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Ways of Seeing, Ways of Being

Representing the Voices of Tourism


Edited By Maurizio Gotti, Stefania Maci and Michele Sala

The aim of this volume is to give voice to the various and different perspectives in the investigation of tourism discourse in its written, spoken, and visual aspects. The chapters particularly focus on the interaction between the participants involved in the tourism practices, that is the promoters of tourist destinations, on the one hand, and tourists or prospective tourists on the other. In this dialogic interaction, tourism discourse, while representing and producing tourism as a global cultural industry, shows it to be on the move. Language movement in the tourism experience is here highlighted in the various methodological approaches and viewpoints offered by the investigations gathered in this volume.

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Age-specific Tourism: Representations of Seniors in the Institutional Discourse of Tourism (Kim Grego)


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Age-specific Tourism: Representations of Seniors in the Institutional Discourse of Tourism

1.   Background: The age of senior citizens

The European Commission informs us that “Senior citizens (those aged 55 years and over) represent 128 million people, around 25% of the European population” (European Commission 2016). This trend has implications for and repercussions on European Union (EU) citizens and all of Europe’s economic fields. Perhaps not the main, yet a key sector for the EU, tourism is also increasingly being affected by it. The statistical data alone do not return a full picture. Today’s seniors not only live longer; they also differ socio-economically from previous generations in various respects. Firstly, many of them enjoy higher purchasing power and a higher level of education than younger groups (Alén/Losada/Domínguez 2016). Consequently, their access to technology and their IT literacy also tends to be greater (Kim/Preis 2015). More relevantly, today’s seniors can generally count on better health, which in turn results in longer life expectancy (European Commission 2014).

All this has brought about a dramatic change in the approach of entities offering products and services to this segment of the population, and tourism is definitely one sector involved in this change. For example, seniors as a ‘weaker’ group – from both a health and an economic viewpoint – used to be the subject of social tourism initiatives (Minnaert 2011). Now they may still be frail physically, but their improved health...

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