed and applied. Cumming and Henry (1961) proposed disengagement theory. They mentioned that since a reduction in activity is a consequence of the aging process, elderly tourists gradually choose to withdraw from

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active life and focus on inner fulfillment. That is, ceasing participation in leisure activities and social roles lead to more life satisfaction in older adulthood (e.g., Ananian & Janke, 2010). On the other hand, activity theory was introduced in response to the critique of the disengagement theory, and has played a central role in gerontology (Nimrod, 2007). Activity theory explains that the increased discretionary or free time available to retired individuals provides the opportunity for maintaining high activity levels or roles that are essential for life satisfaction and enrichment (Lefrancois, Leclerc, & Polin, 1997). That is, engagement in meaningful activity is linked to life satisfaction. Based on this theory, we hypothesized that “vacation experience” itself can contribute to elderly people's overall quality of life. In this study “vacation experience” is considered a classificatory term used by elderly people to describe their (re)construction of a recent vacation experience, which may include one or several types of activities. In other words, “vacation experience” may be a culmination of a number of activities, types of activities, and strength of those activities. In the leisure industry, many studies have supported activity theory and demonstrated that elderly people's high level of involvement and activity contributes to their quality of life (Fernandez-Ballesteros, Zamarron, & Ruiz, 2001; Iso-Ahola, Jackson, & Dunn, 1994; Menec & Chipperfield, 1997; Palmore, 1979; Riddick & Stewart, 1994; Silverstein & Parker, 2002). For instance, Silverstein and Parker (2002) examined whether changes in leisure activities were related to quality of life among elderly in Sweden. The results suggested that those people increasing their participation across different activities tended to perceive an improvement in their life satisfaction. Another example conducted by Menec and Chipperfield (1997) examined the potential mediating role of participation in leisure activities between perceived control and well-being in the elderly. They found that an internal locus of control was related to participation in leisure activities, which in turn affected the elderly's increased life satisfaction. However, the effects may not apply in all contexts to all subgroups and all activities (Iwasaki & Smale, 1998; Nimrod, 2007). For instance, Nimrod (2007) examined the structure of leisure activities, benefits of leisure, and well-being of old people, revealing that not all types of activities had a positive impact on retirees' wellbeing. Only a few types of activities, such as cultural activities and enrichment activities, affect retiree's well-being; TV and radio, meanwhile, had a negative impact on their well-being. In the tourism industry, limited studies have focused on how the elderly's travel experiences or activities affect their overall quality of life or well-being (Lee & Tideswell, 2005; Milman, 1998; Wei & Milman, 2002). Wei and Milman (2002), for example, investigated the interrelationships between elderly tourist participation in activities, overall satisfaction with travel experiences, and quality of life. The results showed that elderly tourists' activity levels are significantly related to their quality of life. A study conducted by Lee and Tideswell (2005) also tried to understand the specific travel behavior of elderly Koreans. They found that vacation experiences improve their quality of life and creates new interests in their lives. Even though several studies have investigated how tourism experiences of elderly affect their quality of life, there is still limited research on the link between tourism experience and the overall quality of life of elderly tourists, especially the relationship between the level of travel involvement and quality of life. Milman (1998) examined how tourism activity affects elderly tourists' quality of life. The study found that travel by itself may not be a change agent for level of happiness, but there might be other intervening variables, such as level of the travel activity, that could contribute to changes in travelers' quality of life.

Therefore, the main purpose of this research is to understand elderly tourists' travel behavior and its relationship to their quality of life. Specifically, the current study investigates the interrelationships between six major constructs: level of involvement, perceived value, satisfaction with trip experience, leisure life satisfaction, Quality of Life (QOL), and revisit intention. The following sections attempt to establish the theoretical interrelationships between the constructs. Also, the term ‘elderly’ has to be clearly defined. The elderly age group has included a range of different ages, from 50 to 55 to 60e65 years, depending on the specific tourism study (Patterson, 2006). However, literature in gerontology has been reasonably consistent in defining the ‘elderly’ according to their retirement age of 65 and older. Thus, our study defines ‘the elderly’ as individuals aged 65 or over. 2. Literature review and hypothesis development 2.1. Involvement Researchers and marketers are interested in understanding and predicting the complex behavior of consumers. Involvement is a widely used concept in consumer behavior and one of the important psychographic constructs because of its potential effect on both people's attitudes towards an activity and their behavior with respect to decision making (Arora, 1985; Josiam, Smeaton, & Clements, 1999). Many researchers have attempted to define involvement; however, there is lack of consistent definition. One definition of involvement is “a person's perceived relevance of the object based on inherent needs, values, and interests” (Zaichkowsky, 1985, p.342). Also, involvement is defined as an individual's level of interest, the importance of an object to an individual, or the centrality of an object to an individuals' ego structure (Zaichkowsky, 1994). Selin and Howard (1988) defined involvement as “the state of identification existing between an individual and a recreational activity, at one point in time, characterized by some level of enjoyment and self-expression being achieved through the activity” (p. 237). In this study, involvement is defined as the degree of interest in an activity and the affective response associated with that interest (Manfredo, 1989). Clements and Josiam (1995) examined the role of involvement in travel decision-making. They tried to assess respondents' levels of involvement in their decision to travel over spring break not only to assess the ability of the involvement construct to predict the decision to travel, but also to analyze involvement and destination selection. The research findings indicated both that individuals with high levels of involvement are more likely to travel than those with low involvement and those respondents with high levels of involvement are more likely to travel abroad. Moreover, involvement is a significant predictor of some aspects of the decision to travel. The study by Prebensen, Woo, and Uysal (2013) indicated that in tourist experience, involvement is a core antecedent since the tourist has already decided to go on holiday and to participate in certain tourism activities while staying at the destination. That is, the level of involvement affects the level of participation in cocreating experience value positively. Similarly, Chen and Tsai (2008) examined the interrelationship between perceived value, satisfaction, and loyalty of TV travel product shopping, while considering the moderator effect of involvement. The results showed that perceived value has positive influences on satisfaction and loyalty. Moreover, the moderating effects of involvement significantly affect the perceived levels of value, satisfaction, and loyalty models. Specifically, the higher the level of involvement, the

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larger the likelihood that perceived value will lead to greater customer loyalty. Another study, undertaken by Lee and Beeler (2009), investigated the relationships between motivation, involvement, service quality, demographics, satisfaction, and future intention. The findings showed that motivation, service quality, and involvement are significant predictors of satisfaction and future intention. That is, when tourists were highly involved in the programs and activities in the festival, they were more likely to be satisfied. A significant number of leisure studies have examined how increased involvement in leisure activities such as traveling might enhance elderly people's life satisfaction while improving their life expectancy and health condition (e.g., Hendricks & Cutler, 2003; Lu, 2011; Teaff, 1985). Van der Meer (2008), for instance, reported that elderly people involved in leisure activities take part in society, which positively influences their life satisfaction. Moreover, a few theories on aging attempt to address the leisure involvement of elderly and how this influences their overall life satisfaction. The activity theory proposes that the way to achieve greater life satisfaction in older adulthood is through one's ability to maintain or increase involvement in leisure activity. Accordingly, the present work puts forward the following hypotheses: H1. Involvement has a positive influence on perceived value among the elderly. H2. Involvement has a positive influence on satisfaction with trip experience among the elderly. 2.2. Perceived value Perceived value has received growing attention in recent years (Prebensen et al., 2013). Marketing practitioners and researchers have identified that the construct of perceived value is one of the most influential measures of customer satisfaction and loyalty (e.g., Cronin, Brady, & Hult, 2000; Sweeney, Soutar, & Johnson, 1999). The reasons are that perceived value not only directly affects future behavior such as repurchase intention and word of mouth referrals (Brady & Cronin, 2001), but it also increases destination competitiveness (e.g., Pechlaner, Smeral, & Matzier, 2002; Petrick, 2003). Although perceived value has been receiving more attention in research, there is no clear definition of the perceived value construct (Woodruff, 1997; Zeithaml, 1988). Cravens, Holland, Lamb, and Moncrieff (1988) argued that consumers' value perception is the ration or trade-off between quality and price. Holbrook (1999) defined value as an “interactive relativistic preference experience” (p. 5). The most commonly accepted definition of perceived value was given by Zeithaml (1988), who defined four types of values (low price; whatever I want in a product; the quality I get for the price I pay; what I get for what I give) and synthesized the four dimensions in one overall concept. Zeithaml defined value as “consumer's overall assessment of the utility of a product based on perception of what is received and what it given” (p. 4). In this study, perceived value is defined tourists' value perception as “the process by which a tourist receives, selects, organizes, and interprets information based on the various experiences at the destination, to create a meaningful picture of the value of destination experience” (Prebensen et al., 2013, p. 245). In much of the previous research, perceived value has been operationalized with a single-item scale such as “value for money” (Prebensen et al., 2013); however, Bolton and Drew (1991) pointed out that perceived value should not be considered as the outcome of a trade-off between overall quality and sacrifice because perceived value is complex. Moreover, a single item does not address the whole concept of perceived value (Gallarza & Saura, 2006; Sweeney & Soutar, 2001). Therefore, measuring multiple

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components of perceived value has been suggested by many researchers (e.g., Gallarza & Saura, 2006; Sweeney & Soutar, 2001). A broader theoretical framework of perceived value was developed by Sheth, Newman, and Gross (1991). Based on the their foundation, perceived value items were developed for use in a retail purchase situations in order to determine what consumption values drive purchase attitude and behavior (Sweeney & Soutar, 2001). In order to measure the perceived value, the researchers developed four distinct dimensions: emotional, social, quality/performance, and price/value for money. The results revealed that multiple value dimensions performed better than a single value item such as “value for money.” A significant number of previous studies have suggested that perceived value directly leads to favorable outcomes (Chen & Chen, 2010) such as satisfaction and intentions or loyalty in behavior (e.g., Anderson, Fornell, & Lehmann, 1994; Baker, Parasuraman, Grewal, & Voss, 2002; Chen & Chen, 2010; Lee, Yoon, & Lee, 2007; Williams & Soutar, 2009). Williams and Soutar (2009), for instance, investigated the relationship between value, satisfaction, and behavior intention in an adventure tourism setting. The results indicated that value had strong positive effects on overall satisfaction and future intention. Another study conducted by Prebensen et al. (2013) examined the effects of antecedents and consequences of the perceived value of an on-site trip experience. Based on the previous literature review, they developed a framework of perceived value experience and its antecedents (such as motivation, involvement, and knowledge) and consequences (such as satisfaction and future intention). The results showed that perceived value has a positive effect on satisfaction and loyalty. A review of previous research suggests a strong link between perceived value and satisfaction. Consequently, the following hypothesis is provided: H3. Perceived value of trip experience has a positive influence on satisfaction with trip experience among elderly. The hypotheses under involvement and perceived value are of confirmatory in nature has been substantiated in different settings with respect to vacation and trip experience. However, there is, if any, very limited empirical evidence that links such constructs to satisfaction with life or subjective well-being which is under the domain of quality of life (QOL) research. The proceeding section is intended to delineate this connection. 2.3. Quality of life (QOL) Many different disciplines, including psychology, sociology, and gerontology considers quality of life in slightly different terms, such as happiness, psychological well-being, subjective well-being, life satisfaction, quality of life (Gilbert & Abdullah, 2004). Those terms have been used interchangeably. Furthermore, quality of life has been defined in many different ways (Sirgy, 2002); there are, for instance, more than 100 definitions of QOL and models (Andereck & Nyaupane, 2011) because it is clearly difficult to distinguish between such terms as “well-being”, “welfare”, and “happiness”  & Smith, 2011). (Puczko QOL can be defined in either a uni-dimensional or multidimensional nature. There are many examples of uni-dimensional definitions for the concept of quality of life, but the unidimensional concept has been criticized on a number of grounds. The major reason is that it is impossible to obtain estimates of internal consistency. Further, using one single question has limited utility for smaller group comparisons (Cummins, 1997). Therefore, the majority of QOL definitions stress the multidimensional nature of the concept, which typically manifests itself in the specification of a number of QOL domains. In this study, QOL is examined from a

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multidimensional perspective. It refers to satisfaction within individual's life domains and overall quality of life. Even though there is a general agreement that overall perceived quality of life is a composite of satisfaction through the spillover effects of a number of life domains, there is little agreement on the key domains that need to be included to cover the construct of overall quality of life. Identifying robust QOL domains and indicators remain problematic (Dolnicar, Yanamandram, & Cliff, 2012; Sirgy, 2002). Among the many different life domains, the importance of the leisure life domain to overall quality of life has been extensively researched and shows a positive relationship between leisure life satisfaction and overall quality of life (Gilbert & Abdullah, 2004; London, Crandall, & Seals, 1977; Silverstein & Parker, 2002; Spiers & Walker, 2009). London et al. (1977), for instance, examined the influence of leisure satisfaction (compared to job satisfaction) on overall life satisfaction. They found that both leisure and job satisfaction accounted for meaningful variation in life satisfaction. Moreover, they found that job satisfaction and leisure satisfaction contributed relatively little to overall quality of life of minorities and other often “disadvantaged”. Similarly, Spiers and Walker (2009) examined how ethnicity and leisure satisfaction affected people's happiness, peacefulness, and overall quality of life and found that overall leisure satisfaction significantly affected happiness, peacefulness, and quality of life. The first examination on the significance of vacation experience to overall QOL was conducted by Neal, Sirgy, and Uysal (1999). They investigated the significance of vacation experience on leisure life and overall quality of life. Their study results showed that satisfaction with tourism services contributes to satisfaction in leisure life, which in turn affects overall quality of life. Neal, Uysal, and Sirgy (2007) conducted a follow-up study to examine the moderating effect of length of stay. The results revealed that satisfaction with tourism services affects satisfaction in leisure life. Moreover, overall quality of life is more evident for tourists with extended stays compared to tourists with shorter stays. Several other studies also examined the direct effect of tourism experience on overall quality of life (e.g., Dolnicar et al., 2012; Gilbert & Abdullah, 2004; Sirgy, Kruger, Lee, & Grace, 2011). A study by Sirgy et al. (2011) also found that both positive and negative effects on tourists' overall sense of well-being were associated with specific experiences of a trip. The findings of the study demonstrated that positive and negative effects generated from trip experiences do affect overall satisfaction in the 13 different life domains. For instance, positive event experience affects overall satisfaction with leisure and travel life domain, which in turn affects overall life satisfaction. Gilbert and Abdullah (2004) compared the sense of well-being experienced by a group taking a holiday with a group not on a holiday. They found that people who have recently taken a vacation experience a higher overall quality of life both before and after the vacation. In other words, vacation experiences affect the level of quality of life. In order to measure quality of life, several different theories have been used, including telic theories, pleasure and pain, activity theories, associationistic theories, judgment theory, and bottom-up spillover theory. Bottom-up spillover theory is the most popularly used theory among these (e.g., Diener, 1984; Diener, Suh, Lucas, & Smith, 1999; Sirgy, 2002; Sirgy & Lee, 2006). The basic premise of the bottom-up spillover theory is that overall quality of life is affected by satisfaction with all life domains and sub-domains. Overall life satisfaction is considered to be on the top of a satisfaction hierarchy. For instance, overall life satisfaction is influenced by satisfaction with family, social, leisure and recreation, health, work, finances, and travel. Satisfaction with a particular life domain will be influenced by lower levels of life concerns within that

domain (Kruger, 2012). The bottom-up spillover theory is also imbedded in this particular study. In the elderly market segment, pleasure trip experience and leisure activities are an important issue affecting the overall quality of life (e.g., Javalgi et al., 1992; Lee & Tideswell, 2005; McGuire, Boyd, & Tedrick, 1996). The reason is that travel experience can help elderly people's physical and mental fitness and lead to greater life satisfaction. With this regard, overall QOL is defined as elderly's global evaluations of their life satisfaction while leisure life satisfaction is regarded as evaluation of specific sub-life domain (leisure life) satisfaction in this study. A review of previous research and theory suggest strong interrelationships among satisfaction with trip experience, leisure life satisfaction, and overall quality of life. Therefore, we hypothesize: H4. Satisfaction with trip experience has a positive influence on leisure life satisfaction among the elderly. H5. Leisure life satisfaction has a positive influence on overall quality of life among the elderly. H6. Satisfaction with trip experience has a positive influence on overall quality of life among the elderly. 2.4. Revisit intention There are many practical reasons for studying tourists' satisfaction levels. The major reason is that tourists' satisfaction is a significant determinant of behavior intention (e.g., Hutchinson, Lai, & Wang, 2009; Kozak, 2001; Um, Chon, & Ro, 2006). According to the model presented by Zeithaml, Berry, and Parasuraman (1996), behavior intentions can be captured by such measures as repurchase intentions, word of mouth, loyalty, complaining behavior, and price sensitivity. A number of studies have used one or more of these five proposed constructs to examine the outcomes of satisfaction in the retail and tourism fields. Among these five constructs, revisit intention is viewed as the results of the tourists' evaluation of the travel experience (Burton, Sheather, & Roberts, 2003). When tourists have more enjoyable experience than expected, they are more likely to have plans to return in the future (Hui, Wan, & Ho, 2007; Ross, 1993). Satisfaction is one of the most preferred evaluation constructs in explaining revisit intention (e.g., Bigne, Sanchez, & Sanchez, 2001; Bowen, 2001; Kozak, 2001; Kozak & Rimmington, 2000; Oh, 1999). Several studies investigated the impact of satisfaction with trip experience on tourists' intention to return in the future (Hutchinson et al., 2009; Kozak & Rimmington, 2000; Ross, 1993). Kozak and Rimmington (2000), for instance, found that the more satisfied the tourists were with their visits, the more likely they were to return and recommend the destination to others. Similarly, Hutchinson et al. (2009) examined the relationships between golftravelers' perception of quality, value, and satisfaction on their behavior intentions and identified that satisfaction had significant influences on the intention to revisit in the future. Previous research has confirmed that the level of overall satisfaction with holiday experiences has the greatest impact on the intention to revisit the same destination. Leisure life satisfaction is also a predictor of leisure participation in the future (e.g., Losier, Bourque, & Vallerand, 1993; Walker, Halpenny, Spiers, & Deng, 2011). Leisure life satisfaction results from the gratification of psychological needs (Tinsley & Tinsley, 1986), but the potential for satisfaction of psychological needs motivates individuals to enjoy and reengage in the activity (Losier et al., 1993). In fact, a number of studies have found that enjoyment of an activity led to subsequent behavior involvement (Losier

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et al., 1993). For instance, Losier et al. (1993) developed a motivational model of leisure participation to examine the factors that may encourage involvement by the elderly in leisure activities. The results indicated that leisure motivation affects leisure satisfaction, which in turn affect leisure participation. That is, higher levels of leisure satisfaction led to greater levels of leisure participation in elderly. QOL also has an impact on future behavior (Mannell & Kleiber, 1997). The effect of QOL on activity participation has been studied intensively in leisure research (Mannell & Kleiber, 1997). Leisure studies have found that QOL affects leisure participation. Mannell (1993) indicated that, among the elderly, those with a higher level of life satisfaction are more willing to freely choose and continuously engage in recreational activities than those with a lower level of life satisfaction. In tourism research, Lin (2012) found that cuisine experience and QOL influenced hot springs tourists' revisit intentions. Specifically, the study found that QOL is positively related to revisit intention. Consequently, the following hypotheses are presented: H7. Satisfaction with trip experience has a positive influence on revisit intention among the elderly. H8. Leisure life satisfaction has a positive influence on revisit intention among the elderly. H9. Overall quality of life has a positive influence on revisit intention among the elderly. A review of literature suggested positive interrelationships between the six constructs: involvement, perceived value, satisfaction with trip experience, leisure life satisfaction, QOL, and revisit intention. Based on the previous literature review, the theoretical model and 9 hypotheses can be depicted as seen Fig. 1. 3. Research design 3.1. Study population and data collection The questionnaire was distributed to the elderly (aged over 65) residing in Jeju Island, South Korea. The target destination was selected because the population of the elderly there has steadily grown, and it is on the verge of being an aged society (14% of the population is over age 65). The questionnaire was originally

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developed in English and then translated into Korean. Several Korean professors with language proficiency in both English and Korean checked the correspondence of meaning between the two versions. After checking the equivalence of the translation, elderly welfare centers, education centers, gathering clubs, and elderly associations in Jeju were contacted from February to April in 2013 and asked to distribute the questionnaire to residents over the age of 65 who had been retired over three months. In order to reduce errors or misunderstanding in reading questions, several welltrained assistants were employed in each place to help the elderly to fill out the questionnaire completely. Despite of the assistants' efforts, respondents with aged between 55 and 64 were included. The contextualized target would consist of those that are retirees in the study; most of the ones that did not fall into 65þ categories (55e64) with some missing values were excluded in the subsequent analysis. Thus, of the total 290 surveys, 208 surveys were used for the analysis in this study. 3.2. Questionnaire design and measurement of construct The study is designed to measure elderly tourists' perceptions toward involvement, perceived value, satisfaction with trip experience, leisure life satisfaction, overall quality of life, and revisit intention in relation to travel behavior. Each construct has multiple questions measured with 5-point Likert scales based on previous literature. Ten involvement items were used to measure involvement as suggested by Kyle and Chick (2004), and Prebensen, Woo, Chen, and Uysal (2012). Those 10 items were categorized into two different categories based on previous research: Risk probability and Self-Identify. The pre-determined two involvement dimensions were confirmed with their reliability. Two composite variables were used as observed indicators to test the construct of involvement (Appendix A). To measure satisfaction with trip experience, four items were used based on existing literature (e.g., Neal, Usyal, & Sirgy, 2007; Yoon & Uysal, 2005), including: (1) “My overall evaluation of my most recent destination experience is positive”; (2) “My overall evaluation of my most recent tourism experience is favorable”; (3) “I am satisfied with my most recent”. Leisure life satisfaction was measured by three items: satisfaction with their “leisure life,” “leisure time,” and “spare time

Fig. 1. Theoretical model and hypotheses.

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activities” (e.g., Grzeskowiak, Sirgy, Lee, & Claiborne, 2006; Neal et al., 2007; Sirgy, Kruger, Lee, & Yu, 2011). In order to measure elderly tourist quality of life (subjective well-being), six observed indicators were adopted from previous gerontology and tourism literature (e.g., Diener, Emmons, Larsen, & Griffin, 1985; Diener, Horwitz, & Emmons, 1985; Sirgy, 2002) such as “Overall, I felt happy upon my return from that trip”, “Overall, my experience with this trip was memorable, having enriched my quality of life”, “After the trip, I felt that I led a meaningful and fulfilling life” and so forth. Revisit intention was measured by four items adopted from previous research (Huang & Hsu, 2009; Um et al., 2006) such as “I would like to recommend others to visit the destination”, “Revisiting the destination would be worthwhile”, “I will revisit the destination”, “I would like to stay more days in the destination”. It is important to mention that in this present study, taking a vacation trip is linked to outcomes by asking the respondent if, as a result of this particular trip, he/she may think that the trip enhanced or added to his/her well-being. In this regard, the trip was a cause of the outcome variables (sense of well-being and revisit intention) as measured in the study. The line of research in quality of life has support for this type of causality establishment (Gilbert & Abdullah, 2004; Neal et al., 2007). This also assumes that the way in which study questions are anchored would not lead to a level of discourse, meaning respondents are directed to answer the outcome variable(s) in relation to the vacation trip in mind, thus ascertaining implicitly “causality” of the trip taken in relation to perceived importance to well-being and or revisit behavior. However, one can also easily argue that certain lifestyles could also lead to more satisfying life/improved sense of well-being, thus satisfaction with life in general. Naturally, such lifestyles can have positive outcomes and consequences. The study implies a one trip thus basing the study on a one trip phenomenon regardless of its nature or type.

Regarding the actual length of the trip, the average 4.2 nights away from home. Moreover, 23.1% of the respondents traveled with spouse, 19.6% with social gathering, and 18.3% with relatives and friends respectively. Respondents were asked to rate items according to the perceived importance of each indicator of construct. The mean scores of the composite indicators of involvement show that the mean of ‘Risk probability’ is 3.59 and ‘Self-Identify’ is 3.33. The mean score and standard deviation of indicators of perceived values, satisfaction with travel experience, leisure life domain, quality of life, and revisit intention are presented in Appendix B.

4. Data analysis and results

4.1. Measurement model testing

Since Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) is an appropriate statistical tool to measure the relationships among unobserved constructs based on prior empirical research or theory (Hair, Black, Babin, Anderson, & Tatham, 2010), this study employed SEM procedure by using AMOS 20.0 with the Maximum Likelihood estimation. One exogenous variabled involvementdand five endogenous variablesdperceived values, satisfaction with trip experience, leisure life satisfaction, quality of life, and revisit intentiondwere tested in the proposed model. Firstly, data was screened using SPSS version 20.0 to see if there is any violation of assumptions. As a result, no missing values and outliers were detected and the observed variables are normally distributed (less than two of absolute values of univariate skewness, less than three of the absolute values of univariate kurtosis). Further, the data do not violate multivariate normality assumption. Therefore, the data were appropriate for further analysis by SEM analysis. A total 290 respondents were asked to participate in this study. Of these, data from 208 was used in this analysis. The descriptive analysis showed that female respondents (53.0%) marginally outnumbered their male counterparts (47.0%). In terms of age variation, it ranged from 65 to 81 with an average age of 71, In addition, approximately 36.0% of respondents' income comes from their pensions, 30.0% of respondents relied on their own saving, and 12.0% comes from help from their children. The detailed demographic information is summarized in Table 1. Moreover, respondents' recent vacation trip behaviors have been asked.

Each construct was analyzed with Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) to confirm the measurement scale property in the model. €reskog (1993) suggested that an item having a coefficient alpha Jo below 0.30 should not be included in the analysis. A series of confirmatory factor analyses were performed. As a result, each construct is confirmed by specifying the relationship between the latent constructs and their indicators, exceeding a coefficient alpha .70, and thereby no indicator in each construct was removed. Next, the overall measurement model fit was tested. CFA was performed to test whether collected data fit proposed model (Byrne, 1998; Hair et al., 2010). A total of two indicators of exogenous variable (involvement) and 23 indicators of endogenous variables (six from perceived value, four from satisfaction with travel experience, three from leisure life domain, six from quality of life, and four from revisit intention) were used in the measurement model. The results of the estimation of CFA of the overall model were acceptable in terms of the range of goodness-of-fit indices. The Chi-square value was 416.242 with 255 degrees of freedom (p < .000), which showed that the model was not good enough. However, the sample size is likely to inflate the sensitiveness of Chisquare statistics in structural equation modeling analysis (Bollen & Long, 1993; Byrne, 1998). The RMSEA value was .05, which met the requirement of good fit of less than .08 (Byrne, 1998). Other fit indices also show that the specified model was acceptable (NFI ¼ .89, CFI ¼ .954, RMR ¼ .021). Therefore, the model was not modified.

Table 1 Respondents profile (N ¼ 208). Variables Gender Male Female Age 65e70 71e75 76e80 81e85 Education High school or less Some college/Associate degree College degree (bachelor) Graduate degree (master) Graduate degree (doctoral) Income source Pension Own saving Children's donation Relatives or friends' donation Social benefit Salary (if you are working) Others

Frequency (%) 98 (47.1) 110 (52.9) 96 81 29 2

(46.2) (38.9) (13.9) (1.0)

41 61 59 29 18

(19.7) (29.3) (28.4) (13.9) (8.7)

75 63 25 4 28 9 4

(36.1) (30.3) (12.0) (1.9) (13.5) (4.3) (2.0)

H. Kim et al. / Tourism Management 46 (2015) 465e476

In order to check construct reliability, discriminant validity, and convergent validity, the study examined the completely standardized loading, the construct reliability, the error variance extracted, and the average variance extracted (AVE) of each construct. Table 2 presents the summary of the results. First, all measurement items were significantly loaded exceeding the critical level of the t value (p < .05; Hatcher, 1994). The average variance extracted (AVE) of five constructs (perceived value, satisfaction with travel experience, leisure life satisfaction, quality of life, and revisit intention) exceeded the minimum criterion of .5 (Fornell & Larcker, 1981). However, the AVE for involvement is marginally below the .5 cutoff. Composite reliability of each construct ranged from .59 to .90, confirming the internal consistency of each construct. Therefore, all six constructs in this study were considered to be reliable and valid; thus, we proceeded to test the structural model. 4.2. Structural model testing The main purpose of the study is to examine an integrated model of elderly tourists' quality of life by examining the relationship between their travel involvement, perceived value, satisfaction, leisure life domain satisfaction, quality of life, and revisit intention. Hence, the relationships among six constructs in this model were tested using a structural equation model with the maximum likelihood method. The review of the structural model showed that the Chi-square value was 485.835 with 262 degrees of freedom (p ¼ .00). Reflecting other goodness-of-fit statistics, the structural model had adequate fit [RMSEA ¼ .064, CFI ¼ .936, NFI ¼ .87, RMR ¼ 0.04]. The results revealed that the collected data were consistent with the theory-driven model.

471

The results of SEM analysis were performed to examine hypothesized path. The results are summarized in Table 3, indicating all nine hypotheses were supported. Hypothesis 1 predicted that elderly tourists' involvement has a significant effect on perceived value (t ¼ 3.88, p < .001), supporting H1. Hypothesis 2 was also supported by showing the significant relationship between involvement and satisfaction with travel experience (t ¼ 2.86, p < .05). Moreover, the results revealed that perceived value has a positive effect on satisfaction with travel experience (t ¼ 6.15, p < .001), supporting H3. Further, Hypothesis 4 indicated that tourists' satisfaction with travel experience does affect leisure life satisfaction (t ¼ 7.03, p < .001). Hypotheses 5 and 6 were supported by showing that leisure life satisfaction and satisfaction with travel experience are significant predictors of quality of life. In addition, leisure life satisfaction and satisfaction with travel experience did significantly affect revisit intention, supporting H7 and H8. Lastly, and the study supports the conjecture that satisfaction with overall quality of life is a significant antecedent of revisit intention, supporting H8 (t ¼ 2.05 p < .05). Fig. 2 represents a model of elderly tourist behavior with hypothesis testing results.

5. Conclusion and discussion The purpose of this study was to examine elderly tourists' travel behavior, especially their quality of life, and attempt to extend theoretical and empirical evidence about the interrelationship between level of involvement, perceived value, satisfaction with trip experience, leisure life satisfaction, quality of life, and revisit intention. Thus, the finding of this study enriches our

Table 2 Results of the overall measurement model (N ¼ 208). Constructs and indicators

Involvement Risk probability Self-Identify Perceived value Compared to the price I paid, I think I have received good value Compared to the effort I spent, I think I have received good value Compared to the time I spent, I think I have received good value Overall my last vacation trip was a good buy I value my last vacation trip because it met my needs and expectations for a reasonable price Overall, I think my experience was a good value for the money, time and effort I spent Leisure life leisure life in general Leisure time Spare time activities Satisfaction with trip experience My overall evaluation on the most recent destination experience is positive My overall evaluation on the most recent tourism experience is favorable. I am satisfied with the most recent tourism experience. I am pleased with the most recent tourism experience. Overall quality of life Overall, I felt happy upon my return from that trip My satisfaction with life in general was increase shortly after the trip So far I have gotten the important things I want in life Although I have my ups and downs, in general, I felt good about my life shortly after the trip Overall, my experience with this trip was memorable having enriched my quality of life. After the trip I felt that I lead a meaningful and fulfilling life Revisit intention I would like to recommend others to visit the destination Revisiting the destination would be worthwhile I will revisit the destination I would like to stay more days in the destination

Standardized loading (Li)

.47 .80 .80 .79 .82 .78 .63 .64 .94 .94 .89 .84 .87 .90 .82 .73 .81 .79 .83 .78 .73 .71 .83 .87 .73

Composite reliability/ Reliability (Li2)

AVE/Error variance

.59 .22 .64 .88 .64 .62 .67 .61 .40 .41 .94 .88 .88 .80 .92 .71 .76 .81 .67 .90 .53 .66 .62 .69 .61 .53 .87 .50 .69 .76 .53

.43 .78 .36 .56 .36 .38 .33 .39 .60 .59 .85 .12 .12 .20 .74 .29 .24 .19 .33 .73 .47 .34 .38 .31 .39 .47 .62 .40 .31 .24 .47

472

H. Kim et al. / Tourism Management 46 (2015) 465e476

Table 3 Results of the proposed model. Hypothesized path

Standardized coefficients

t-value

H1: Involvement / Perceived value H2: Involvement / / Satisfaction with travel experience H3: Perceived value / Satisfaction with travel experience H4: Satisfaction with travel experience / Leisure life satisfaction H5: Leisure life satisfaction / Overall QOL H6: Satisfaction with travel experience / Overall QOL H7: Satisfaction with travel experience / Revisit Intention H8: Leisure life satisfaction / Revisit Intention H9: Overall QOL / Revisit Intention

.44 .27

3.88** 2.86*

.53

6.15**

.49

7.03**

.33 .40

4.30** 4.97**

.27

3.13*

.27 .18

2.67* 2.05*

Note: **p < .001, *p < .05.

knowledge of the elderly tourist market by looking at elderly tourist behaviors. A measurement model for six constructs was developed and tested. The results indicated that all of the relationships are positively supported. Most of previous studies used the construct of satisfaction with experience and relate it to possible outcome variables such as loyalty or revisit/purchase intention. And, very limited studies, however, have explored if other possible outcome variables such quality of life or subjective well-being may also be used since there seems to be an increasing interest in more intangible benefits of consumption. In order to accomplish this, our study has brought into the model the concept of one type of life domains, namely leisure life domain since leisure life domain by definition would indicate the degree to which individuals would be happy with their overall life as a result of their involvement in leisure activities as they may also derive overall life satisfaction (as suggested by quality of life researchers). Given this, we hypothesized that satisfaction with trip experience would affect leisure life satisfaction, and leisure life satisfaction would then influence one's sense of well-being (their quality of life) or

revisit intention. So, the uniqueness of this study lies in the manner in which the constructs of both satisfactions with trip experience and leisure life domain would influence one's sense of well-being and or revisit intention. Specifically, this study contributes to the theoretical advancements in the field of tourism by proving the usefulness of activity theory and bottom-up spillover theory in explaining elderly tourists' behavior. In order to understand the elderly's leisure behavior, activity theory has been applied in the recreation and leisure field; however, activity theory has not been applied much in tourism industry. The study confirmed the activity theory that the level of involvement in elderly tourists positively affects their overall quality of life. The results provided empirical support for Nimrod (2007) and Lefrancois et al. (1997) on the role of activity. In addition, the study supported the bottom-up spillover theory. That is, overall life satisfaction is determined by satisfaction with leisure life satisfaction, and leisure life domain is also affected by subdomains such as tourism experience. Furthermore, this study provides an integrated approach to understanding the relationship between the travel experience and overall quality of life of elderly tourists. First, the study found that involvement has a positive influence on perceived values and satisfaction with trip experience. The results provide support for Prebensen et al. (2013) and Chen and Tsai (2008)'s study regarding the importance of understanding involvement and perceived values of travel experience. Specifically, we found that the higher the level of involvement, the larger the likelihood that perceived value and satisfaction will be increased. Also, the study tested the relationship between perceived customer values and satisfaction of travel experience (Chen & Chen, 2010; Lee et al., 2007; Williams & Soutar, 2009). The results of the structural analysis confirmed that perceived values is an underlying determinant of satisfaction of travel experience among the elderly segment. Additionally, elderly quality of life was examined in relation to satisfaction with trip experience and leisure life satisfaction. The results showed that travel experience plays an important role affecting leisure life satisfaction and overall quality of life. This

Fig. 2. Results of testing hypothetical model.

H. Kim et al. / Tourism Management 46 (2015) 465e476

implies that travel experience improves elderly people's physical and mental health and lead to greater life satisfaction (Gilbert & Abdullah, 2004; Sirgy et al., 2011; Sirgy & Lee, 2006). Lastly, the study examined the relation of revisit intention with satisfaction with trip experience, leisure life satisfaction, and overall quality of life. In previous literatures, travel satisfaction, service quality, and motivation were significant predictors of revisit intention (Um et al., 2006; Yoon & Uysal, 2005). However, this study found that leisure life satisfaction and QOL can be effective predictors of revisit intention. The significant relationships between the six main constructs also have marketing and managerial implications. When elderly tourists are satisfied with their trip experience, their overall quality of life improves. The makers of tourism development strategies need to consider the strength of these relationships and preserve elderly tourists' quality of life, in part derived from leisure life domain satisfaction and their tourism experience. In order to increase elderly tourists' quality of life, tourism developers and industry practitioners need to increase elderly tourists' level of involvement in tourism activity and provide valuable tourism experiences. Moreover products and services offered to elderly tourists should be priced competitively and appropriately to increase their perceived value. This implies that those elderly tourists who have met their perceived net value for their purchase are more likely to be satisfied with their travel experiences, which in return may affect their leisure and overall life satisfaction positively. Even though the research provides practical and theoretical implications, there are some limitations. First, since the proposed hypothetical SEM model of elderly tourists' quality of life was tested with samples of residents who lived in Jeju, South Korea, results may not be generalized to other populations. Therefore, replications of this study targeting other populations should be made in order to validate a more solid relationship among the constructs. Second, no information was provided on the potential moderating effect of demographics on the relationships between the six main constructs. Although the sample is homogeneous, the levels of involvement, perceived value, satisfaction with trip experience, and QOL are different depending on a sample's personality and demographic information. Therefore, in future research, respondent's characteristics should be considered. In addition, the study simply focuses on general vacation behavior of individuals with respect to the perceived importance of the included constructs. Therefore, we do not know what type vacation/leisure experience respondents may have had in mind as they evaluated the subsequent related questions. Nevertheless, the vacation/trip questions on the most recent one should reflect general travel behavior. Further research should also consider different types of leisure trips and decision making. Also, the current study asked how one's leisure life satisfaction and overall life satisfaction was changed as a result of the most recent trip. The model is an approximation of reality with one life domain, namely leisure life domain. However, other life domains such as social, health, work, material, and family and lifestyles can also be introduced appropriate for the contextualization of the study. Future research need to consider other possible life domains and lifestyles that can influence overall quality of life. Appendix A Involvement (10 items) Dimension 1 (Risk probability) e Cronbach's alpha ¼ .77 It is really annoying to purchase a vacation that is not suitable.

473

Buying a vacation is rather complicated. Whenever one buys a vacation, he/she never really knows for sure whether it is the one that should have been bought. When I purchase a vacation, it is not a big deal if I make a mistake. If, after I buy a vacation, my choice proves to be poor, I would be really upset.

Dimension 2 (Self-Identify) e Cronbach's alpha ¼ .70 I attach great importance to a vacation. The vacation I buy tells something about me. It gives me pleasure to purchase a vacation. A vacation is somewhat of a pleasure to me. A vacation interests me a great deal.

Appendix B

Mean and Standard deviation of each indicator Constructs and indicators Involvement Risk probability Self-Identify Perceived value Compared to the price I paid, I think I have received good value Compared to the effort I spent, I think I have received good value Compared to the time I spent, I think I have received good value Overall my last vacation trip was a good buy I value my last vacation trip because it met my needs and expectations for a reasonable price Overall, I think my experience was a good value for the money, time and effort I spent Leisure life satisfaction leisure life in general Leisure time Spare time activities Satisfaction with trip experience My overall evaluation on the most recent destination experience is positive My overall evaluation on the most recent tourism experience is favorable. I am satisfied with the most recent tourism experience. I am pleased with the most recent tourism experience. Overall quality of life Overall, I felt happy upon my return from that trip My satisfaction with life in general was increase shortly after the trip So far I have gotten the important things I want in life Although I have my ups and downs, in general, I felt good about my life shortly after the trip Overall, my experience with this trip was memorable having enriched my quality of life. After the trip I felt that I lead a meaningful and fulfilling life Revisit intention I would like to recommend others to visit the destination Revisiting the destination would be worthwhile I will revisit the destination I would like to stay more days in the destination

Mean

Standard deviation

3.59 3.33

.54 .56

3.50

.74

3.62

.87

3.57

.71

3.50 3.52

.76 .72

3.56

.71

3.52 3.53 3.61

.74 .76 .75

3.75

.62

3.82

.57

3.76

.62

3.82

.63

3.62

.71

3.60

.70

3.60

.64

3.54

.66

3.63

.66

3.58

.71

3.65

.70

3.72

.60

3.63 3.50

.74 .81

474

H. Kim et al. / Tourism Management 46 (2015) 465e476

Appendix C Covariance matrix

Inv1 Inv 2 PV1 PV2 PV3 PV4 PV5 PV6 LS1 LS2 LS3 ST1 ST2 ST3 ST4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q5 RV1 RV2 RV3

Inv1

Inv2

PV1

PV2

PV3

PV4

PV5

PV6

LS1

LS2

LS3

ST1

ST2

ST3

ST4

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q5

RV1

RV2

RV3

.296 .114 .085 .163 .099 .101 .115 .119 .055 .055 .062 .105 .102 .102 .118 .161 .114 .130 .144 .160 .124 .115 .096

.114 .319 .098 .127 .045 .061 .063 .073 .037 .069 .075 .074 .049 .068 .059 .064 .105 .106 .084 .096 .087 .098 .108

.085 .098 .551 .410 .292 .304 .237 .258 .171 .173 .173 .139 .122 .168 .194 .156 .125 .096 .142 .169 .159 .141 .142

.163 .127 .410 .749 .390 .339 .287 .300 .162 .182 .174 .191 .157 .166 .201 .181 .176 .149 .200 .193 .214 .164 .185

.099 .045 .292 .390 .498 .351 .300 .305 .161 .196 .176 .193 .157 .173 .186 .156 .160 .140 .161 .176 .132 .115 .127

.101 .061 .304 .339 .351 .570 .353 .341 .215 .223 .228 .214 .188 .204 .202 .191 .184 .164 .191 .208 .146 .153 .191

.115 .063 .237 .287 .300 .353 .511 .344 .165 .199 .181 .182 .169 .153 .183 .197 .157 .187 .164 .191 .180 .176 .193

.119 .073 .258 .300 .305 .341 .344 .509 .176 .154 .158 .220 .185 .190 .194 .186 .156 .154 .152 .172 .158 .176 .210

.055 .037 .171 .162 .161 .215 .165 .176 .771 .614 .599 .044 .097 .097 .136 .137 .062 .038 .108 .199 .159 .163 .171

.055 .069 .173 .182 .196 .223 .199 .154 .614 .704 .627 .076 .133 .128 .172 .162 .118 .070 .138 .174 .134 .189 .200

.062 .075 .173 .174 .176 .228 .181 .158 .599 .627 .769 .062 .113 .119 .147 .159 .090 .087 .150 .145 .176 .168 .179

.105 .074 .139 .191 .193 .214 .182 .220 .044 .076 .062 .389 .269 .290 .250 .193 .158 .168 .135 .134 .141 .120 .139

.102 .049 .122 .157 .157 .188 .169 .185 .097 .133 .113 .269 .324 .271 .247 .168 .139 .143 .134 .126 .129 .128 .124

.102 .068 .168 .166 .173 .204 .153 .190 .097 .128 .119 .290 .271 .384 .295 .167 .142 .143 .109 .138 .125 .137 .162

.118 .059 .194 .201 .186 .202 .183 .194 .136 .172 .147 .250 .247 .295 .392 .197 .125 .119 .134 .170 .143 .128 .129

.161 .064 .156 .181 .156 .191 .197 .186 .137 .162 .159 .193 .168 .167 .197 .506 .275 .268 .274 .268 .158 .136 .115

.114 .105 .125 .176 .160 .184 .157 .156 .062 .118 .090 .158 .139 .142 .125 .275 .405 .276 .255 .248 .130 .110 .135

.130 .106 .096 .149 .140 .164 .187 .154 .038 .070 .087 .168 .143 .143 .119 .268 .276 .433 .296 .291 .138 .094 .118

.144 .084 .142 .200 .161 .191 .164 .152 .108 .138 .150 .135 .134 .109 .134 .274 .255 .296 .429 .321 .148 .132 .158

.160 .096 .169 .193 .176 .208 .191 .172 .199 .174 .145 .134 .126 .138 .170 .268 .248 .291 .321 .505 .195 .134 .137

.124 .087 .159 .214 .132 .146 .180 .158 .159 .134 .176 .141 .129 .125 .143 .158 .130 .138 .148 .195 .480 .254 .211

.115 .098 .141 .164 .115 .153 .176 .176 .163 .189 .168 .120 .128 .137 .128 .136 .110 .094 .132 .134 .254 .357 .310

.096 .108 .142 .185 .127 .191 .193 .210 .171 .200 .179 .139 .124 .162 .129 .115 .135 .118 .158 .137 .211 .310 .545

Inv: Involvement, PV: Perceived value, LS: Leisure life satisfaction, ST: Satisfaction with travel experience, Q: Quality of life RV: Revisit Intention.

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Dr. Eunju Woo is a post-doctoral research fellow in the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Virginia Tech. She completed her Ph.D. degree at Virginia Tech in 2013. Her research interests include destination marketing, tourist behavior, and Quality-of-Life (QOL).

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H. Kim et al. / Tourism Management 46 (2015) 465e476 Hyelin Kim is a research associate in the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Virginia Tech. She received her M.S. in Convention Management from Kyung Hee University, South Korea. Her research mainly focused on elderly tourist behavior, Quality-of-Life (QOL) research in tourism, and convention marketing

Dr. Muzaffer Uysal is a professor of tourism in the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Virginia Tech. He is a member of International Academy for the Study of Tourism, the Academy of Leisure Sciences, and serves as co-editor of Tourism Analysis: An Interdisciplinary Journal. In addition, he sits on the editorial boards of several journals. He also received a number of awards for Research, Excellence in International Education, and Teaching Excellence. His current research interests center on tourism demand/supply interaction, Tourism development and QOL research in tourism.