A Study of Older Adults' Travel Barriers by Examining Age Segmentation
Bob Lee, Ph. D; Sarah Bowes

With the Baby Boomers increasing in age and those 85 and over being the fastest growing age segment, the older adult population is increasing at a rapid rate. On a global scale, by 2030, the oldest old (85+) population is expected to have increased by 151 percent. As the population continues to gray, researchers have discovered there are numerous differences in the travel interests, preferences, and choices of individuals within different life stages of old-age. Clearly, the term “old-age” should no longer be viewed as an umbrella term or a uniform stage of life. Further segmenting older adults into different age groups will assist in determining patterns in older individuals’ travel needs and interests, helping them to negotiate constraints. This study seeks to explore similarities and differences in constraints to travel amongst these four age brackets (pre-seniors: younger than 65; the young-old: 65-74; the old-old:75-84; and the oldest-old: 85+). The results from one-way analysis of variance revealed that respondents in different age groups reported significant differences in many respects regarding their reasons not to travel. In particular, the oldest-olds often expressed more conservative views when it comes to travel compared to pre-seniors and young-olds. This study suggests that future services and research on older travelers must recognize this fast growing trend in old age and reorient their efforts towards improving travel experiences for older adults within specific stages of late-life.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jthm.v4n2a1