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Identifying Meaningful Travel Experiences for Mature Educational Tourists

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0042838/00001

Material Information

Title: Identifying Meaningful Travel Experiences for Mature Educational Tourists
Physical Description: 1 online resource (161 p.)
Language: english
Creator: KANG,SUNG-JIN
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2011

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: DIMENSIONS -- EDUCATIONAL -- MOTIVATIONS -- SEGMENTS -- SENIOR -- TOURISTS -- TRAVEL -- TRAVELLER
Tourism, Recreation, and Sport Management -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Health and Human Performance thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Using three research papers, this study attempted to extend an understanding of the characteristics and travel experiences of senior educational travelers. To form a conceptual framework for this study, the first paper focused on identifying educational travel experiences, and the benefits from educational travel experiences, by using semi-structured interviews. Based on the results of semi-structured interviews, the first paper produced three theoretical assumptions. The first assumption is that pre and post travel activities are as important as actual travel in forming educational travel experiences. The second is that the meaningful travel experiences senior travelers seek from educational travel derive from travel leaders, the learning environment (learning environment and fellow travelers), novelty and authenticity. The final assumption is that travel experiences are a way of creating meaning in travelers? lives, which ultimately enhances their quality of life. The second paper quantitatively tested the first and second theoretical assumptions of the first study. Paper two identified six educational travel dimensions: Tour Leaders, Trip Logistics, Structure of Learning Environment, Fellow Travelers, Authenticity and Reinforcing Learning. Meaningful travel experiences were comprised of quest for knowledge, joy, and pleasant surprises. The findings of this study revealed that senior travelers in educational travel programs are actively involved in pre and post-travel activities. They tend to participate more in post-travel activities than pre-travel activities. Participation in pre-travel activities affected educational travel experiences such as reinforcing learning and structure of the learning environment. Also, the interaction between pre-travel activities and educational travel dimensions had a significant influence affecting the quest for knowledge of senior travelers after the trip. These results support the first theoretical proposition. All educational travel experience dimensions are significantly related to three meaningful travel experiences. More specifically, the quest for knowledge seems to be created by the structure of the learning environment, fellow travelers, authenticity, and reinforcing learning. Joy is more likely to be created by all educational travel experiences including travel leaders, trip logistics, structure of the learning environment, authenticity, and reinforcing learning. Finally, pleasant surprise is more likely to be influenced by the structure of learning, authenticity, and reinforcing learning. The findings support the second theoretical proposition of the first paper that meaningful travel experiences are derived by tour leaders, learning environment, fellow travelers, and authenticity. The third study attempted to identify travel motivations of senior educational travelers and to delineate the detailed characteristics of senior educational traveler segments. Paper three identified five travel motivation factors of senior educational travelers: learning & enrichment, existential seeking, change of scene, collecting fond memories, and time with family and friends. Six educational travel dimensions were also identified: Tour Leaders, Trip Logistics, Structure of the Learning Environment, Fellow Travelers, Authenticity and Reinforcing Learning. Based on the five travel motivations, senior educational travelers were segmented into four groups: Social Fun Memory Collectors, Existential Learners, Social Learners, and Novel Memory Collectors. Among the senior educational travel groups, Social Fun Memory Collectors were the largest segment and were those who wanted to have fun and pleasurable memories with their family or friends. Their annual household incomes and perceived health status were higher than other groups. Most of them traveled with their spouse/partner and tended to enjoy post-travel activities. Existential Learners are a group seeking self-fulfillment, accomplishment, and intellectual desire. The group was comprised of more single females or widowers. They were actively involved in both pre and post travel activities. They were quite satisfied with their educational travel experiences and showed active participation during their trip. Social Learners are those who seek to enrich their lives by learning something new and having a good time with family or friends through educational travel. They were highly satisfied with tour leaders, trip logistics, and structure of the learning environments, while they were less involved in interacting with local culture or people, and activities that reinforced their learning. Finally, Novel Memory Collectors represent senior travelers who want to have fun and pleasurable memories and seek to change their surroundings. Most of them were female seniors and the oldest group. They preferred European and English-speaking countries as destinations, and they showed a low level of participation and satisfaction across all educational travel dimensions.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by SUNG-JIN KANG.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2011.
Local: Adviser: Gibson, Heather J.
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2013-04-30

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2011
System ID: UFE0042838:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0042838/00001

Material Information

Title: Identifying Meaningful Travel Experiences for Mature Educational Tourists
Physical Description: 1 online resource (161 p.)
Language: english
Creator: KANG,SUNG-JIN
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2011

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: DIMENSIONS -- EDUCATIONAL -- MOTIVATIONS -- SEGMENTS -- SENIOR -- TOURISTS -- TRAVEL -- TRAVELLER
Tourism, Recreation, and Sport Management -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Health and Human Performance thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Using three research papers, this study attempted to extend an understanding of the characteristics and travel experiences of senior educational travelers. To form a conceptual framework for this study, the first paper focused on identifying educational travel experiences, and the benefits from educational travel experiences, by using semi-structured interviews. Based on the results of semi-structured interviews, the first paper produced three theoretical assumptions. The first assumption is that pre and post travel activities are as important as actual travel in forming educational travel experiences. The second is that the meaningful travel experiences senior travelers seek from educational travel derive from travel leaders, the learning environment (learning environment and fellow travelers), novelty and authenticity. The final assumption is that travel experiences are a way of creating meaning in travelers? lives, which ultimately enhances their quality of life. The second paper quantitatively tested the first and second theoretical assumptions of the first study. Paper two identified six educational travel dimensions: Tour Leaders, Trip Logistics, Structure of Learning Environment, Fellow Travelers, Authenticity and Reinforcing Learning. Meaningful travel experiences were comprised of quest for knowledge, joy, and pleasant surprises. The findings of this study revealed that senior travelers in educational travel programs are actively involved in pre and post-travel activities. They tend to participate more in post-travel activities than pre-travel activities. Participation in pre-travel activities affected educational travel experiences such as reinforcing learning and structure of the learning environment. Also, the interaction between pre-travel activities and educational travel dimensions had a significant influence affecting the quest for knowledge of senior travelers after the trip. These results support the first theoretical proposition. All educational travel experience dimensions are significantly related to three meaningful travel experiences. More specifically, the quest for knowledge seems to be created by the structure of the learning environment, fellow travelers, authenticity, and reinforcing learning. Joy is more likely to be created by all educational travel experiences including travel leaders, trip logistics, structure of the learning environment, authenticity, and reinforcing learning. Finally, pleasant surprise is more likely to be influenced by the structure of learning, authenticity, and reinforcing learning. The findings support the second theoretical proposition of the first paper that meaningful travel experiences are derived by tour leaders, learning environment, fellow travelers, and authenticity. The third study attempted to identify travel motivations of senior educational travelers and to delineate the detailed characteristics of senior educational traveler segments. Paper three identified five travel motivation factors of senior educational travelers: learning & enrichment, existential seeking, change of scene, collecting fond memories, and time with family and friends. Six educational travel dimensions were also identified: Tour Leaders, Trip Logistics, Structure of the Learning Environment, Fellow Travelers, Authenticity and Reinforcing Learning. Based on the five travel motivations, senior educational travelers were segmented into four groups: Social Fun Memory Collectors, Existential Learners, Social Learners, and Novel Memory Collectors. Among the senior educational travel groups, Social Fun Memory Collectors were the largest segment and were those who wanted to have fun and pleasurable memories with their family or friends. Their annual household incomes and perceived health status were higher than other groups. Most of them traveled with their spouse/partner and tended to enjoy post-travel activities. Existential Learners are a group seeking self-fulfillment, accomplishment, and intellectual desire. The group was comprised of more single females or widowers. They were actively involved in both pre and post travel activities. They were quite satisfied with their educational travel experiences and showed active participation during their trip. Social Learners are those who seek to enrich their lives by learning something new and having a good time with family or friends through educational travel. They were highly satisfied with tour leaders, trip logistics, and structure of the learning environments, while they were less involved in interacting with local culture or people, and activities that reinforced their learning. Finally, Novel Memory Collectors represent senior travelers who want to have fun and pleasurable memories and seek to change their surroundings. Most of them were female seniors and the oldest group. They preferred European and English-speaking countries as destinations, and they showed a low level of participation and satisfaction across all educational travel dimensions.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by SUNG-JIN KANG.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2011.
Local: Adviser: Gibson, Heather J.
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2013-04-30

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2011
System ID: UFE0042838:00001


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1 I DENTIFYING M EANINGFUL T RAVEL E XPERIENCES FOR M ATURE E DUCATIONAL T OURISTS By SUNG JIN KANG A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2011

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2 2011 Sung Jin Kang

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3 To my father and mother

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This dissertation could not be possible with out the help of many people. This long journey not only open s my eyes to an other world but makes me realize how much I ow e to many people. I would like to express my appreciation to everyone First, I would like to express my appreciation to my academic advisor, Dr. Heather Gibson who has helped me grow as a scholar through her diligence and endless efforts I also thank my committee members, Dr. Beland, Dr. Bures and Dr. Holland. Their continuing support and good comments have helped me finish my dissertation successfully I would like to deliver my thanks to the CEO of Holbrook Inc., Andrea Holbrook, and Vice P resident of Road Scholar, Steve Lembke, for their support and cooperation working with me to provide access to a database of senior educational travelers. I am deeply grateful t o all of the respondents who voluntarily participated in this research especially considering the fact that I am a graduate student who they do not know I would like to express heartf elt thank s to Charlie, Donna, Jung, Ting Bing Heather, and my other f riends. We have gone through a lot together over the past years in Gainesville. Their encouragement allowed me to sur pass many challenge s and difficulties with ease. I also give thanks to my childhood friends, Hae Jeong, Yo ung Joo and Jin Ah who have play ed the role of good mentor s over the past 28 years. I would especially like to send my deepest thanks to my family for their patien t and sincere support In particular, my father who has lived a life of dedication and sacrifice for his children, my mother who lead me with her great insight, and my sisters and brother, Myong Jin, Hee Jin, Hyo Jin, and Min gyun, who have supported one another and made up for my absence as a daughter and as a sister for a long time Without their support and encourage ment I would not be

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5 able to finish this a long journey. Finally, I acknowledge that this study was partially funded by Bill Sims Doctoral Student Scholarship.

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6 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................... 9 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ ....................... 10 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 11 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 14 Statement of Problem ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 16 Purpose of Study ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 17 2 STUDY 1: EXPER IENCES OF EDUCATIONAL TRAVEL PROGRAMS AMONG OLDER ADULTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 21 Overview ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ 21 Literature Review ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 22 Seniors and Tr avel Experience ................................ ................................ ........................ 22 S enior T ourists ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 23 Cohort, G eneration and T ravel ................................ ................................ ................. 26 Motivations to T ravel ................................ ................................ ............................... 27 Educationa l T ravel ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 30 Travel Experiences and Benefits ................................ ................................ ..................... 31 Methods ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 34 Sampling ................................ ................................ ................................ .......................... 34 Data Collection ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 35 Data Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 35 Participants ................................ ................................ ................................ ...................... 36 Results ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 36 M ain T hemes f rom the Interviews ................................ ................................ .................. 36 Motivation ................................ ................................ ................................ ....................... 37 Learning something new ................................ ................................ .......................... 38 The fear of dementia ................................ ................................ ................................ 38 Lack of time left ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 39 Getting Ready for the Trip ................................ ................................ .............................. 40 Structured Learning Experiences ................................ ................................ .................... 41 Professional guides ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 41 Learning environment ................................ ................................ .............................. 42 The interaction with people within the travel group ................................ ................ 43 General Travel Experiences ................................ ................................ ............................ 44 Interactions with local people ................................ ................................ .................. 44

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7 Interaction with pristine nature ................................ ................................ ................ 46 Strengthening t he M eaning o f T heir E xperiences ................................ ........................... 47 I mpacts on T heir L ives ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 48 Discussion ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................... 50 3 STUDY 2: IDENTIFYING FACTORS THAT CREATE MEANINGFUL EDUCATIONAL TRAVEL EXPERIENCES FOR SENIOR TRAVELERS ....................... 57 Overview ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ 57 Literature Review ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 58 Educational Travel Experiences ................................ ................................ ...................... 58 Meaningful Travel Experiences ................................ ................................ ...................... 60 Factors Creating Meaningful Travel Experiences ................................ ........................... 65 Method ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 73 Data Collection ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 73 Sample ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................. 74 Measurement ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 76 Data Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 77 Results ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 77 Participation in Educational Travel ................................ ................................ ................. 77 Participation in Pre and Post Travel Activities ................................ ................................ 80 Educational Travel Dimensions ................................ ................................ ...................... 81 Meaningful Travel Experiences ................................ ................................ ...................... 84 Discussion ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................... 92 4 STUDY 3: IDENTIFYING SEGMENTS OF SENIOR EDUCATIONAL TRAVELERS ... 98 Overview ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ 98 Literature Review ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 99 Seniors and Travel Motivation ................................ ................................ ........................ 99 Motivations of Senior Educational Travelers ................................ ................................ 103 Dimensions of E ducational T ravel E xperiences ................................ ............................ 104 Methods ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ 109 Data Collection ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 109 Sample ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................... 110 Measurement ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 111 Data Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 112 Results ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 113 Educational Travel Motivations ................................ ................................ .................... 113 Educational Travel Dimensions ................................ ................................ .................... 115 Identification of Senior Edu cational Travel Clusters ................................ .................... 118 Profile of Senior Educational Travel Clusters ................................ ............................... 119 Educational Travel Experience of Four Cluster Groups ................................ ............... 121 Discussion ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................. 127

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8 5 CONCLUSIONS ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 135 APPENDIX A INFORMED CONSENT ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 142 B INTERVIEW QUESTIONS ................................ ................................ ................................ 143 C THE PROF ILE OF INTERVIEW PARTICIPANTS ................................ ........................... 144 D COVER LETTER FROM ROAD SCHOLAR ................................ ................................ ..... 145 E COVER LETTER ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 146 F THE SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE ................................ ................................ .................... 147 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 151 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 161

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9 LIST OF TABLES Table page 3 1 Characteristics of r espondents ................................ ................................ .......................... 75 3 2 Participation pattern in educational travel programs ................................ ........................ 78 3 3 Pre travel activities of senior educational travelers ................................ .......................... 80 3 4 Post travel activities of senior educational travelers ................................ ........................ 81 3 5 Explanatory factor analysis of educational travel dimensions ................................ .......... 82 3 6 Explanatory factor analysis o f meaningful travel experiences for senior travelers .......... 85 3 7 Correlation among control variables, pre post travel activities, educational travel dimensions, and meaningful travel experiences ................................ ................................ 87 3 8 The effect of pre travel activities on educational travel experiences ............................... 88 3 9 The effect of educational travel dimensions on meaningful travel experiences ............... 89 3 10 The effect of meaningful travel experiences on post travel activities .............................. 90 3 11 The moderating effect of pre travel activities and educational travel dimensions on quest for knowledge ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 90 4 1 Educational travel motivations for senior travelers ................................ ........................ 114 4 2 The dimensions of educational travel ................................ ................................ ............. 11 7 4 3 Classification of senior educational travelers clusters ................................ .................... 119 4 4 Demographic profile of four senior educational travel clusters ................................ ...... 120 4 5 Educational travel participation of four senior educational travel clusters ..................... 122 4 6 Trip related behaviors of four senior educational travel clusters ................................ .... 123 4 7 Educational travel dimensions and intensions of four senior educational travel clusters ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................. 124

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10 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 1 1 The flow of studies 1, 2 and 3 ................................ ................................ ........................... 20 2 1 Proposed Grounded theory model of travel experiences of senior educational travelers ................................ ................................ ................................ .............................. 37 3 1 Conceptual model for study 2 ................................ ................................ ........................... 73

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11 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy I DENTIFYING M EANINGFUL T RAVEL E XPERIENCES FOR M ATURE E DUCATIONAL T OURISTS By Sung Jin Kang May 2011 Chair: Heather Gibson Ma jor: Health and Human Performance Using three research papers, this study attempted to extend an understanding of the characteristics and travel experiences of senior educational travelers. To form a conceptual framework for this study, the first paper f ocused on identifying educational travel experiences, and the benefits from educational travel experiences, by using semi structured interview s Based on the results of semi structured interview s the first paper produced three theoretical assumptions. The first assumption is that pre and post travel activities are as import ant as actual travel in forming educational travel experiences The second is that the meaningful travel experiences senior travelers seek from educational travel derive from travel lead ers, the learning environment (learning environ ment and fellow travelers), novelty and authenticity. The final assumption is that travel experiences are a way of creating meaning in travelers lives, which ultimately enhances their quality of life. The s econd paper quantitatively tested the first and second theoretical assumption s of the first study. Paper two identified six educational travel dimensions: Tour Leaders, Trip Logistics, Structure of Learning Environment, Fellow Travelers, Authenticity and R einforcing Learning. Meaningful travel experiences were comprised of quest for knowledge, joy, and pleasant surprise s The findings of this study revealed that senior travelers in educational travel programs

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12 are actively involved in pre and post travel act ivities. They tend to participate more in post travel activities than pre travel activities. Participation in pre travel activities affected educational travel experiences such as reinforcing learning and structure of the learning environment. Also, the i nteraction between pre travel activities and education al travel dimensions had a significant influence affecting the quest for knowledge of senior travelers after the trip. These results support the first theoretical proposition. All educational travel exp erience dimensions are significantly related to three meaningful travel experiences. More specifically, the quest for knowledge seems to be created by the structure of the learning environment, fellow travelers, authenticity and reinforcing learning. Joy is more likely to be created by all educational travel experiences including travel leaders, trip logistics, structure of the learning environment, authenticity and reinforcing learning. Finally, pleasant surprise is more likely to be influenced by the structure of learning, authenticity and reinforcing learning The findings support the second theoretical proposition of the first paper that meaningful travel experiences are derived by tour leaders, learning environment, fellow travelers, and authentici ty. The third study attempted to identify travel motivations of senior educational travelers and to delineate the detailed characteristics of senior educational traveler segments Paper three identified five travel motivation factors of senior educational travelers: learning & enrichment, existential seeking, change of scene, collecting fond memories and time with family and friends. S ix educational travel dimensions were also identified : Tour Leaders, Trip Logistics, Structure of the Learning Environment Fellow Travelers, Authenticity and Reinforcing Learning. Based on the five travel motivations, senior educational travelers were segmented into four groups: Social Fun Memory Collectors, Existential Learners, Social Learners, and Novel Memory Collectors. Among the sen ior educational travel groups, Social F un Memory C ollectors were the largest

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13 segment and were those who wanted to have fun and pleasurable memories with their family or friends. Their annual house hold incomes and perceived health status were higher than other groups Most of them traveled with their spouse/partner and tended to enjoy post travel activities. Existential Learners are a group seeking self fulfillment, accomplishment, and intellectual desire. The group was comprised of more single females or widowers. They were actively inv olved in both pre and post travel activities. They were quite satisfied with their educational travel experiences and showed active participation during their trip. Social L earners are those who seek to enrich th eir lives by learning something new and hav ing a good time with family or friends through educational travel They were highly satisfied with tour leaders, trip logistics, and structure of the learning environment s, while they were less involved in interac ting with local cul ture or people, and activities that reinforce d their learning. Finally, Novel Memory C ollectors represent senior travelers who want to have fun and pleasurable memories and seek to change their surroundings. Most of them were female seniors and the oldest group. They preferred European and English speaking countries as destination s and they showed a low level of participation and satisfaction across all educational travel dimensions.

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14 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION The most rapid growth in the 65 year and older population start ed in 201 0 when the first wave of the baby boomers reach ed age 65 ( Humes, 2005). In 201 0 there were 41 million American aged 65 years and older by 2030 it is estimated that this segment of the population will be over 77 million (National Institute on Aging, 2009). Martin and Preston (1994) indicat ed that this d emographic shift would affect the present and future of the U.S. in more diverse ways than had been anticipated. The large volume of t he over 65 population results in a huge demand for p rograms and services catering to the needs of older adults (Moisey & B ichis, 1999). Today, many older adults are healthier and better educated than previous generations and want to remain engaged intellectually and s ocially (Dychtwald & Kadlec, 20 0 6 ). According to a 2000 AARP survey on lifelong learning, 90% of adults 50 yea rs and older reported they wanted to learn in order to enhance their personal growth, keep up with what is going on in the world, or experience the joy of learning. This phenomenon has been reflected in travel markets that focus on older adults. For exampl e, in the case of eco tourism, more than 60% of tourists are older adults (Hvenegaard, 1998). Wight (1996) indicated that educational travel, such as eco tourism, appeals primarily to older people as they enhance their quality of life through the benefits of learning and travel. Gibson (1998) also found that preference for educational travel increases over the life course. Thus, t he aging baby boomer generation is likely to produce demand for more educational travel, with senior travelers seeking intellectu al stimulation and self fulfillment through opportunities to learn and travel together. Learning and travel are complementary activities. Inherently, all kinds of travel include, to some extent, a learning component. However, educational travel can be dis tinguished from general travel in that the primary motivation of an educational traveler is learning and their form

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15 of travel includes lectures or interpretation by a professional or knowledgeable guide. Previous studies on educational travel have not expl ored this distinction systemically. The Canadian Travel Commission (CTC, 2001) attempted to identify a definition, and compile types and characteristics of learning based travel for tourism markets in North America. The Canadian Travel Commission defined e ducational travel as travel offering a pre organized, structured, high quality learning opportunity that allows visitors to experience the authentic cultural, historical and natural wonders of an area (CTC, 2001). There are many different types of educat ional travel, such as study tours, educational exchange, conferences, and school day trips. Depending on the degree of purposeful learning, learning based travel can be distinguished from general travel as containing a learning component that is central to the trip through purposeful activities such as conferences and student language exchanges. Educational travel can be understood as being in the middle of this continuum. Educational travel is not a new phenomenon. Its historical roots are based on Le Gr ande Tour in 16 th century France when education was one of the main reasons for traveling, and th century, educational travel remained a privilege of the elite (Bla ck 2003), but contemporary educational travel programs are designed and offered to various segments of the population (Anderson). Today, educational travel programs have been developed and are provided by educational institutions, commercial organizations, and non profit organizations such as the Sierra Club, Smi thsonian Associates, Road Scholar (formerly Elderhostel) and National Geographic Expeditions. The range of available themes includes archaeology, anthropology, architecture, arts, cultural and natural heritage, cuisine, history, horticulture, language, photography, religion, science, and technology (CTC, 2001) Along with the growing popularity

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16 of educational travel programs, the themes of educational travel have been extended into both hobby and skill areas (Holdnak & Holland, 1996). Statement of Problem Education has been identified as an important travel m otivation by many researchers (e ./ g. Backman, Backman & Silberberg, 1999; Guinn, 1980; Shoemaker,1989;Weil & Kalinowski, 1990). However, few studies have focused solely on educational travel among older adults, and most of those have explored it from edu cation or gerontological perspectives (Lam & Brady, 2005; Long & Loller Hodges, 1995). Previous studies on senior educational travelers have identified the participants as wealthier, better educated, and more self actualized than general senior travelers ( Mills, 1993; Weiler & Kalinowski, 1990). Although research on senior travelers has placed more emphasis on identifying senior travelers as marketing segments rather than senior travelers as individuals (Ostiguy, Hopp & MacNeil, 1998; Roberson, 2003), inde ed with the baby boomers starting to retire, the y ha ve been viewed as a potentially lucrative market. However, senior travelers have been identified as more experienced, independent, and quality conscious than other travelers (Poon, 1994). The deeper meani ngs behind the travel motivations of seniors cannot be understood with only a market oriented perspective. Therefore, there is a need to explore more basic issues, such as travel experience s in order to further understand older adults who participate in e ducational travel. Since travel experiences are comprised of numerous small encounters with a variety of s In an attempt to attain a more comprehensive understanding o f the travel and experiences of older educational tourists, this study adopted a multi method approach. First, a foundational study was conducted that focused on understanding the personal travel experiences described by educational travel participants in their own words and the impacts of educational travel

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17 experiences on their lives (study1) Second, a self administered survey was used to quantitatively explore some of the concepts identified in the first study (papers 2 and 3). Purpose of Study This res earch was conducted using both inductive and deductive approaches to extend our understanding of senior travelers who participated in educational travel programs F irst a qualitative approach was used to understand the travel experiences of older adults w ho participate in educational travel programs using in depth interviews ( study1 ). Second, quantitative methods were used to empirically test the theoretical propositions drawn from the first study ( study1 ) and to investigate characteristics associated with senior educational travelers (papers 2 and 3) The purpose of the fi rst study was to provide an in depth understanding of travel experiences as described verbatim by educational travel participants and the impacts of educational travel experiences on their psychological well being. The following three research questions were addressed: 1. What kinds of educational travel program experiences are identified by senior travelers? 2. What kinds of educational travel program experiences satisfy the needs of senio r travelers? 3. How do such experiences impact the lives of senior travelers? The first study i dentified three theoretical propositions by examining the reciprocal relationships among the major constructs The first proposition suggests travel experiences are not confined to actual trips as the phases before and after a trip are also important in forming educational travel experiences. The second proposition purports that the desired outcomes of senior educational travelers consist of high quality experienc es, which emerge from four main

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18 that travel experiences are a way of making meaning in the lives of seniors, which ultimately enhances their psychological wellbeing. The second study quantitatively test ed the first and second theoretical propositions drawn from the preliminary qualitative study ( study1 ). The second study was conducted with two research objectives The first one was to investigate participation in pre and post travel activities of senior travelers and to identify dimensions of educational travel experiences and meaningful travel experiences in the context o f educational travel. The second was to examine the relationship s among pre and post travel activities, educational travel dimensions, and meaningful travel experiences in the context of educational travel experiences. The study was directed by the followi ng research questions: 1. What are the participation patterns in educational travel of the respondents? 2. What pre and post travel activities did senior travelers participate in ? 2.1. What pre travel activities are senior travelers involved in? 2.2. What post travel acti vities are senior travelers involved in? 3. What are the dimensions of educational travel experiences? 4. What co nstructs are associated with meaningful travel experiences? 5. What is the relationship among pre post travel activities, educational travel dimensions and meaningful travel experiences? 5 .1. What is the relationship between pre t ravel activities and the dimensions of educational travel experiences? 5.2. What is the relationship between the dimensions of educational travel experiences and meaningful trav el experiences ? 5.3. What is the relationship among pre travel activities, educational travel dimensions and meaningful travel experiences ? 5.4. What is the relationship between meaningful travel experiences and post travel activities ?

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19 While the second st udy explored theoretical assumptions from the first study, the third study tried to delineate travel motivations and uncover why seniors participate in educational travel programs and to investigate their characteristics using a market segment approach Th erefore, the first objective of study three was to identify educational travel motivations of senior travelers and the dimensions of the educational travel experience. The second objective wa s to segment senior educational travelers based on senior travel motivations and to identify the characteristics associated with different clusters of senior educational travelers. This study was guided by the following research questions: 1. What are the travel motivations of senior educational travelers? 2. What are the dimensions of educational travel experiences? 3. What segments are evident among the educational travelers? 3.1. What is the demographic profile of each senior educational travel segment? 3.2. What are the educational travel experiences of each senior educational travel segment ?

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20 Figure 1 1 The f low of s tudies 1, 2 and 3 What kind of educational travel experiences are identified? senior educational travelers? pact the lives of seniors? Study 1 Inductive approach The factors that create meaningful travel experiences include: Learning environment Novelty & authentic experiences Pre and post travel activities Theoretical assumption 2 Travel experience is a way of making meaning in the lives of senior travelers, which enhances psychological wellbeing. Theoretical assumption 3 Theoretical assumption 1 Pre post travel activities are as important as the actual trip in forming educational travel experiences. To i nvestigate the participation in pre and post travel activities To identify the dimensions of educational travel experience and the construct s of meaningful travel experience To examine the relationship among pre post travel activities, dimensions of educational travel experience & meaningful travel experience s Study2 Deductive approach To identify travel motivations of senior educational travelers To identify the dimensions of educational travel experiences To delineate characteristics of senior educational travel groups using a factor cluster segmentation Study3

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21 CHAPTER 2 STUDY 1: EXPERIENCES OF EDUCATIONAL TRAVE L PROGRAMS AMONG OLD ER ADULTS Overview Wolfe (1990) in dicated that as people age there is a psychological shift from acquiring more material pos sessions toward a desire for enjoyab le and satisfying experiences. Kuhl and Fuhrmann (1998) also found that motivation across the life span becomes more intrinsic with age. In particular, the desire to seek intellectual stimulation and spiritual fulfillment become s stronger with age (Morrison, 1994). The socio psychological tasks associated with the later life stages seem to underpin ac tive participation among mature individuals who seek learning, social interaction and pleasure through travel experiences (Gibson, 1998) Experienced senior travelers look for a specialized travel program s with learning components ( Francese 2002), and seems to explain why educational travel programs that combine learning with travel experiences appeal to older adults. For example, m ore than 60% of participants in eco travels are aged 5 0 and older (Hvenegaard, 1998). In the case of Smithsonian Journey, an educational travel program provider, the number of mature travelers who participated in their travel programs increased by 13% betw een 1998 and 2002 (Smithsonian Magazine, 2003). Indeed, Wight (199 6 ) indicated that educational travel attracts more senior travelers because they enhance the quality of their lives through the benefits of learning and travel Educational travel is define d as travel offering a pre organized, structured, high quality learning opportunity that allows participants to experience the authentic culture, historical and natural wonders of an area (CTC, 2001). The most distinctive difference from other forms of tra vel is that an educational travel program provides lectures and field trips led by experts in a specific area. Educational travel programs for the senior traveler even encompass hobby and skills (Holdnak & Holland, 1996). Educational travel programs have m ainly been developed and

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22 provided by educational institutions and non profit organizations such as Road Scholar, the Sierra Club, and Smithsonian Associates. Recently, profit based travel agencies have also been developing educational travel programs. As e ducational travel programs become more popular experiences by identifying educational travel experiences and psychological benefits described by participants of educational travel program s Literature Review Seniors and Travel Experience According to a report by Focalyst (2007), baby boomers and the older generation took a total 340 million domestic trips in 2005, and 110 million international trips between 20 03 and 2005. Travel for pleasure or personal reasons has become an important part of the lives of mid to older aged people (Gibson, 2002). Staats and Pierfelice (2003) provided strong support for the belief that travel is a frequently desired and continuing activity for retirees. Stuart (1992) also indicated that older travelers wish to become involved in travel experiences while younger travelers seek largely to escape. Wolfe (1990) tried to explain this phenomenon from a life stage perspective. He said that when looking at life stages, older people become less interested in acquiring material possessions and more interested in experiential opportunities such as travel. stage events such as retirement and the death of spouses and friends. Travel experiences can be a useful way to offset negative emotions such as loss of meaning s uncertainty, fear and depr ession triggered by life stage transitions. Thus, older adults themselves believe that travel experiences will help to enrich their lives and help them feel young again (Kersetter, 1993; Patterson & Pegg, 2002). Experience has been regarded as an essentia l core of travel. Cohen (1979) thought of travel experience as a discourse in learning where knowledge can be gathered through understanding

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23 differences between other people and cultures. MacCannell (19 9 9) suggested that central to as the quest for an authentic experience. Many older adults are also looking to learn more about themselves and the world around them, and travel can provide a vehicle for self fulfillment through opportunities to learn and discov er (Muller & Cleaver, 2000 ). However, there is little research that documents the internal travel experiences of senior qualitative approach. For example, Botterill and Crompton (1996) explored the recollection of senior traveler constructed their trip within their own framework of meaning. Thus, the process of constructing travel experiences was associat ed with emotional states for example, separation from home, attachment to the destination, identification with hosts, intimacy, and exclusion from new cultures. Roberson (2003) focused on understanding the travel experiences of older adults in terms of le arning. He identified four types of learning experiences of older travelers: learning Although these two studies provided insightful understanding about the nat ure of travel experiences for senior travelers, alone, these studies cannot cover the breadth of meaning regarding travel experiences for older adults. Therefore, more clues about the experiences of senior travelers should be pursued by reviewing studies f rom the general literature on senior travel. S e nior T ourist s Most of the studies on senior travelers have identified factors affecting their travel behaviors and attitudes or examined their travel motivations. McGuire (1984) examined why older travelers d id not travel as much as younger travelers. McGuire cited lack of time, financial resources, poor health, lack of a companion to travel with, and family responsibilities. For people

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24 older than 70 years, a lack of transportation became a critical barrier to long distance travel (Romsa & Blenman, 1989). Socioeconomic variables including age, gender and economic status were also found to have a significant impact on the vacation behaviors of seniors. Romsa and Blenman also indicated that older adults preferred less stressful modes of travel and destination activities. Likewise, Zimmer, Brayley and Searle (1995) found that age, education and mobility problems were strong predictors in distinguishing senior travelers from senior non travelers. Those with higher education, income levels, and life satisfaction, and those willing to spend extra money on recreation tended to choose more distant destinations. Fleischer and Pizam (2002) found that for older adults aged 55 or more in Israel, age did not play an import ant role in taking vacations while health and income levels were more influential in decreasing the number of travel days if both of these factors were lower. The earlier studies on senior travelers mainly used chronological age and socio demographic vari ables in attempting to understand senior travel behaviors. Such demographic profiles are essential but not sufficient in reflecting the wide spectrum of senior travel behaviors. Moschis (1996) indicated since aging is a multidimensional phenomenon in terms of biological, psychological and social aspects, it could be problematic to generalize older people as one homogenous group by using only age. Indeed, some studies on senior travel have focused on various socio ravel needs, preferences, and attitudes in a broader context, for example, cognitive age, travel risk, values, life stage, and cohort group. Regarding cognitive or self perceived age, Blazey (1992) revealed older adults with younger perceptions about their age traveled more often than older adults who thought of themselves as older. He also indicated that health status was basically critical for seniors to be motivated and to (2001) found that

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25 subjectively younger seniors travelled for physical stimulation and a sense of accomplishment and had higher expectations for their trips. Sellick (2004) also confirmed that cognitively younger, wealthier, healthier and better educated se niors traveled more for self enhancement and discovery. Likewise, Shim, Gehrt and Siek (2005) found that mature travelers who perceived themselves as younger, tend to travel more frequently and had stronger intentions for future travel. With regard to t ravel risks, Shoemaker (2000) revealed that the perceived risk related to travel was identified as the main barrier for older travelers when deciding on overnight pleasure travel. Lindqvist and Bjork (2000) confirmed that senior travelers perceived safety as a more important barrier than did younger travelers. Similarly, Hsu (2001) confirmed that health, safety and the reputation of tour operators were the most important factors when seniors selected a motor coach tour. Sellick (2004) found that travel risk was most highly perceived by the group travelers who are motivated by connecting with other people. However, as Penalta and Uysal (1992) mentioned, older travelers want to travel safely but still want a sense of a dventure. as to segment the travel market. For example, Blazey (1991) examined the senior travel market by using eight value and lifestyle types: survivor, sustai ner, belonger, emulator, achiever, I am me, experiential and socially conscious. His study revealed that achievers and socially conscious types took three or more trips than seniors identified in the other categories. Other studies show that senior travel ers who put more value on fun and enjoyment in life and self respect were motivated by experiencing and learning new things (Cleaver et al., 2001).

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26 Cohort, G eneration and T ravel ment s in the United States, Canada, Australia and other developed countries, tourism studies have turned more attention toward as culture, history, nature, education adventure, and authenticity became a priority for special interest travel experiences sought by baby boomers in the UK. Muller and Cleaver (2000) segmented the baby boom generation in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States by their lifesty le characteristics. They reported that socially aware baby boomers preferred soft adventure activities conducted under controlled conditions, and led by trained guides that supply the educational component. Pennington G ray and Lane (2001) profiled the trav el preferences of the silent generation ( the generation born from 1925 to 1945) in Canada. Their research found that the ir most important preference was environmental factors such as safety, cleanliness, hygiene and access to health care facilities. The next most important was the education factor In research comparing the differences between cohort groups, Lehto, Jang, Achana, and 008) examined the tourism experiences sought by baby boomers and the silent generation in the United States and Canada. Their study revealed that baby boomers sought to experience adventure, excitement and physical stimulation in nature based settings, wh ereas silent generation travelers pursued relatively more static experiences such as cuisine, history and culture. A study conducted by Glover and Prideaux (2008) provided more details about the travel characteristics of baby boomers. They found that baby boomers not only engaged in physical leisure activities as part of their vacation experiences but also sought meaningful, significant and authentic experiences in order to satisfy their needs for self expression, creativity and internal growth. Addition ally, Mackay (1997) and Patterson and Pegg (2002) found that baby boomers

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27 saw travel as a means of social interaction as they were interested in meeting new people and building new friendships. Motivations to T ravel Although many researchers have examined travel motivations of older adults, there is little research dealing with educational travel itself. In order to have a basis for understanding the experiences of senior educational travelers, the characteri stics of mature travelers who exhibit learning m otivations should be studied. In one of the earliest studies on senior travel motivations, Guinn (1980) identified five travel motives of elderly recreational vehicle travelers: rest and relaxation, family and friends, physical exercise, learning experienc es and self fulfillment/accomplishment. Rest and relaxation was the primary motivation of senior travelers in this study. Guinn also found that the motivation for learning experiences tends to increase as adults become older. Shoemaker (1989) examined sen ior travel markets with respect to travel motives and activity preferences while traveling. Three senior travel clusters were identified: family travelers, active resters and the older set. For active resters, the primary reasons for travel were not only t o seek intellectual and spiritual enrichment but also to meet people and socialize, to rest and relax, to escape the everyday routine, to engage in physical activities and to visit historic sites. The majority of participants were 64 years and older, thre e fourths of whom and McCleary (1994) identified three different travel clusters in the senior travel market in the United States: novelty seekers, active enthusias ts and reluctant travelers. In their study, novelty seekers and active enthusiasts correspond to the study. Novelty seekers liked to visit new places and experience new things, and they were interested in cultural and event t ype activities. Active enthusiasts were motivated by warm weather and physical activities.

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28 Both novelty seekers and active enthusiasts consisted of female seniors with higher incomes and higher education. Moscardo, Morrison, Pearce, Lang L eary (199 5) examined the relationship s between travel motivation, activities, and preferred destination of Australian outbound travelers. They identified three distinct clusters: social status, self development and escape/relaxation. Of those clusters, the self de velopment group was motivated by learning something. The self stage. They participated in activities including getting know inhabitants, touring the countryside, visiting wilder ness areas, visiting galleries and museums and historic and archaeological places. Another study o f Australian senior travelers by Wei and Ruys (1998) identified three travel groups: enjoying later life travelers, comfort and familiarity travelers, and se lf fulfillment travelers. The self fulfillment travelers represent older adults who are adventurous and like to try new things, meet new people and seek personal growth and enrichment. Using psychographics, Backman, Backman and Silverberg (1999) profile d the senior nature based travel market in the United States. They found five travel segments: education/nature, camping/tenting, socialization, relaxation, and information. Their study retired seniors who were college educated and had higher income levels. These travelers were involved in hiking, photography, and visiting historical and cultural sites during their travel s Kim, Wei, and Ruys (2003) examined the senior travel market in Western Australia using a learners were female and traveled for personal growth and learning. The active learners wanted to embrace new experiences and took part in diverse activities while they traveled. Sellick (2004)

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29 also segmented the senior travel market in Australia by using travel motives, travel risk perceptions, and cognitive age as well as demographic variables. Four travel segme nts were identified: discovery and self enhancement, enthusiastic connectors, reluctant travelers and nostalgic travelers. The group labeled as discovery and self enhancement were mainly motivated by learning, connecting with other people and physical act ivities. They ha d younger cognitive ages, and higher incomes and self rated good health more than other senior travel clusters. Although these studies have used different motivation tools to segment senior travel markets, it is evident that education is o ne of the primary travel motivations of older adults. In addition to learning ; socializing, rest and relaxation and adventure or physical activities are common in identifying such travel segments as active rester, novelty seekers, active learner, self development, self fulfillment and self enhancement. Specifically, in the initial studies, intellectual, socializing, rest and relaxation motivations were combined within one segment. In later studies, the rest and relaxation motivation had been repla ced by adventure or physical activities. This supports the findings of Horneman, Carter Wei, senior travel motivation s ha ve shifted toward more active pursuits and perhaps provides support for studies that have suggested baby boomers are different from the silent generation in their Gray & Lane, 2001). In particular, the travel segment with a learning motivation prefers involvement in activities such as visiting wilderness, touring the countryside, hiking, and visiting historic, archaeological, or cultural sites. Further, it should be noted that senior travelers have always sought both learning and socializing together. They tend to think of themselves as younger than their actual age and were the group with higher education and income s Ultimately, a consistent finding is that senior travelers seek personal growth and try to enrich their li ves through travel experiences.

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30 Educational T ravel Few studies exist on the educational travel of older adults. Most have focused on exploring characteristics of educational travelers and their motivations. Weiler and Kalinowski (1990) examined the characteristics of participants in educational travel prog rams administered by the University of Alberta. They found that the participants tended to be seniors with higher educational attainment s and stable financial resources. For international travel, most participants were female between 55 and 69 years of age and either retired or employed in a professional or senior managerial occupation. A quarter of the participants were repeat travelers who had taken part in multiple educational travel programs. These results were supported by Mills (1993), who identified Elderhostel participants as wealthier, better educated and more self actualized than typical tourists. Arsenault, Anderson, and Swedburg (1998) used focus group discussions and in hostel programs, and the factors that influenced those decisions. They identified a typology of six Elderho stel participants: the activity oriented, the geographical guru, the experimenter, the adventurer, the content committed and the opportunist. There were 14 factors affecting participation in Elderhostel programs: location, travel, program, course content, accomm odations, costs, dates, negotiat ions with travel partner, social, sites, organization, personal requirements, escape, and information. Thomas and Butts (1998) investigated the relationship between intellectual and social interaction motivations of international Elderhostel participants using the Existence Relatedness Growth theory (Alderfer, 1972). They found that the more social interactions a re satisfied, the more intellectual needs are satisfied. In a similar study, Abraham (1998) examined the primary motivations of Elderhostel participants and the satisfaction achieved from the Elderhostel experience. The results indicated that participants' satisfaction was maximized when the

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31 programs satisfied intellectual interest as well as social interaction needs. In 2001, Szucs, Daniels and McGuire explored the difference s in motivation between international and domestic Elderhostel participants. The y found that international participants were motivated by the history and culture of the area where the program was held, the safety provided by group travel, the desire for travel, the desire to socialize with locals omestic participants were motivated by accommodations, word of mouth recommendations, program dates, the opportunity to escape personal problems and course topics. Travel Experiences and B enefits Travel experiences affect the emotional, intellectual, spir itual, and physical aspects of travelers. Research on the impact of travel experiences has examined psychological aspects such as wellbeing and happiness. There are generally two approaches, one deductive and one inductive, used to measure the psychologica l benefits of travel experiences. Most of the deductive studies have adopted an experimental design. For example, Millan (1997) explored the impact of travel experience s being by comparing psychological well being at the start of the tour and again at its termination. The results showed that while psychological wellbeing was not attributed to the travel experience, it may be associated with the level of activity during a trip. In a later study, Wei and Millan (2002) e xamined the relationship s satisfaction with their travel experience, and their psychological well being using a path model. They found that there was a direct effect between the varie ty of activities that senior tourists enjoy on vacation and their psychological well being, whereas the indirect effect through travel satisfaction was negligible. However, there remain criticisms over the sophistication of an experimental design that meas ures the level of happiness of travelers or subjective well being (Gilbert & Abdullah, 2004). One of the problems is that most of the studies collected data from

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32 the travelers at the beginning and end of a trip and compared the difference between the two p oints. But when considering the fact that recollection of a trip is usually relived over a longer time after the trip (Neummann, 1992), there is some question as to whether two data collection ective wellbeing. Most recently, Gilbert and Abdullah (2004) explored whether taking vacations has an impact on the subjective well being of vacationers by measuring immediately after a trip (period 1) and then again two to six months later (period 2). Th e results showed that the vacation taking group revealed a higher level of happiness and lower negative affect than the non vacation taking control group in a comparison between the pre trip with the post trip (period 1 and period 2), although the effect s izes were mostly small. Studies using an inductive approach illuminated the diverse benefits intervi ewees experienced from travel. Long and Zoller Hodges (1995) used in depth interviews to examine the extent to which elderly women perceived a change in the ir knowledge, attitudes, or behaviors as a result of their participation in an Elderhostel program. The study generated six general themes and 11 subthemes. General themes were appreciations, Elderhostel support, social contact, travel, learning and follo w up activities. As their perception s changed, many of the interviewees revealed a greater capacity to accept, tolerate and value other people and cultures. Using semi structured interviews Prentice, Witt and Ham m er (1998) explored the experiences and benefits gained by visitors at an industrial heritage park in Rhondda, Wales. They found eight dimensions of experience and six dimensions of benefits. The experiences involved feeling and cognitive dimensions centered on learning goals. The benefits the v isitors felt included communities, a strong sense of identity with industrial Wales and spending time with

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33 family/friends. The study revealed that experiences an d benefits gained by visitors were independent of the socio demographic attributes of visitors. Lamb and Brady (2005), using a semi structured interview, explored the benefits of travel as perceived by participants who had traveled with a lifelong learning institute. Four main benefits were identified: intellectual stimulation, participation in a supportive community, opportunities for enhancing self esteem and opportunities for spiritual renewal. The results of the studies using an inductive approach comm only include understanding different people and cultures, self esteem or confidence and tolerance. These benefits may have been internalized through continuous participation over a long period. A study by Schreyer, Williams and Haggard (1987) also reveale d that long term participation in wilderness recreation improved self concept and some sense of centrality to the psychological wellbeing such as benefit s of travel experiences accumulated across long time experiences. Meanwhile, studies using an experimental design are suitable for verifying travel benefits that temporari ly boost positive affect and relieve negative affect. Learning something new during a vacation is identified as one of the primary travel motivations for seniors. Unlike young travelers, senior travelers want to be more involved in experiences and they travel to seek something meaningful rather than to escape from routines (Stuart, 1992). Previous studies regarding senior travelers and senior educational travelers have identified their travel characteristics and segmented the population by using diverse variables such as self perceived age, life stage, cohort, value, perceived travel risk, motivation, and other socio demographic variables. Although this approach provides an overview in understanding senior educational travelers as one travel segment, it is limited in developing an understanding of the travel ex periences of senior educational travelers from their individual perspective Thus,

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34 regarding the benefits of travel for seniors, a few studies have tried to explore the impact of bei ng s Some results support the assumption that for seniors, travel experiences contribute to offset negative emotions triggered by confronting many life stage transitions and enhance psychological wellbeing such as self growth and self confidence. Therefore this study sought to understand the travel experiences described by educational travel participants through in depth interviews and to explore the impact of educational travel experiences on the psychological wellbeing of the participants The following three research questions guided this study : 1) what kind of educational travel program experiences are identified by senior travelers? 2) what kind of educational travel experiences satisfy the needs of senior travelers? and 3) how do such experiences impa ct the lives of senior travelers? Method s Sampling P articipants were recruited using criterion and snowball sampling from September to October 2007. The criteria for participation were as follows. First, all participants had taken part in educational trav el programs. Second, they were over 55 years old. To recruit participants, fliers were distributed in the mailboxes of all residents of a retirement community in Gainesville, Florida. The fliers included information such as the purpose of the study, qualif ications to be a participant, and the contact information for the researcher. Of the 14 participants, 10 were recruited through fliers and the other four were recruited by referral from other interviewees. During the initial contact, the interview was sche duled and all interviewees were informed of the details of the study and questions to be asked during the interview.

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35 Data C ollection Semi structured face to face interviews were conducted with 14 participants at the nd three hours. The interviews were guided with five main questions: Do you define yourself as a traveler? What do you expect regarding educational experiences in your travels ? What does educational travel mean to you? Can you tell me your most memorable travel experience? Do you think you have changed as a result of participating in educational travel? According to Lincoln and Guba (1985), self exposure procedures should be used to reduce the power differentials between a researcher and participants. Acco rdingly, in order to establish rapport and to facilitate the interview process, the researcher shared her personal background information with the participants before or in the middle of the interviews. All interview exchanges were audio taped using a digi tal recorder. Data A nalysis After the first two interviews, the data were transcribed and interpreted in order to compare responses for the next set of interview s in a process called constant comparison (Strauss & Corbin, 1998). Thereby, the task of inter viewing and the data analysis process were conducted simultaneously. During the first stage of analysis, open coding was conducted with line by line analysis examining each phrase and specific words, generating concepts for possible categories. Theoretical coding was used to conceptualize how categories related to each other to become an integrated theory. Finally, selective coding was conducted to reveal a core explanatory category that reflected the main themes of the study. In this study, nine out of the 14 transcripts went through a member check by email, which established data credibility. Thus, the interaction with participants bolstered construct validity.

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36 Participants The participants in this study were comprised of 2 men and 12 women between the age s of 60 and 85 years (M=73.79, SD=6.47). Six were married, another six were divorced, and two were widowed. With respect to their e ducational levels, three had a b degree, six participants had a m ve participants possessed a d octoral degree Regarding work status, ten participants were retired and three of them were involved in volunteer work. Three had part time work and one worked in a full time job. The participants generally traveled from once up to seven times per year wit h an average of two to three times. The participants had visited more than eight states and two countries, and three had traveled to more than 100 countries. With respect to participation in educational travel programs, the interviewees had participated in educational travel programs at least once through more than 30 times. In particular, Elderhostel programs were the educational programs most often participated in by the interviewees (n=9). Some participants (n=7) reported they had participated in educati onal travel programs provided by their college alumni associations and museums. Results M ain T hemes f rom the Interviews Six main themes were generated from the interview data: motivation, getting ready for the trip, structured learning experiences, genera l travel experiences, reinforcing the meaning and themes in the model. The second theme, getting ready for the trip, involves pre travel activities to research the trip theme and places before their educational trip. The third theme, structured learning experiences represents learning experiences in a lecture based context du ring their educational travel. It has two sub including learning resources and interaction with people in the travel group. The fourth theme,

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37 general travel experiences, means novelty and authentic tr avel experiences that the senior travelers had outside a structured educational travel context. The fifth theme, strengthening the meaning, is related to post travel activities that participants were involved in so as to refresh their memories and to stren gthen their whole experiences with meaning. The final theme represents the psychological benefits that the senior travelers obtained from their educational travel experiences. Figure 1 2 illustrates how the main and sub them es are related to one another t hroughout all the phases of educational travel. Figure 2 1 Proposed Grounded theory model of travel experiences of senior educational travelers Motivation The first theme represents the reason s why the interviewees participated in educational travel programs. Their educational travel motivation s w ere summarized with three sub themes: learning something new, the fear of dementia and lack of time. Novelty & a uthentic travel experiences Interaction with local people/culture Interaction with primitive nature Strengthening the meaning Study more Keep a journal Sharing their experiences Getting ready for the trip Searching for information Read books Learn some of the language Structured learning experiences Tour leader Learning environment Learning resources Interaction with people in the travel group General travel experiences Motivation To learn something new Fear of dementia Lack of time Interest Nature Culture Benefits Self growth : understanding : attitude change Self confidence Before Travel After Travel During Travel

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38 Learning something new Twelve interviewees indicated learning something new as a primary reason for participating in ed ucational travel. They showed strong curiosity about something new and to around them and to challenge themselves intellectually. Jane (age 61) presented her idea about a d travel is one of the ways, why learning something new I enjoy learning through travel and I really want to learn as much as I can... even though I ca found that intellectual stimulation and acquiring new knowledge were the main reasons for participating in Elderhostel programs. Ultimately, there seems to be a need for self growth behind the participan that the participants in the study are highly educated people (5 with a Ph. D and 6 with a t. creatures can do. They can grow or they can die and learning is growing so I am happy when I am le arning because I know something that I didn't know before and that makes me a new person and I'm always growing when I'm learning. The fear of dementia This sub theme seems to be related to some extent to the first sub theme, to learn something new. Three interviewees mentioned being concerned about dementia while the participants were explaining their desire to learn. All of them spent busy days involving diverse

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39 intellectual and social activities such as reading, drawing, enrolled in classes at a co llege or university, a discussion meeting about social issues and so on. For example, Carrie (age 84), who leads a discussion group about social issues at the retirement community stated that reading, writing and discussing were for her mainly fun as well as pleasureable. Susan (age 70) and another four interviewees briefly mentioned that they registered for life long learning classes or took a private lesson related to their hobby and interests. For them, activities related to learning were just one regul ar aspect of their daily life. Participation in educational programs is also another way to stimulate their intellectual curiosity. The following statement is quoted from Peggy who is eager to learn something new: E ven in my retirement I have been taking to stimulate my brain and my memory so that when I Lack of time left The last sub theme involves a decrease in time left in their life that they can travel to be able to enjoy travelling before their health and physical condition may deteriorate with age. The perceived tim e limitation seems to trigger them to travel as much as they can while they are healthy. Pederson (1994) indicated that aging and health concerns may begin to influence the behavior of older travelers. He mentioned that most activity limitations and seriou s health concerns relate to those in the groups aged 80 and older. Indeed, Fleischer and Pizam (2002) found that the number of vacation days for senior travelers increases until it reaches a peak at the retirement age of 65, and then it decreases at an acc elerating rate after the age of 75. The participants in the study also estimated their age for travel was until around 75 years old. One travel up to 75 years old allows it, I will be ab

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40 Getting Ready for the Trip The second theme represents preparation before leaving for their educational travel which is one of the distinctive characteristics of participants in this s tudy. Gibson (2002) also found that senior travelers who treasured the educational value of travel had done research for their trip prior to embarking on their travels. All interviewees said they spent some time preparing for their educational trips such as reading related to their travel topics and area, getting on the internet, and learning basic expressions of the native language. Ross (2005) revealed that senior tourists with a cultural motivation spent more time preparing for their trip before departu re. They actively searched for information related to their travel theme and their interests. These purposeful, effort demanding and time consuming. Peggy (age 64) w ho is interested in history, geology and paleontology read about the history of the place. Um... I always get maps So I know where I'm going and I usually also want to know something about interested in foreign languages, described her preparation as follows: Elderhostel will send you a list of books that you might want to read But you can also go to Google and you can write in the name of the place and then you learn before you go. If I'm going to another country, I always learn some of the language before I go Susan also added that preparing by reading about the destination is half of her pleasure from the trip. The participants seemed to enjoy such preparation for their trips as one pa rt of their travel experiences. Some interviewees explained that the preparation for a trip not only facilitated their understanding of the lectures during the trip, but made their learning valuable and meaningful. tance of preparation for her trip: Actually, programs before you actually go are nice so I always do a lot of reading before I go on a trip so that I have a better idea of what I'm going to be seeing. I

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41 think the more information you have going into it th e better that way you've got a better frame of reference and the more whether it be lectures or guided tours, I think that's what makes it that much better. Those who spent more time researching their trip and interests seem to leave on their trip with hig related to the level of satisfaction achieved through Elderhostel participation. In particular, the expectations formed by researching during the preparation phase seem to connect with expectations of a highly qualified and informative guide. Structured Learning Experiences The third theme, structured learning experiences, involves learning components experienced in a lecture based context during their educational trave l s In this study, the following three sub themes were identified: professional guides, learning environment and the interaction with people within the travel group. Professional guides All participants in this study insisted that a qualified professio nal guide played a critical role in enhancing the quality of their experience. Roberson (200 3 ) also indicated the role of the tour guide was very important in shaping meaningful learning and transformative experiences. The participants in this study state d that they did not distinguish educational travel from general travel in terms of learning something. The reason that they especially participated in an educational travel program is that they could be guaranteed a high quality experience led by a qualifi ed guide or professional and the theme of the travel was interesting. Jane (age 61) who had a staff that is specialized in whatever area that you are going to McDonnell (2001) revealed interpretation and professionalism of tour guides directly influenced

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42 despite the somewhat expensive c ost of educational travel programs, most of the interviewees mentioned that they were willing to pay for authentic experiences led by specialized educators. When considering the fact that 12 out of 14 interviewees had participated in educational travel pro grams at least twice, their perception of the quality and authenticity of the experiences seems to drive them to repurchase similar educational travel program s The following statement by Eddie (age 68), who had traveled with Elderhostel six times, shows t he satisfaction from a trip led by a professional tour leader is likely to make her take another educational trip: I went back on another Elderhostel Tour two years ago. It was wonderful! Had such a great time, I learned so much! Our guide was a Ph.D. archeologist who had worked at some of the sites that she took us to. It was wonderful, fantastic! So that was very memorable too. Most of them are very good, especially Antarctica, I would like to go back. I would like to do that again. As mentioned ea rlier, the participants in this study are a highly educated group. Those who researched more prior to their trip tended to expect that the trip leader would be qualified enough to cater to their intellectual needs. Peggy (age 64), who prepared for her tri p by reading many trip leader is that I will learn more detail than I can read Learning environment The learning environm ent surrounding edu cational travelers seems to encourage them to focus on their travel theme and interests. Eight participants who had participated in an educational program on a cruise ship, indicated that they were exposed to a very academic environment. Jane (age 60) indicated that the strength of educational travel on a cruise was the abundant learning resources and specialists to satisfy people with a wide range of interests. John (age 76) compared the cruise ship to a floating library including a lot of research tools and professors in diverse academic areas. The rest of the interviewees also described the academic atmosphere that was created with lectures delivered by specialists and professors, a lot of

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43 research tools, and people with the same intere sts. Thus, right after a lecture, the participants could see and confirm what they had learned in the field. The immediate linkage between lecture and on statement d escribed the learning environment provided on a cruise ship while on a tour of Antarctica: The cruise ship has lecturers in climate, geology, marine animals, and birds. So there were seven lecturers, professors on the ship who were giving us all this information. We would go off the ship onto an island, a volcanic island, or even the main island of Antarctica, and we would learn about the penguins, the seals, sea The interaction with people within the travel group This sub theme involves the interaction with people within the travel groups during their educational travels. While traveling with people with the same interests, the participants often had an opportunity to discuss and share their ideas with other people in the travel group. S uch interaction with others allowed them a chance to learn from the people in the group as well as to stimulate and refresh their thinking. A few interviewees stated that they enjoyed discussion with other people rather than a lecture lead by a professor o r an expert. One of them, John (age 76) belonging generated among the people with similar interests and backgrounds, is what she likes: Meeting people from other parts of the country or even the world, who share a common interest in learning and in learning things that I am especially interested in. That is one of the big pleasures of Elderhostel, is being with people who are educated and well read and interested and really want to know things. Lauren (age 86), who had traveled with Elderhostel more than 30 times, also voiced the value of interacting with people in the travel group:

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44 Intellectual stimulation and discussion with other people, which is not something I beautiful, sharing with someone and then having them say, wow, did you see that The results imply that senior educational travelers regard socializing as important as the motivation to learn (Abraham, 1998; Lieux et al., 1994; Sellick 2004; Shoemaker, 1989; intellectual needs have a mutually and synergic effect between the two needs and contributes to enhancing the satisfaction of senior education al travelers. General Travel Experiences This theme is related to the experiences that educational travelers face outside a structured educational travel context during the trip. Despite the wide range of travel experiences, when they were asked to descri be their most memorable travel experience ; most of the participants (n=13) mentioned the interaction s with local people during their trip or a few (n=4) described inspiration from magnificent, beautiful and primitive nature. I nteraction s with local peopl e Although participants could not communicate freely with people in different languages and cultures, they tried to interact with local people through their facial expressions, gestures, behaviors and all means they could use. Interaction with local people seemed to make their introduced him as a man obsessed with food, described how he started interacti ng with local want to enjoy a trip like a regular tourist w ho visited a famous tourist destination. Her husband and she always tried to go to a local market, restaurant, and festival and to walk around on a

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45 street in order to experience the actual life of the local people. Here she describes a local event that she accidently encountered in Cuscus, Peru: It is important for the travelers to explore on your own. I had the experiences of to. For example, we were in Cuscus, Peru and th ere just happened to be this parade, there. It was amazing. Eddie (age 68) talked about the fact that people are much alike despite different culture s through an episode with a n owner at a little restaurant in Germany: We were so hungry that we went to a little restaurant for lunch and the man who owned the restaurant could not speak any English and we also could not speak gave us French fries ou are welcome in my restaurant Thus, some participants in this study al so revealed emotional aspects in forming interactions with local people in host countries. Indeed, Botterill and Crompton (1996) indicated that the process of constructing experiences for travelers is associated with emotional states ; for example separatio n from home, attachment to the destination, identification and intimacy with the hosts and exclusion from new cultures. For example, John (age 75), who had traveled the Caribbean islands as a freelance photographer for a travel magazine for a long time, m entioned social responsibility to the culture in the host county. He noticed how things had changed over the years. He said: And the people s become kind of abused. Travel has all of us have made their country a different country. Another interviewee, Susan (age 70) talked about the experience of being touched by warm When they in vited us to dinner, they gave us the best food and they didn't have money to buy that food. They prepared it especially for us because we were their

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46 guest s We saw the difference between people with a lot of money and those ordinary people with not very mu ch across the culture Interaction with pristine nature The participants who talked about the interaction with nature can be classified into two themes The first involves emotional touch and purification by seeing wildlife and beautiful scenery. The othe r described adventure that they went through during travels in the wilderness. As an example of the first pattern, John (age 76), a freelance photographer never fe (age 60) talked about the vivid scene of wild animals she had encountered in Alaska: Ther when you walk the salmon Meanwhile, Jessica (age 71) who had a special interest in natural history had often traveled with eco travel programs around primitive and untamed nature spots. She talked about her camping experiences in a wild rainforest. Despite a long time lapse, when she talked about it, she still seemed to relive the memory of wildness and adventure: A number of years ago, one of the trips it was an educational trip that I took was down to southern we slept in hammocks and it was very primitive. We had to bathe in the river and it was very wonderful experiences and it is an unforgettable memory. When considering the activities of the p articipants in nature based educational travel programs, most of their activities were closer to soft adventures categorized by Ewer and Jamieson (2003) for example ; camping, hiking, cycling, animal watching and photographing scenery and animals. These fin dings are consistent with the trend that s enior educational travelers are craving new

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47 experiences with a little adventure as well as intellectual challenges (Lipscombe, 1995; Penalta & Uysal, 1992). Strengthening t he M eaning o f T heir E xperiences This th Once back home, most of the participants make their experiences more meaningful in various ways. For example, by keeping a journal, arranging their pictures, sharing their experiences with other people and studying more about what they had learned during their trip. During the interviews, some participants were eager to show their pictures, slides, films and souvenirs taken during their trips. Others showed their journals which were filled with notes and drawings ab out what they had seen, heard, and learn ed during their trips. For all participants, sharing their expe riences with other people in these ways seemed like a process helping them to reinterpret and to strengthen their whole experience. For example, Susan (age 70), who volunteered at an elementary school for children in need, said that she had made a journal to introduce diverse very important to share what you have learned about the world with other p eople when you come back to When I travel, I keep a journal so I can go back and refresh my memory. Because I often will give a slide lecture on a place where I have been so that I can share the knowledge that I learned As Peggy stated, sharing their experiences with other people might let them refresh their memory as well as refine their experiences with more meaning. In addition, based on what they learned from the trip some of the participants mentioned that they studied more and also extended their interest into another area. While interviewing Joan (age, 60) working at a museum, a zoology major, she showed several Alaska related books and articles that she had starte d reading right after she came back from Alaska. She explained that she originally went there to study blue

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48 t. I mpacts on T heir L ives The last theme relates to the benefits of educational travel for the participants. In the strict sense, they did not differentiate the benefits they obtained from educational travel experiences from those of general travel expe riences. As a benefit of travel, all participants mentioned understanding themselves and the outside world. Most interviewees indicated the similarities and differences from their own culture in terms of their way of living. Their understanding of other c ultures did not remain at a superficial level by simply comparing the similarities and difference with their own culture. The participants in this study tended to critically reflect on their own society and culture. It seems that their understanding of oth er cultures and themselves was crystallized through critical reflection. Brooksfield (1995) implied l earning in travel is accomplished through reflection, evaluation or critical reflection. For example, Mari (age 73), who often traveled to Caribbean Island In the Caribbean, missing. But re (1988) stated that travel generates attitude change through an understanding of different cultures. Likewise, learning through traveling may provide participants not only with the pleasure of learning but also with a change in their perspective on life One of the much broader less narrow, less critical more accepting. It is a growth also explained the benefits of travel for Travel gives me a time to reflect, introspection, and think about something outside your everyday activity. It is growth and change

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49 receptive to a change in value s, which allows a greater amount of gratification (Pribram, 1969). In particular, for the participants in this study, those who had visited developing countries expressed more appreciation for their life and home. Susan (age 70) indirectly revealed appreci ation for her comfortable life when she talked about visiting a household in Poland. The other thing I will always remember is grandmothers at my age. They were wearing very old coats. And their job was to take a sharp shovel and go to the steps of the buildings and chop the ice so people could walk up the stairs and you know these grandma s had arthritis in their arms and it was cold and it was very hard and that was The increased knowledge and challenge experienced during travels are also likely to boost self ways, namely, self confidence and appreciation. She stated travel impacts her life as follows: Yeah I think it is a matter of confidence appreciative (age 60) talked about the physical challenge that she went through during an ecotourism program in Mexico : When I went to Mexi co, getting to where the butterflies where the monarchs are part was fun but when I finally got up there and to see all these millions of butterfl ies t only a great experience but then later and even now I Also such benefits from their travel experiences seem to trigger their desire to travel again. Most of the participants (n=12) stated that t hey had plans for a next trip. Jessica (age 71) who home and sometimes it changes my interests, sometimes I will want to do more research in a certain area after I get home L earning, studying, and discovering new things during

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50 hat trip which Discussion This study attempted to investigate theoretical propositions about the travel experiences of senior educational travelers and the benefits of educational travel on their lives by using a grounded theory approach. There are three theoretical propositions. First, this study demonstrates that travel experiences are not confined to the actual trips as the phases before and after a trip are ces. Interestingly, the participants in the study understood fully the significance of preparation and recollection of a trip. Before leaving for a trip, the participants became immersed in their educational travel programs as they searched for information reading books or articles related to their travel topics and areas or learning some basic expressions of the native language. They recognized that preparing for their trip by researching, brought them deeper understanding about what they would watch, fe el and learn during a trip. These preparations before a trip correspond to the preparation can be understood as building a foundation in order to make their trip expe riences more rich, valuable and meaningful. Such efforts before a trip are directly connected to higher expectations not only for their actual educational travel, but for a high quality tour leader with sufficient expertise. Likewise, after coming back from their travel s the participants summarized their travel experiences by keeping a journal, arranging pictures or sharing their experiences with other people. These behaviors let the participants recollect what they had experienced during an educationa l travel program and also served to strengthen their travel experiences with meaning. Botterill and Crompton (1996) also showed that travelers constructed their trip experiences in

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51 xperience, travel experiences can be completed when a traveler constructs and reconstructs what happens around him or her through a whole process of travel experiences, namely before, during and after a trip. The results of this study demonstrated that tr avel experiences before, during and after a trip experiences. In particular, future research on travel experiences should pay more attention to the before and after trip phases and treat them with higher priority. This study found that what senior travelers sought from educational travel programs was expertise, tr novelty and authentic travel experiences and learning environment. The participants in this study mentioned that educational tour leaders helped them to have new insights and deeper understanding of the place, society, culture a nd environment they visited by providing professional knowledge and detailed information. Many previous studies have also found that interpretation by travel leaders plays a vital role in enhancing tourist knowledge and awareness of wildlife (Gray, 1993) s (Ham, 1992; Moscardo, 1998). Moscardo (1996) indicated that tour leaders with professional knowledge interpreting during a trip contributes to bringing mindful learni ng to travelers and to enhancing the quality of their experiences. These facts reconfirm how important an education tour leader is to meet the high quality expectations of educational travel ers Although an educational travel leader helps travelers find me aning in what they see, meaning is constructed from travel experiences by the traveler, him/herself. Malcolm

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52 sites such as emphasizing the historic atmosphere and a s ense of the past, but sometimes failed to facilitate sufficient learning for tourists. Kelly (1955) also asserted that true learning can be completed when travelers construct and reconstruct their travel experiences themselves. As mentioned earlier, parti cipants in this study, not only invested their time and effort in research related to their educational travel before a trip, but spent some time after a trip in arranging what they had experienced, or researched more about what they had learned. These eff orts of the educational travelers are likely to facilitate constructing their travel experiences with deeper meanings and more learning. Another component of a high quality experience is (1989) perspective th interaction with local people or encounters with primitive nature are authentic travel experiences that all participants in this study reported seeking For authentic travel ex periences, the participants tried to experience the li fe of the destination as much as they could and they believed that these authentic travel experiences make their travel more valuable. Finally, a learning environment created with diverse learning tools and resources and interaction with people with the same interests enriched the learning experiences of educational travelers. Overall the findings of this study revealed that for senior travelers, travel experience is a way of creating meaning in their well being ( Lamb & Brady, 2005; Long & Zoller Hodges, 1995) All participants in this study mentioned increased understanding about themsel ves and the outside world as an important benefit of travel experiences. To better understand themselves and the outside world, they formed meanings from their travel experiences in their own ways. M eaning formation through travel experiences allows a traveler to establish his or her identity and affirm sel f worth

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53 (Baumeister & Wilson, 1996; McAdams, 1996). Most people are looking for meaning in life from multiple sources such as family, work, hobbies, and religion. For the senior travelers in this study, traveling seems to be one way of forming meaning in t heir lives through understanding themselves and others. Self discovery and understanding others is an important factor in making l (1963) demonstrated that as people age, their quest for something me aningful in their lives involves both remedying the bad and enhancing the good. In the same sense, travel experiences not only provide older adults with an opportunity to find meaningfulness in their lives but improve their psychological wellbeing. Specif ically, the participants in this study stated that understanding themselves and the outside world brought about a change of values and attitudes, which meant self growth for them. Another benefit mentioned by senior travelers in this study is self confiden ce obtained through the intellectual stimulation and physical challenge they had faced during their travels. These benefits such as self growth, self confidence, and competence are the main dimensions of psychological well being (Ryff, 1995). This suggests meaning formation though travel experiences fulfill s the lives of senior travelers, which contribute s to enhancing their psychological wellbeing. Although previous studies on travel experiences have also identified self growth, self esteem, confidence and tolerance toward other people, society and cultures as main benefits of travel (Lamb & Brady, 2005; Long & Zoller Hodges; 1995; Prentice et al., 1998), this study makes a contribution in that it reveals that meaning creation through travel experiences pro vides senior travelers positive psychological benefits. Participants in this study did not distinguish educational travel from general travel in that both types of travel provide d learning and educational components for them But there are two main reason s that they specifically chose educational travel. The first reason is the need for a

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54 higher quality experience. Most of the part icipants in the study stated that educational travel programs were worth the higher cost. Bodger (1998) indicated that quality control is a critical issue to enhance satisfaction in educational travel programs. The quality of educational travel programs need s to be understood in two contexts: education and experience. Here the quality of e ducation means learni n g in a structured l earning context. The result s of this study show that qualified travel leaders were at the center of providing quality experiences for educational travelers in terms of the educational context Travel leaders with extensive and professional knowledge are cr itical to the experience that the senior educational travelers observe, feel, and think during their educational trips. Such experiences inspired by an informed travel leader help to differentiate educational travel experiences from those of regular travel Therefore, educational program providers should focus on securing qualified and specialized experts and to design educational devices that help their senior participants' learning experiences to be broader and deeper. To enhance the quality of general tr avel experience s i t is necessary to keep in mind that older travelers are more experienced, flexible, independent and quality conscious than other travelers (Poon, 1994). As one interviewee in this study mentioned, they want to enjoy their independent traveler In particular, t he experiences most in demand were those that involved hands on participation in day to day host com munity activities. Accordingly educational travel program providers should design educational travel programs allowing more free time to create their own travel experiences out of the routine travel schedule and to facilitate engagements in personal discovery by providing encounters with people, society, culture and nature in the destination area. Additionally, this study demonstrated the importance of the preparation and recollection phases in form ing the whole travel experience Educational travel providers need to facilitate preparation and

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55 recollection of trips by offer ing promotion strategies such as the introduction of books related to the travel theme s or contests related to trip essays or pictures. The other reason why participants chose an educational travel program is the theme of educational travel. The participa nts look for t ravel programs with a specific and interesting them e that differentiates them from general travel study, w hen the participants chose educational travel they considered diverse factors such as place, date, accommodation s cost s and so on In particular, they seem ed to put higher priority on whether or not the topic is interesting to them and if the theme of travel is compatible with their interests. Therefore, an educational travel programmer needs t o continuously develop new travel themes reflecting participants changing interests. Final ly, the sample in this study was homogeneous in terms of high education level s stable financial status and abundant prior travel experiences. Thus, all of the part icipants were travel savvy and were highly motivated to learn something new and actively researched information related to travel topics typology of six educational traveler segments there were diverse reasons that senior travelers chose the Elderhostel programs. All participants were not motivated by a desire for intellectual experiences. Some participants chose the program because of location; others were novice participants who wanted to explore the possibilities that Elderhostel provided; other were very activity oriented people; and others were not interested in the program and used it as a means to some other end. A ll participants in this study fell into another two categories ; the adventurers who are willing t o go anywhere, try anything and look for new experiences in learning and the content committed who are willing to travel to a site with a program that supports the ir learning interests. When considering the demographics and motivations of the participants in this study,

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56 their characteristics are close to the core of educational travelers who focus on knowledge seeking activities. Therefore, the results of this study can be useful for understanding the travel experiences of typical educational travelers who are mainly motivated by a need to learn Meanwhile, t here is need for caution in applying th ese results to travelers whose main purpose is to participate in educational travel programs but not for learning, and to travel novices o r those with limited education or financial resources

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57 CHAPTER 3 STUDY 2: IDENTIFYING FACTORS THAT CREATE MEANINGFUL EDUCATIONAL TRAVEL EXPERIENCES FOR SENIOR TRAVELERS Overview Today as many older adults are healthier and better educated than previous generations they want to remain engaged intellectually and s ocially (Dychtwald & Kadlec, 20 0 6 ). According to a 2000 AARP survey, 90% of adults 50 years and older wanted to learn to keep up with what is going on in the world and to enhance their p ersonal growth, and for the sheer joy of learning. Also, m ature travelers who are a ged 55 and older comprise 37% of all leisure travelers and they take an average of 4.3 leisure trips e ach year (U S Travel Association 2009). As seniors have more trave l experiences, they tend to look for specialized travel program s with learning components ( Francese, 2002). This phenomenon has already been evidenced in the realm of educational travel. For instance, more than 60% of eco tourists are adults 50 and older ( Hvenegaard & Dearden, 1998). Indeed, Wight (1990) indicated that educational travel programs that combine learning with travel experiences appeal to seniors who want to enhance their life through travel experiences. All kinds of travel include, to some extent, a learning component. E ducational travel can be distinguished from other forms of travel by the inclusion of lectures and field trips led by pro fessional experts in a specific area E ducational travel programs are d esigned and offered to various segments of the population (Anderson 1989 ) although they have mainly been developed and provided by educational institutions and non profit organizations such as Road Scholar (formerly Elderhostel), the Sierra Club, and Smi thsonian Associates. More recently, profit based travel agencies have started developing their own educational travel programs. The preliminary study outlined in paper one found that for senior travelers, educational travel experiences provide a source of meaning in their lives through diverse experiences and

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58 learning. What they ultimately seek through educational travel is meaningful travel experiences. Yet, there are few studies that have identified the factors that create meaningful travel experiences in the context of educational travel. Accordingly, this study attempted to empirically identify the kinds of educational travel dimensions that facilitate the creation of meaningful travel experiences. Literature Review Educational Travel E xperiences Trave l experiences are composed of a variety of physical, social and cognitive activities. Accordingly, travel experiences can be a useful way to offset negative emotions such as lo ss of meaning, uncertainty, fear and depression triggered by life stage transi tions. O lder adults believe that travel experiences enrich their lives and help them to feel young again (Kersetter, 1993; Patterson & Pegg, 2009). Various researchers have found that learnin g something new during a trip is one of the primary travel motiva tions for seniors (Backman, Backman & Silverberg, 1999; Guinn, 1980; Kim, Wei, & Ruys, 2003; Sellick, 2004; Shoemaker, 1989; Thomas & Butts 1998). Learning in adulthood begins with the need to make sense out of our experiences, and the need to bring orde r and harmony to our lives (Merriam & Heuer, 1996). The need for senior s to engage in learning and meaning making has been explored as later life developmental tasks related to existential issues and personal finitude (Alexander, Rubinstein, Goodman & Lubo rsky, 1991). Wolfe (1990) tried to explain this phenomenon from a life stage perspective. He said that when looking at life stages, older people become less interested in acquiring material possessions and more interested in experiences such as travel. The refore, a combination of meaningful travel experiences with a focus on lea r ning is lik ely to be differentiated from regular travel

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59 Weiler and Kalinowski (1990) and Mills (1993) examined the characteristics of participants in educational travel programs. They identified the participants as wealthier, better educated, more self actualized, and a tendency to be repeat visitors compared to other types of trav eler s Arsenault, Anderson, and Swedburg (1998), using focus group discussions and in depth interviews, identified a typology of six Elderhostel participants. They found that seniors participated in educational travel programs for various reasons and made their travel decisions by considering diverse factors such as location, program, course content, accommodation, negotiation with travel partner, cost s and so on. Over the years a number of studies have attempted to further examine the motivations associa ted with educational travel. Thomas and Butts (1998) investigated the relationship between intellectual and social interaction motivations of international Elderhostel participants. They found that the more social interactions are satisfied, the more intel lectual needs are satisfied. In a similar study, Abraham (1998) examined the primary motivations of Elderhostel participants and the satisfaction achieved from the Elderhostel experience. The results indicated that satisfaction of the participants was maxi mized when the programs satisfied intellectual interests as well as social interaction needs Szucs, Daniels and McGuire (2001) explored differences in motivation between international and domestic Elderhostel participants. They found that international p articipants were motivated by the history and culture of the area where the program was held, the safety provided by group travel, the desire for travel, and the desire to pants were motivated by accommodations, word of mouth recommendations, program dates, the opportunity to escape personal problems and course topics.

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60 Meaningful Travel E xperience s Q uality has been always a core issue in leisure and tourism research and pr actice. Experience has been approached from diverse practical and theoretical aspects. Borrie and Birzell (2001) attempted to summarize the ways researchers have dealt with experiences in leisure and tourism studies. They identified four general approaches : satisfaction approaches (focusing on evaluation of on site conditions), benefits based approaches (focusing on psychological outcomes), experience based approaches (focusing on cognitive and affective states) and meaning based approaches (documenting so cially constructed meanings). Recent studies have focused more on understanding experiences in leisure and tourism through experience based or meanings based approaches. This trend is reflected by the words used to represe nt a high quality experience in th e literature. For example, optimal experiences, memorable experiences, extraordinary experience s meaningful experiences, and mindfulness have all been used. All of them have been used to describe a valuable or high quality experience in different contexts of leisure and travel. Examining the similarity among the concepts will shed light on understanding a high quality experience in the context of educational travel. The most well known study in this area is the theory of optimal experience introduced by C sikszentmihalyi (1975). Optimal experience encompasses a flow state whereby people become absorbed in demanding tasks and lose the sense of time and self. He summarized the characteristics of flow as a narrowing of the focus of awareness, loss of self cons ciousness, a responsiveness to clear goals and unambiguous feedback, and a sense of control over the environment. The original model of flow also suggested a congruence between skills and challenge s The balance of skill and challenge determines the channe l s o f flow including flow, boredom, awareness or anxiety. The concept of optimal experiences has furthered our understanding of recreation and leisure activities from a psychological perspective (Barnett,

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6 1 2005; Havitz & Mannell, 2001; LeFevre, 1998). Howev er since travel experiences are based on collective and holistic experiences including cognitive, emotional, physical and social interactions between people and the environment (Aho, 2001), optimal experience alone may not cover the diverse aspects of tr avel experiences. Another key approach is exemplified by Pine and Gilmore experience economy model They suggest ed experience i s a staged experience by a product or service provider. The staged experience comprise s four realms created with two cr iteria: whether the experiences require passive or active participation and whether the experiences result in the absorption or immersion of the participants. Based on the two axes, experience is classified into four dimensions including entertainment, ed u cational, esthetic and escape Pine and Gilmore explained that a combination of four realms of experience generates a memorable experience. They also addressed the design principles used to create memorable experience s: theme, harmoniz ing experien ce with positive cues, eliminat ing negative cues, memorab ilia and those that engage all of the five senses. The conceptual model for the experience economy is valuable in that it identified dimensions of experience s created by interactions between a provider and a consumer. However the model does not provide enough of a theoretical base for examining travel experiences as a process because it rega rds experience as a stat ic entity, namely a staged experience whereas travel experiences are dynamic The outdoor rec reation literature has often focused on experience. For example, Arnould and Price (1993) in a study of white water rafting experienc es examined the provision of extraordinary experiences for river rafting travelers from both the per spectives using multiple methods. The y found that extraordinary experiences were comprised of experience dimensions such as har mony with nature, communitas, personal growth and self

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62 renewal over the course of the trip. They demonstrated that extraordinary experience is likely to be created by affective, narrative, and ritual content through the setting, the skills, engagement, emotions and good sense of tour guides. More specifically, extraordinary experiences were created by the link with nature and separ ation from their daily routine, skill development, a or among the participants an engineer ing these factors. In the tour ism literature, Moscardo (1996) model of mindfulness focused on the cognitive state of a traveler induced by the good interpretation of a tour guide. Mindfulness was originally conceptualized as a state of mind expressed by actively processing new inform ation within the surrounding environment (Langer, 1989). mindfulness created through effective interpretation during a trip encouraged travelers to participate in more post travel activities to learn more about what they h ad learned. Moscardo found evidence during their trip of a direct link between mindfulness and increased self esteem, learning and creativity, and effective management (Langer, 1989). model, a high quality experience is regarded as whether or not a traveler experiences mindfulness as a result of good interpretation. In a later study, Moscardo (1999) demonstrated that a mindfulness experienc e in a nature or cultural based setting is associated with greater learning, satisfaction, and thinking about new ways to behave. Also it revealed that visitors exposed to mindfully presented information benefit ed from more of an educational and satisfaction perspecti ve than visitors who were not exposed. The mindf ulness model enables us to further understand the determinants that boost a high quality experience in terms of the cognitive aspects of a traveler who is not motivated to learn

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63 Wilson and Harris (2006) attempted to define meaning in travel by examining the travel experiences of w omen who independently traveled for business or pleasure. From interviews and focus groups with solo woman travelers, they defined meaningful travel as a travel experience in which individuals search for an increased sense of self confidence and empowerme nt, consider their options and perspectives of life, and think about their relationship with society and others. They also noted that the meaning gained from travel did not become clear until they had returned home. The authors emphasized the interconnecte dness between travel experiences and everyday lives at home, in that meanings and experiences are strongly influenced by how a traveler feels, what happens in their lives as well as the level of stress and ability to deal with personal crises. I n the prel iminary qualitative study for this dissertation (paper1) the participants stated what they sought from educational travel programs was a high quality experience. Some of them concretely defined a high quality travel experience as a meanin gful travel exper ience. For the participants all travel including educational travel, is one way of find ing meaning in their lives by understanding themselves and the outside world through travel experiences. In the same sense, Patterson, Watson, Williams and Roggenbuck (1998) indicated that what people are actually seeking in their travel experiences is a narrative which ultimately enriches their lives. W hen considering the travel experiences of senior travelers during the preliminary study in the context of educationa l travel meaningful experience s seem ed to repre sent intellectually charged learning experiences and affectively charged trav el experiences. B ased on the se generated themes it is proposed that intellectually charged learning experience s include : travel le expertise, a wide range of lectures and resources and pre post travel activities. The essence of an educational travel program is that a traveler can enjoy more learning related value added travel

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64 experiences than other forms of travel. The senior travelers in the first study expected an educational travel program not to merely provide a series of attraction pack ed experiences, but to provide opportunities to satisfy their special interest s with well informed and pr ofessional tour leaders and well o rganized programs. Thus, pre and post tr avel activities of the senior educational travelers are akin to the mindful visitor introduced by Moscardo (1996). Before the trip, the senior travelers prepared for their educational trips by researching their trave l topics or areas. Also after coming back home, they invested time in studying more about what they had learned during the trip. These findings seem to support the idea that intellectuall y charged learning experiences are an essential part of meaningful educational experiences. Meanwhile, it is hypothesized that affectively charged experiences comprise an important component of meaningful travel experiences on the basis of the results of the preliminary study. For the senior travelers, the best moment s of their educational travel programs came from their travel experiences such as encounter s with primitive nature or wildli fe, socializing with people in their travel group or with local people, and authentic or novel travel experiences. Th ese experiences engender in the senior travelers affective benefits such as appreciation, cheerfulness, excitement, self renewal, inspiration, refreshing feelings, and relaxation. Many previous studies have shown that experiences i s associated with emotional states (Aho, 2001; Botte rill & Crompton, 1996; Chhetri, Arrowsmith & Jackson, 20 04; Gilbert & Abdullah, 2004). Arnould and Price (1993) indicated that encouraging positive affect among travelers is central to form ing extraordin ary travel experiences Hosany and Gilbert levels of satisfaction whic h has a significant influence on behavioral intentions. Also according

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65 in a state of negative affect were more likely to have a higher travel drive than those who had positive affects. Specifically, the seniors with negative affect in their daily life were likely to travel in order to seek ego enhancement and self esteem. Th is implies the senior traveler may want to release negative emotions and to seek positive emotions through travel experiences. Indeed, Gilbert and Abdullah (2004) empirically demonstrated that individuals who took a vacation, had slightly higher level s of positive affect and lower negative affect than the non vacation ers immediately after a trip and up to six months later. Factors Creating Meaningful Travel Experiences Few studies have examined the factors that create high quality educational travel experie nces. However, a few researchers have identified similar factors although they have mainly focused on travel experiences in different travel contexts. model proposed that mindful experiences could be created by two sets of factors ; namely, setting and visitor factors. In order to induce mindful experiences from a visitor, the setting factor should include a variety of exhibit media, personally relevant contents, novel and unexpect ed interpretation content /exhibit media, interaction between interpreter and visitors, the opportunity for direct contact/participation. Meanwhile, visitors should have an educational motive, a high level of interest in the content, and no fatigue. The mi ndful experience is understood not just as a product of a provider, but by a mutual interaction between a provider and a visitor. This is si milar to the recent ideas that a visitor is regarded as an active subject who creates their experiences themselves ( Boswijk, Thijssen, & Peelen, 2005; Pine & Gilmore, 1999). In an industry sponsored study, the Canadian Tourism Commission ( CTC, 2004) investigated how to deliver the most memorable experiences for tourists and to find out what

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66 creates memorable experienc es. They identified four main elements that create memorable travel experiences. First, the roles, skills, resourcefulness and network of tour directors and tour guides are the most important in facilitating memorable travel experiences. Second, local reso urce specialists who travel with or join a group tour can share knowledge with travelers and connect them to the local community. Third, as elements of surprise, they include both positive/negative and planned/spontaneous elements, which have long lasting implications for memorable experiences. Finally, free time, flexibility, and spontaneity wit hin a tour itinerary facilitate self discovery for tourists. Although the research successfully identified the factors that create a memorable trav el experience by examining the different perspectives on the memorable experience beliefs of travel related organizations, it is limited in that it did not reveal the Morgan (2006), in a study on vis itor experiences at a folk festival, examined the elements message board discussions for the festival through a netnographic method. He suggested that positive and memorable experiences are likely to come from the following five elements: abundant choice, moments of amazement, shared experiences, fringe at the heart, and local distinctiveness. Specifically, first of all, people enjoy the freedom to choose from an abundance of offerings. Secondly, people get greater pleasure in discovering something new in the festival. In particular, this study stressed the first two elements as the essence of folk festival experiences. Thirdly, their experiences were even enriched by sharing the experien ces with their family and friends or socializing with interactions are interestingly likely to be found as informal fringe events to the main attraction. He indic ated that it is necessary to consider these characteristics in planning and designing a

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67 festival. Finally, the landscape and townscapes, the local food and drink were the sensory cues associated with the experiences. Although these studies identified di mensions that lead to high quality travel experiences in different contexts, there are many similarities between them and the first study For example, and a visitor); novelty and authentic travel experiences (element of surprise, moments of amazement, and local distinctiveness), learning environment (a variety of exhibit tools and abundant choice); shared experiences and so on. The first paper revealed that s uch meaningful experiences in an educational travel context seem to be created by four main factors: an and post travel activities. Wit the core role of a travel leader in providing a high quality travel experience at the destination ( Ham, 1992; Malcolm Davies, 2004; Moscardo, 1998; Roberson, 2001 ). Participants i n the preliminary study also confirmed how their travel leaders formed experiences from their educational trip with informed knowledge and expertise. Whipple and Tach (1988) indicated that quality of a tour guide was a discriminating attribute of travel s atisfaction. Moscardo (1998) indicated that The first is to provide information on the available options to tourists, which enable s them to make the best ch oices about what to do and where to go. The second is to provide information to encourage safety and comfort so tourists know how to cope with difficulties. Finally, a tour guide can create actual experience s so tourists can participate in activities such as guided walks, visit nature sanctuaries or art galleries and learn about an area of educational interest. As far as

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68 insightful in that it reveal s the major roles of tour leaders in educat ional travel programs. He classified tour guide roles in terms of two criteria, organization and management (instrumental roles) and the facilitation of encounters with the host people (interactionary roles). There are four roles of a tour guide including pathfinder, animator, tour leader and mentor. The role of pathfinder is literally to navigate tourists safely to the destination and to lead a smooth tour. The animator involves facilitating relationships and atmosphere within a tour party. The tour lead er mediates sites and institutions as well as facilitates between a travel party and a local community. Meanwhile, a initial qualitative study ( study1 ), the ro le of a tour leader in educational travel programs corresponds to a mentor and an animator rather than a pathfinder or a tour guide. Most tour leaders affiliated with educational travel programs are experts with professional knowledge and background in a specific area or place. All participants in the preliminary study stated that the reason why they chose an educational travel program was the likelihood of enjoying a high quality experience resulting from being led by an informed and professional tour gui de. Their interpretation and professionalism at cultural or ecological sites of a destination and their level of satisfaction with the travel experience, but raises awareness about wildlife and environmental sustain ability (Ap & Wong, 2001; Gray, 1993; McDonnell, 2001; Moscardo, 1996). Thus, the role of a tour leader as a social facilitator is an important part in creating high quality educational travel experiences. Some senior travelers in the preliminary study men tioned how a tour leader facilitated a soc ial atmosphere among people in the travel group. Similarly, Arnould and Price (1993) found that the emotional aspect s associated with extraordinary experiences are embedded in the relationship

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69 between a traveler an d a tour guide. They indicated that travel guides are fully integrated into the travel experience as a member of the trip by creating a sense of communion with friends, family and other travelers over the course of a trip. The learning environments identified in the initial study involve a wide range of lectures, learning resources, and interactions with people with the same interests in a travel group. The participants stated that many lectures across diverse areas and abun dant learning resources provided (i.e. books, reading materials, binoculars) encouraged them to extend their knowledge and to enhance their learning. As noted earlier, the finding s concur with the results of (2006) study on visitor experiences at a folk festival. Morgan also found that memorable experiences are likely to come from abundant choices, shared experience with family, friends or socializing with new people. In addition, sharing their though t s and impression s with travelers in a group seems to amplify the fun and pleasure of learning during the whole trip. Tennant (1997) indicated that learning in groups is important in adult education because it encourages the pooling of resources, builds a sense of group belonging, allows participants to express their views, and helps them in clarifying their thinking. motivations of Elderhostel participants revealed that the participants who were satisfi ed with social inte ractions in their travel group tended to be more satisfied with their intellectual needs being fulfilled. Likewise, Abraham (1998) demonstrated that satisfaction of Elderhostel participants was maximized when the programs satisfied intellectual interests a s well as social interactions. In the first paper participants found communality with their travel fellows because of their similar interests and curiosity, which seemed to induce active interaction s among people in an educational travel group. Similarly, Burton Smith (1999) found that for the participants in Elderhostel, traveling with a group of like

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70 travel experiences. She indict ed that, particularly the women felt that travel companions had an impact on the resulting travel experiences. T hese results imply that active social interaction s among people in a travel group contribute to the quality of travel experience as well as greater satisfaction of their educational desires. Another dimension of educati onal travel experiences is novelty and authentic educational travel experiences. Participants in the first study (chapter 2), believed that experiencing local life at a destination and interacting with local people are authentic travel experiences, which m ak es their travel more valuable. MacCannell (1973) conceptualized travel experience as a meaningful modern ritual which involves a quest for authenticity. However, the senior travelers in the preliminary study participated in educational travel programs n ot only to satisfy their quest for authentic travel experiences but for fulfillment of their special interests. The authentic travel experiences they mentioned resemble d personal or social existential authenticity as suggested by Wang (1999). These types of authenticity are more likely to be suitable to explain senior experience of a visitor could be enhanced through direct contact with or participation in local culture s Morgan (2006) and Moscardo (2006) also identified local distinctiveness as one of the food, drink, landscapes and townscapes. On the other hand, novelty has been also identified as one of major travel experiences in tourism studies (Cohen, 1 972; Fod n e s s, 1994; Mo, Havitz, & Howard, 1994; Pearce & Caltabiano, 1983). Novelty is a multi dimensional construct that is comprised of several dimensions inc luding change from routine, escape, thrill, adventure, surprise, and boredom alleviation (Lee & Crompton, 1992). In the qualitative initial study, participants often described novelty revolving around nature based educational travel programs.

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71 For example, encounters with natural wonder s /wildness and appreciating beautiful scenery. Such experiences remained as one of the most memorable moments of their educational trips. Novel travel experiences apparently contributed to enhancing thei r whole travel experien ce and directly brought senior travelers emotional benefits such as feeling refreshed, inner peace, and self renewal. Indeed, Arnold and Price (1993) indicated that the link with nature and separation from their daily routine provides an environmental sett ing that forms an extraordinary expe rience. Similarly, CTC (2004) underscored the importance of an element of surprise such as novelty in creating the most memorable experiences. When it comes to pre and post travel activities, few studies have empiricall y explored how the pre or post travel activities of a traveler affect travel experiences. In the initial qualitative study, the senior travelers invested their time and effort s in research related to their educational travel before a trip, and spent some time after a trip in digesting what they had experienced, or researched more about what they had learned. These efforts are likely to facilitate constructing their educational t ravel experiences with deeper meanings and more learning. Gibson (2002) found that senior travelers who treasured the educational value of travel had done extensive library based research for their trip before leaving for their travels. Ross (2005) also re vealed that senior travelers motivated by culture spent more time preparing for mindful visitor revealed that the visitors who experienced mindfulness during thei r trip tended to study further what they had learned after coming back home. This might explain the research activity of the senior travelers who participated in an educational travel program with a learning motivation in the initial qualitative study. Ind eed, Novak (1998) illustrated that there are two requirements that lead to meaningful learning: well organized and relevant knowledge structures

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72 relevant knowledge. travel activity is understood as Researching as a post travel activity corresponds to increasing new knowledge on what the y learned during their trip. The senior travelers finally came to discover meaningful learning in the process of connecting their background knowledge and what they had newly learned during a trip or what they additionally studied after a trip. As a resul t pre and post travel activities need to be examined as an influential factor that affects the quality of educational travel experience by providing meaningful learning. As discussed above, the theoretical propositions from the preliminary qual itative stu dy (chapter 2) provid e the theoretical basis for this study an d were empirically tested in this study This study w as had two objectives The first objective was to empirically identify the dimensions of educational travel and meaningful travel experiences in an international educational travel context. This purpose was guided by four research questions: 1) what are the participation patterns in educational travel exhibited by the respondents? 2) what pre and post travel activities did senior travelers part icipate in? 3 ) what are the dimensions of educational travel experiences? 4 ) what constitutes a meaningful travel experience for senior educational travelers? The second objective was to examine the relationship s among pre and post travel activities, th e dimensions of educational travel experiences and meaning ful travel experience. Figure 2.1 shows the conceptual model for this study.

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73 Figure 3 1 Conceptual model for s tudy 2 Method Data Collection A criterion sampling method was used for data collection. The participants for the study were recruited with the cooperation of Road Scholar (previously Elderhostel), a non profit organization that has provided educational travel programs since 1975. The p articipants were selected from the mailing database of Road Scholar on the basis of three criteria. First, participants were 50 years old or above. Second, they had participated in an educational travel program provided by Road Scholar between June 2008 to June 2010 Third, the scope of programs that they participated in was limited to Area study programs in foreign countries on the Areas study program s are those t hat explore both culture and nature in a local area. At the end of August 2010, 1500 participants were sent a survey package including a cover letter from Road Scholar and the researcher (Appendices C & D) a questionnaire, and a stamped return envelope. In an effort to boo st the response rate, a n ema il reminder was sent 15 days after se nding the original survey packet According to Dillman, Smyth, and Christian (2009) sending a reminder with a replacement questionnaire can improve response rates up to 12%. However, due to the limited budget for this study, a replacement

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74 questionnaire was substituted with an online survey that could be accessed by clicking on the URL contained in the email reminder. From September to October of 2010, 513 questionnaires were returned, 2 of the m were undelivered, and 8 were found to be incomplete A total of 50 3 questionnaires were completed resulting in a 33.4% response rate For this study, only 313 surveys which satisfy the sampling criteria of participation in an educa tional travel program in a foreign country were used. Despite delimiting the sampling frame to individuals who had taken part in international Area Study programs, respondents were asked about their most recent program on the questionnaire and so, while al l of the participants had taken part in international programs in the past, their most recent programs were domestic. Thus as many questionnaire items were originally developed on senior travelers who had participated in local or cultural programs hosted in foreign countries, it was felt that educational travel experiences might be different in an international context compared to domestic programs and so the decision was taken to focus only on international participants. Sample Table 3 1 displays sample characteristics of senior educational travel respondents who participated in this study T wo thirds of respondents (65.5%) were female and 34.5% were male. The respondents ranged in age from 55 to 91 years with a mean age of 72.8 years (SD=5.74) Over hal f of the respondents (55.3%) were married/partnered, followed by those who were single (22.8%) and widow/widower (21.9%). With respect to their education level s by order of frequency 48.7% had earned a a college degree (29.2 %), Ph.D. degree/JD/MD (19.2%), and high school graduate (2.9%). The majority of the respondents (89.4%) were retired and only 3.9% w ere employed full time. Among the respondents, 28.1% reported household income s of $40,000 to $69,999, followed by $70,000 to $99, 999 (20.8%),

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75 $100,000 to $129,000 (13.1%). Finally, 48.1% evaluated their current health as very good, followed by good (25.3%), excellent (23.7%) and fair (2.9%). Table 3 1. Characteristics of r espondents Demographics Frequency (n) Percent (%) Gender (n=313) Male 108 34.5 Female 205 65.5 Age (n=306) 55 65 33 10.8 66 75 164 53.6 76 85 108 35.3 86 and over 1 0.3 Marital status (n=311) Single 71 22.8 Married/Partnered 172 55.3 Widow/Widower 68 21.9 Highest level of education (n=312) High school graduate 9 2.9 College degree 91 29.2 152 48.7 PH.D. degree/JD/MD 60 19.2 Employment (n=311) Retired 278 89.4 Employed part time 19 6.1 Employed full time 12 3.9 Unemployed 2 0.6 Annual household income (n=255) Less than $40,000 19 6.1 $40,000 $69,999 88 28.1 $70,000 $99,999 65 20.8 $100,000 $129,999 41 13.1 $130,000 $159,999 17 5.4 $160,000 or more 25 8.0 Health status (n=312) Excellent 74 23.7 Very good 150 48.1 Good 79 25.3 Fair 9 2.9 Poor 0 0.0

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76 Measurement The data were collected using a self administered ques tionnaire (see Appendix E ). The questionnaire was designed in a booklet format with one sheet forming four pages (11"17") which pr ovided responden ts more space per page (Dillman et al., 2009). The questionnaire was comprised of six sections: 1) general information about an educational travel program, 2) travel motivation scale, 3) dimensions of educational travel experience, 4) meaningful travel experience scale 5) previous travel experience s, and 6) demographics. Participants were asked to complete the questionnaire based on their most recent education al travel experience. All scales were developed from a review of previous studies and the results of the q ualitative study (chapter 2). The scale measuring educational travel motivation was based on previous leisure and travel motivation scales (Beard & Ragheb, 1983; Moscardo, Morrison, Pearce, Lang All statements measuring th e various d imensions of educational travel experience were extracted from the results of chapter two e xpertise, learning environment, authentic travel experiences and pre post travel activities All items were measured on a 5 point Likert s cale (1 strongly disagree to 5 strongly agree). Previous travel experiences were measured in terms of domestic, international and educational travel with an open ended question format. The socio demographics section included gender, age, marital status, education, income, employment status, and self rated health status. In order to establish the face and content validity of the instrument, the questionnaire was screene d through a panel of eight academics (four professors and four graduate students). After some modifications, a pilot test was conducted with 26 older adults (8 participants from the first study and 18 seniors at a local church) Based on the results of the pilot study, a final questionnaire was developed with 22 travel motivation items, 39 ed ucational travel experience items, and 12 meaningful travel experiences items.

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77 Data Analysis Descriptive statistic s were generated for all data in order to explore the overall sample characteristics using SPSS 18.0. To address the first objective of thi s study, Principal Components Factor analysis was conducted to identify the educat ional travel dimensions and meaningful travel experience using a varimax rotation procedure. Two criteria were used to evaluate the items: Eigenvalues should be greater than 1 and communality or a factor loading should be greater than 0.5. The reliability of the items the second purpose, Pearson correlation was used to examine the relationships among the socio demographic variables, pre and post travel activities, educational travel dimensions, and meaningful travel experiences. Among the demographic variables, gender, age, and health status were significantly associated with pre and post travel activities, educational travel dimensions, and meaningful travel experiences. Accordingly, the socio demographic variables were treated as control variables in the subsequent analysis. Hierarchical Multiple Regression analysis was performed to examine the relationship between pre travel activities, educational travel dimensions, and meaningful travel experiences. A moderating effect between pre travel activities and educational travel dimensions on meaningful travel experiences was also tested using Hierarchical Multiple Regression. Results Particip ation in Educational Travel Table 3 2 summarizes the most recent educational travel programs that respondents participated in. Originally, participants for this study were selected from those who took part in educational travel programs of Road Scholar ove r the past two years (June 2008 to June 2010). They were asked to answer the questionnaire on the basis of their recent participation in an educational travel program.

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78 Table 3 2. Participation pattern in e ducational tr avel programs Frequency (n) Percent (%) Travel year (n=305) 2010 ( by August) 136 44.6 2009 77 25.2 2008 58 19.0 2007 to 2006 34 11.2 Program type (n=310) Nature 35 11.3 Culture 51 16.5 Area 205 66.1 Adventure 14 4.5 Skill 1 0.3 Service learning 4 1.3 Count r ies visited (n=313) Non English speaking countries (n=263) Africa 13 4.9 Antarctica 4 1.5 Asia/Pacific 24 9.2 Europe 146 54.5 Middle East 29 11.0 Central America 26 9.9 South America 21 8.0 English speaking counties (n=50) Australia/New Zealand 5 10.0 Canada 21 42.0 England 24 48.0 Travel companion (n=335) 1 Spouse/partner 153 45.7 Family/Relative(s) 29 8.6 Friends 68 20.3 By myself 85 25.4 Level of familiarity 2 (M/SD) Topic of the trip 2.85 1.07 Destination visited 2.54 1.09 Previous educational travel experience 3 (M/SD) 11.1 6.78 1. Travel companion exceed s the overall sample size because of multiple responses. 2. M easured on a 5 point Likert scale where 1= Not at all to 5=Extremely familiar. 3. Asked with an open ended question.

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79 Less than half of the respondents (44.6%) filled out their questionnaire based on educational travel participation in 2010, 25.2% in 2009, 19.0 % in 2008 and 11.2 % from 2006 to 2007. In terms of type of educational travel pr ogram about two thirds of respondents (66.1%) participated in educational travel programs regarding Area study about a particular area. Culture (16.5%) and Nature (11.3%) studies followed A few respondents traveled for Adventure programs (4.5%), Service L earning (1.3%) and Skill (0.3 %). The initial scope of this study was limited to participants in Area study programs but the scope was extended to participants who took Culture, Nature, or Adventure programs in the following analysis. Many parts of these p rograms were overlapped with Area study programs and they also were consistent with the types of questions asked in the survey. However participants in S ervice L earning and S kill programs were excluded because the experiences associated with these program s were not compatible with items asked in the survey. The m ajority of senior travelers (84.1%) visited non English speaking countries. More specifically the most popular destinations were European countries (54.5%), followed by the Middle East (11.0%), C entral America (9.9%) Asia (9.2%), South America (8.0%), Africa (4.9%), and Antarctica (1.5%). English speaking countries included England (48.0%) and Canada (42.0%), followed by Australia/ New Zealand (10.0%). Regarding travel companion s a little less than half of senior travelers (45.7%) participated in educational travel programs with their spouse or partner, followed by alone (25.4%), friends (20.3%), and family/relatives ( 8.6%). Senior travelers reported that they were somewhat familiar with the top ic of their travel ( M =2.85, SD =1.07) and travel destination ( M =2.54, SD =1.09) before participating in their educational travel program With regard s to previous educational trip experience s these s enior travelers (n=295) had participated in educational tr avel programs an average of 11.1 times ( SD = 6 .78) ranging from once up to 55 times. Most of respondents

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80 (n=276, 93.6%) were repeat travelers who had taken part in at least two educational travel programs previously. Participation in Pre and Post Travel Activities In the initial qualitative study, all participants believed that pre and post travel activities contribute to making their travel experiences valuable. Some participants indicated pre and post travel activities were an important part of the ple asure and fun they gained from travel. This study also found that senior travelers were involved in diverse pre and post travel activities related to their travels. Table 2 3 displays pre travel activities that senior travelers participated in before leavi ng for their educational trips. The pre travel activities were measured using a 5 point Likert scale. The majority of senior travelers (92.8%) in this study demonstrated that they were actively involved in several pre travel activities prior to their educa tional trip ( M = 3.95 SD =0.88). Specifically, the most common pre travel activity was reading books or magazines ( M = 4.68 SD =1.1 places ( M = 4.4 8, SD =1.25) web searching ( M = 3.99 SD =1.25) and talking with others who had visited the same destination or program ( M =3.3 3, SD =1.26). Also, t hose who plann ed to visit non English speaking countries reported that they devoted time for learning some of the local language ( M =2.85 SD =1.4 0 ). Table 3 3 Pre travel activities of senior educational travelers Pre travel activities 1 Mean SD Web searching for basic information 3.99 1.25 Talking with other who have visited the same destination or program 3.33 1.26 Reading books or magazine related to the trip 4.68 1.19 4.48 1.25 Learning some of the local language for this trip 2 2.85 1.40 Overall Mean 3.95 0.88 1. M easured on a 5 point Likert scale where 1= None to 5=A great deal 2. Calculated on those who visited non English speaking countries.

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81 Table 3 4 show s post travel activities that senior travelers did after coming back from their educational travel. A ll respondents answered that they got involved in post travel activities ( M = 4.18, SD =0.96). M ost actively shared their travel stories with family and friends ( M = 4.54 SD =0.97). Also, they spent some time reminiscing about the ir trip ( M = 4.42 SD = 1 .01), arranging the photos they took ( M =4.23 SD =1.40), studying more about what they had learned ( M = 4.02 SD =1.46) and keeping a journal or recording their travel experiences ( M =3.53 SD =1.67 ). When it came to participation in pre and post travel activities senior travelers were more likely to participate in post travel activities ( M = 4.18 SD =0.96) than pre travel activities ( M = 3.95 SD =0.88) [t (303) = 6.3, p < 00 1 ]. Table 3 4 Post travel activities of senior educational travelers Post travel activities 1 Mean SD Sharing my travel stories with my family and friends 4.54 0.97 Reminiscing about the trip 4.42 1.01 Arranging the photos I had taken 4.23 1.40 Studying more about what I had learned 4.02 1.46 Keeping a journal or recording my travel experiences 3.53 1.67 Overall Mean 4.18 0.96 1. M easured on a 5 point Likert scale where 1= None to 5=A great deal Educational Travel D imensions Table 3 5 present s the results of the educational travel dimensions for senior travelers. Principal Components Factor analysis was conducted on 28 items with varimax rotation to identify the dimensions of educational travel Eight items were eliminated because they had factor loadings less than 0.5 or a communality less than 0.5. In the test of multivariate normality of Sphericity was 2288.12 ( p < .00 1 ) and the Kaiser Meyer Olkin (KMO) measure was 0 .844 both of which are acceptable for running factor

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82 analysis. Six dimensions were derived with eigenvalue s larger than 1 and accounted for 67.7% of the total variance. Table 3 5 Explanatory factor analys is of educational travel dimensions Educational travel dimensions 1 Mean SD Factor loading Eigen value Varianc e (%) 4.32 .70 6.33 31.66 W ere very attentive and responsive to questions 4.57 .76 .87 P rovided information on available options 4.23 .93 .79 W ere experts about the destination or specific topics 4.59 .68 .79 H ad an interactive presentation style 4.25 .93 .78 E ncouraged interaction among travelers 4.00 .99 .70 4.50 .54 2.17 10.83 Accommodations were clean and comfortable 4.52 .70 .86 The food was good quality 4.43 .75 .79 There were a variety of activities provided 4.38 .77 .59 The land transportation was convenient 4.54 .66 .57 The travel was well organized and flowed smoothly 4.57 .72 .51 4.13 .73 1.74 8.69 A wide range of learning resources was available 4.11 .85 .81 A trip provided both academic learning and hands on experiences 4.13 .92 .72 There are many discussions and Q&A about what we were learning and experiencing 4.19 .86 .71 4.62 .55 1.23 6.17 I chatted or ate together with fellow travelers 4.68 .56 .87 Most people in the travel group were nice and congenial 4.55 .65 .87 3.45 .90 1.06 5.32 I interacted with local people 3.20 1.16 .80 I was a part of the special atmosphere of the destination 3.21 1.22 .77 I experienced authentic local culture(s) 3.99 .93 .75 3.68 1.01 1.01 5.04 I kept a journal or took notes 3.29 1.48 .92 I talked with other participants about what we learned 4.06 .90 .61 Total variance explained 67.71% 1. All scales were measured on a 5 point Liker t scale where 1= Strong ly disagree to 5=Strongly agree.

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83 Six educational travel factors were finally identified: Tour Leader, Trip Logistics, Structure of the Learning Environment, Fellow T ravelers, Authenticity and Reinforcing L earning. The first abilities ( M = 4.32, SD =.70) Tour leaders who were experts about the destination or specific topics ( M =4.59 SD =.68) had the highest mean value, followed by were very M =4.57, SD M =4.25, SD =.93). This factor explained 31.66% of the total variance with an alpha reliability coefficient of 0.86. The second factor, T rip L ogistics contains five items ( M =4.50, SD =0.54) related to general travel service provided by educational travel program prov iders The dimension includes the following items: avel was well organized and flowed smoothly ( M =4.57, SD ( M =4.54, SD s were clean and comfortable ( M =4.52, SD good quality ( M =4.43, SD =0.75), and of activities provided ( M =4.38, SD =0.77). The Cronbach coefficient alpha of these five items is 0 .82. Three items loaded on the third factor, Structure of Learning Environment ( M =4.13, SD =0.73). The factor involves creating an atmosphere conducive to M = 4.19, SD =.71), M =4.13, SD range of learn M =4.11, SD =.85). The alpha reliability coefficient of the items is 0.75. The fourth factor was labeled Fellow Travelers ( M =4.62, SD =0.55). The dimension M =4.68, SD =0.56) and M =4.55, SD =0.65). The alpha reliability coefficient of the items is 0.79. The fifth factor, Authenticity, contains three items

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84 ( M =3.45, SD M =3.2 0, SD M =3.21, SD M =3.99, SD =0.93). The Cronbach coefficient alpha of the items is 0.72. Two items loaded on the sixth factor, Reinforcin g Learning ( M =3.68, SD =1.01) representing activities that M =3.29, SD M = 4.06, SD =0.90). The Cronbach coefficient alpha is 0.63. Meaningful Travel E xperiences Table 3 6 presents the results of the factor analysis on the meaningful educational travel experiences scales. The meaningful travel experience items were measured on a 5 point Likert type scale where 1= strongly disagree to 5=strongly agree. Principal Components Factor analysis was conducted on 12 items with varimax rotation. Of the original 12 items, one item was eliminated due to lower communality less than .5. Bartl ( p < .00 1 ) and the Kaiser Meyer Olkin (KMO) measure was .867 which means the normality and sampling adequacy are adequate for conduc ting factor analysis. Three meaningful travel experiences dimensions were identified with eigenvalue s larger than 1 and they accounted for 78.09% of the total variance. The first factor includes five items that were related to the quest for knowledge that senior travelers obtained through educational travel experiences ( M =3.88, SD =.82). For exa M =4.19, SD =.85), M =4.02, SD M =3.96, SD ( M =3.74, SD ( M =3.46, SD =1.12). The Cronbach coefficient alpha of the five items was .88.

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85 Table 3 6 Explanatory factor analysis of meaningful travel experiences for senior travelers Meaningful travel experiences 1 Mean SD Factor loading Eigen value Variance (%) 3.88 .82 5.79 52.61 It aroused my curiosity 3.96 .95 .84 It made me inquire further about what I had learned 3.74 1.09 .80 It made me search for answers to questions I may have had 3.46 1.12 .78 It made me want to talk about what I had learned 4.02 .99 .75 It helped me explore and discover new things 4.19 .85 .75 3.84 1.01 1.59 14.49 It made me come back feeling cheerful 3.88 1.01 .89 It made me joyful 3.67 1.17 .88 It made me enthusiastic 3.92 1.06 .85 3.77 .97 1.21 10.99 It was more fascinating than I had expected 3.83 1.06 .90 It was more surprising than I had expected 3.67 1.04 .85 It was more amazing than I had expected 3.80 1.06 .82 Total variance explained 78.09% 1. M easured on a 5 point Liker t scale, where 1= Strongly disagree to 5=Strongly agree. The second factor, joy ( M =3.84, SD =1.01) contains three items. The dimension is related to emotions such as cheerfulness, joyfulness, and enthusiasm that educational travel experiences M =3.92, SD made M =3.88, SD M =3.67, SD =1.17). The Cronbach coefficient alpha of the items was .93. Three factors loaded on the third factor, pleasant surprise ( M =3.77, SD =.97) which represents the s urprising feeling senior travelers experienced during educational travels. The dimension includes the following items: M =3.83, SD M =3.80, SD =1.06), M =3.67, SD =1.04). The Cronbach coefficient alpha of the items was .90.

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86 To provide the basis for the subsequent hierarchical multiple regression analysis, the correlations among pre post travel activi ties, educational travel dimensions, and meaningful travel experiences are presented in T able 3 7. Originally, all variables were used for the Pearson correlation analysis. Table 3 7 includes only demographic variables including age, gender, and health sta tus that are significantly related to the educational travel dimensions and meaningful travel experiences. These demographic variables were used as control variables in hierarchical multiple regression analysis. Age is significantly associated with pre tra vel activities ( r = .17, p <.05), post travel activities ( r = .16, p <.05), and quest for knowledge ( r = .12, p <.01). Gender is significantly related to post travel activities ( r = .14, p <.01), reinforcing learning ( r = .16, p <.05), joy ( r = .14, p < .01), and pleasant surprise ( r = .13, p <.01). Finally, health status has a significant relationship with post travel activities ( r = .15, p <.05), reinforcing learning ( r = .20, p <.05), and quest for knowledge ( r = .19, p <.05).

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87 Table 3 7 Correlation among control variables, pre post travel activities, educational travel dimensions, and meaningful travel experiences 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 1.Age 1.00 2.Gender .06 1.00 3.Health .16 ** .13 1.00 4.Pre travel activities .17 ** .03 .04 1.00 5.Post travel activities .16 ** .14 .15 ** .31 ** 1.00 6.Tour leaders .00 .02 .07 .08 .08 1.00 7.Trip logistics .03 .03 .07 .07 .08 .00 1.00 8.Structure of learning .05 .01 .00 .21 ** .17 ** .00 .00 1.00 9.Fellow travelers .04 .01 .04 .02 .11 .00 .00 .00 1.00 10.Authenticity .03 .02 .07 .11 .17 ** .00 .00 .00 .00 1.00 11.Reinforcing learning .11 .16 ** .20 ** .24 ** .43 ** .00 .00 .00 .00 .00 1.00 12.Quest for knowledge .12 .02 .19 ** .34 ** .47 ** .04 .07 .13 .14 .13 .34 ** 1.00 13.Joy .09 .14 .12 .10 .20 ** .29 ** .25 ** .20 ** .06 .21 ** .15 .00 1.00 14.Pleasant surprise .10 .13 .06 .06 .35 ** .09 .06 .23 ** .01 .19 ** .17 ** .00 .00 1.00 **** p < .001, *** p < .005, ** p< .01, p < .05

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88 As shown in Table 3 7, pre travel activities were negatively related with age ( r = .17, p <.01) while they were positively related with the variables, structure of the learning environment ( r =.21, p <.01), and reinforcing learning ( r =.24, p <.01) among the dimensions of educational trav el experiences. Table 3 8 presents the effect of pre travel activities on the two dimensions of educational travel experiences after controlling for age, gender, and health status. First of all, pre travel activities significantly affect structure of the l earning environment in the final model ( =.18, p <.05). The results indicate that senior travelers who participated in pre travel activities are more likely to be satisfied with the learning environment and atmosphere created on site. Regarding reinforcin g learning, the control variables, gender and health remained significant in the final model ( =.15, p <.05; = .19, p <.005). Pre travel activities were also found to be significant ( =.22, p < .001). This means that female seniors, healthier seniors, or those who took part in pre travel activities seem to participate in more activities to deepen their learning on site. Table 3 8 The effect of pre travel activities on educational travel experi ences Educational travel experiences Structure of the learning environment Reinforcing learning Model1 Model2 Model1 Model2 Control variables Age .05 .02 .07 .04 Gender 1 .02 .01 .15 .15 Health 2 .01 .01 .19 ** .19 *** Independent variable Pre travel activities 3 .18 .22 **** R 2 .00 .04 .07 .19 F .28 2.52 7.14 *** 9.03 **** F R 2 9.21 13.70 **** 1. Males coded 1 and females 2. 2. M easured on a 5 point Liker t scale, where1= Poor to 5=Excellent. 3. M easured on a 5 point scale, where 1=none to 5=a great deal **** p < .001, *** p < .005, ** p< .01, p < .05

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89 Table 3 9 displays the effect of educational travel dimensions on meaningful travel experiences. First, quest for knowledge was significantly related to structure of the learning p p p <.05), and p <.001). During a trip, activities to deepen their learning are more likely to make senior travelers return home with stronger knowledge seeking than other educational travel dimensions. Thus, the learning envi ronment on site, socializing and interaction with fellow travelers, and interchange with local culture or people also seems to contribute to stimulating an intellectual desire among senior travelers. Table 3 9 The effect of educational travel dimensions on meaningful travel experiences Meaningful t ravel e xperiences 3 Quest for knowledge Joy Pleasant surprise Model1 Model2 Model1 Model2 Model1 Model2 Control variables Age .08 .04 .07 .05 .09 .06 Gender 1 .01 .05 .11 .12 .12 .11 Health 2 .17 ** .08 .09 .01 .05 .01 Independent variables 3 Travel leaders .04 .27 **** .09 Trip logistics .07 .25 **** .07 Structure of the learning environment .12 .22 **** .23 **** Fellow travelers .13 .06 .02 Authenticity .13 .20 **** .18 *** Reinforcing learning .32 **** .13 .15 R 2 .04 .18 .03 .27 .03 .14 F 3.28 6.42 **** 2.82 10.76 **** 2.46 4.80 **** F R 2 7.3 **** 14.30 **** 5.84 **** 1. Males coded 1 and females as 2. 2. M easured on a 5 point Liker t scale, where1= Poor to 5=Excellent. 3. M easured on a 5 point scale, where 1=Strongly disagree to 5=Strongly agree **** p < .001, *** p < .005, ** p< .01, p < .05 With respect to joy, gender was significant among the control variables Most educational travel dimensions were found to be significant ( except for fellow travelers ) p p <.001), structure of the p <.001),

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90 .20, p p <.05). Female seniors are more likely to feel joy through educational travel experiences than male seniors (Table 3 9). In particular, joy is more likely to be caused by diverse educational travel experien ces. Finally, pleasant surprise was significantly related to the structure of the learning environment p p p <.05). The learning environment on site is more likely to affect p leasant surprise of senior travelers than authenticity and reinforcing learning. Table 3 10 illustrates how meaningful travel experiences affect participating in post travel activities after a trip. In the first model, age, gender, and health were signific antly related to post travel activities but none of them were found to be insignificant in the final model. Table 3 10 The effect of meaningful travel experiences on post travel activities Post t ravel a ctivities 4 Model1 Model2 Control variables Age .13 .06 Gender 1 .13 .07 Health 2 .13 .02 Independent variable 3 Quest for knowledge .46 **** Joy .21 **** Pleasant surprise .34 **** R 2 .06 .40 F 6.21 30.44 **** F R 2 51.31 **** 1. Male coded as 1 and female as 2. 2. M easured on a 5 point Liker t scale, where1= Poor to 5=Excellent. 3. M easured on a 5 point Likert scale where 1= Strongly disagree to 5= Strongly agree 4. M easured on a 5 point scale, where 1=None to 5=A great deal. **** p < .001, *** p < .005, ** p< .01, p < .05 Meanwhile, all dimensions of meaningful travel experiences were significantly related to post travel activities. More specifically, quest for knowledge ( =.46 p <.0 01) seems to influence participation in post travel activities more than joy ( =.21 p <.0 01) and pleasant surprise (

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91 =.34 p <.0 01). This indicates that quest for knowledge seems to encourage senior travelers to get involved in more diverse post travel activities than pleasant surprise and joy. Table 3 11 shows the interaction effect of pre travel activities and educational travel dimensions on meaningful travel experiences. As shown in Table 3 7, pre travel activities were positively correlated with the structure of the learning environment ( r =.21, p < .01), and reinforcing learning ( r =.24, p <.01). Regarding meaningful travel experiences, pre travel activities revealed a strong relationship with quest for knowledge ( r =.34, p <.01). Results of the hierarchical moderated regression analysis shows that t he addition of the interaction increases the R 2 = 06 F = 9.41 p < .00 1 ] Table 3 11 The moderating effect of pre travel activities and educational travel dimensions on quest for knowledge Quest for k nowledge 4 Model1 Model2 Model3 Control variables Age .08 .03 .02 Gender 1 .01 .01 .06 Health 2 .17 ** .16 ** .11 Independent variable Pre travel activities 3 .31 **** .25 **** Interaction Pre structure .09 Pre reinforcing .25 **** R 2 .04 .13 .19 F 3.37 9.66 **** 9.99 **** F R 2 27.51 **** 9.41 **** 1. Male coded 1 and female as 2. 2. M easured on a 5 point Liker t scale, where1= Poor to 5=Excellent. 3. M easured on a 5 point scale, where 1=None to 5=A great deal. 4. M easured on a 5 point Likert scale where 1= Strongly disagree to 5= Strongly agree **** p < .001, *** p < .005, p< .01, p < .05 Pre travel activities ( =.25, p <.001) were found to be significant in the final model. The interaction between pre travel activities and reinforcing learning ( =.25, p <.001) was also

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92 significantly related to quest for knowledge, while the interaction between pre travel activities and structure of the learning environment was insignificant. This indicates that those who participated in pre travel activities or in both pre travel activities and reinforcing learning are more likely to feel a quest for knowledge after the trip. Discussion This study attempted to identify the dimensions of educational travel and meaningful travel experiences for senior travelers. It revealed six educational travel dimensions: tour leaders, trip logisti cs, structure of the learning environment, fellow travelers, authenticity and reinforcing learning. Compared to the results of the initial qualitative study (chapter 2), trip logistics and reinforcing learning were newly added and novelty was not identifie d as a dimension of educational travel experiences. Fellow travelers were also separated out as one dimension distinct of the learning environment. Among these dimensions, senior travelers reported that they most actively socialized with fellow travelers i n their travel group. They also seemed to be satisfied with trip logistics including accommodations, food, activities provided, land transportation, and organization of their travel. Regarding meaningful travel experiences in the context of educational tra vel, the qualitative study identified this as having two parts, namely, intellectually and emotionally charged experiences. I n this study, meaningful travel experiences were subdivided into three areas including quest for knowledge, joy, and pleasant surp rise Quest for knowledge corresponds to intellectually charged experiences in the first study while joy and pleasant surprise are compatible with emotionally charged experiences. The respondents in this study participated in diverse pre and post travel ac tivities to make their travel experiences more pleasurable and valuable They seem to be more involve d in post travel activities than pre travel activities. S enior travelers who were involved in pre travel activities tend ed to take notes or talk with other travelers about what they had learned during a

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93 trip Such interaction between pre travel activities and educational travel experiences also affects the quest for knowledge associated with meaningful travel experiences. It seems to imply that participation in pre travel activities has a considerable influence on educational travel experiences during a trip as well as the benefits of travel experienced after a trip. Meanwhile, as senior travelers have meaningful travel experi ences through educational travels, they are more likely to participate in post travel activities. These results support the first theoretical assumption of the qualitative study that pre and post travel activities are as important as the actual travel expe riences in forming the whole educational travel experience Also, the findings partly support the second theoretical assumption that all travel experiences before, during and after a trip are closely connected. This study also investigated the relationsh ip between educational travel dimensions and meaningful travel experiences. The findings showed that a ll educational travel dimensions have closer relationship s with meaningful travel experiences. This supports the second theoretical assumption of the qual itative study that meaningful travel experiences are derived from travel leaders, tour logistics, fellow travelers, structure of the learning environment, authenticity, reinforcing learning and pre travel activities. First, inconsistent with the expectati on that tour leaders may affect the quest for knowledge of senior travelers this study found that tour leaders seem to influence the creation of joyfulness in travel experiences rather than facilitating a quest for knowledge among senior travelers When c onsidering the fact that senior travelers in this study rated highly their ise, t ravel lead ers might be successful in delivering broader and deeper knowledge to senior travelers but might not be able to arouse their intel lectual quest Similarly, Malco l m Davi e s (2004) indicated that an interpreter

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94 sense of the past but failed to facilitate sufficient learning for tourists. On t he other hand, this study revealed that tour leaders play a critical role in giving rise to joy among senior travelers. T ravel leaders might provide senior travelers with the joy of learning something new. Thus, the ir extensive knowledge may contribute to developing pleasurable travel experiences among senior travelers who were highly motivated by a desire to learn Second, although trip logistics were not identified as an educational travel dimension that affected meaningful travel experiences in the qua litative study, this study revealed that trip logistics contributed to the joyfulness of senior travelers on an educational trip. Trip logistics comprise not only utilitarian services for travel convenience, but hedonic values such as joy, enjoyment, and f un (Otto & Ri t chie, 1996) Such hedonic values of trip logistics seem to increase the joyfulness of their travel experiences. Third, designing an effective learning environment is important in providing meaningful travel experiences for senior travelers. A wide range of learning resources, the linkage between academic learning and hands on experiences, and idea intellectual desires, but also provides more joy to sen ior travelers who regard learning as fun. This differentiated learning environment on site might also generate pleasant surprise s to senior travelers. Fourth, f ellow travelers also contribute d to forming meaningful travel experiences notably in terms of s timulating intellectuals. This finding can be supported by previous studies, in that fellows in a study group encourage participants to express their views and help them clarify their thinking, as well as building a sense of community (Burton Smith, 1999; Butt, 1998; Fairley & Tyler, 2009; Tennant, 1997). Fifth, a uthenticity has been regarded as a primary factor to enrich travel experiences (Cohen, 1972; Wang, 1999). These findings reconfirm that authenticity is located at the center of forming meaningful t ravel experiences including the quest

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95 for knowledge, joy and pleasant surprise. Interactions with local people and local cultural experiences not only provide better understanding about the local culture and people they encountered, but also inspired their intellectual curiosity to know more about them. Finally, to their quest for new knowledge as soon as they came back from their trip. Such active participati on also contributed to the joy and pleasant surprise associated with their educational travel experiences. This seems to imply that a traveler is an active subject in creating their travel experiences (Boswijk, Thijssen, & Peelen, 2005). As mentioned earlier, most senior travelers in this study were highly educated and expressed a strong intellectual desire. They voluntarily spent more time researching before their trip. Their quest for knowledge in educational travel experiences was influenced not by the travel leader but by the structure of the learning environment, authenticity, fellow travelers and reinforcing learning. This seems to indicate that senior travelers in educational travel programs are self oriented learners and their intellectual seeki ng is internally derived Accordingly, to satisfy and stimulate their intellectual desires, a travel program provider needs to pay more providing diverse le arning materials and new experiences. There are a few limitations to discuss related to this study. First, since all responses were programs, there is concern about the accuracy of recall. To minimize an effect of memory distortion caused by time elapse, this study recruited respondents from those who participated in educational travel program within the past two years and they were asked to fill out the questionnaire based on their recent educational travel experiences. However, despite these

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96 efforts, there w ere still some participants who completed the questionnaires based on educational travel experiences from more than three years ago. Second, most of the respondents rated their perceived health compared to comparable samples from this age group. This is p ossibly related to the consistent finding in tourism related work that people tend to rate poor health as a constraint on their travel rather than concerns over the validity of the questionnaire item. Third, since this study focused solely on programs loc ated in special geographical areas in international destinations, the educational travel dimensions identified in this study may not cover the educational travel experiences associated with more diverse programs such as hobby, service learning, adventure, and intergenerational travel. Therefore, it is recommended in future studies that a more diverse range of travel experiences be investigated. Fourth, this study was originally intended to show relationships among pre post travel activities, educational tra vel experiences and meaningful travel experiences. As more educational travel dimensions were generated than expected, this study could not address all of the relationships because at least 30 interactions between educational travel experiences and meaning ful travel experiences would need to be considered. Accordingly, this study could not examine the interactions between educational travel experiences and meaningful travel experiences on participation in post travel activities. It is suggested that future research examine the possible relationships among the components using a different approach. Finally, the questionnaire was potentially quite long due to the many items used for scale development. In order to address this issue this study attempt ed to de sign an easily answe red questionnaire for participants w ho were 50 years and older. It was hoped that using a mail survey instead of an online survey would cause less fatigue with participants answer ing all of the qu estions. Thus, all questions w ere writte n with clear and as short a wording as possible. The format of a questionnaire is as important as the nature and wording of a question

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97 (Babbi e, 2006). Most questions were asked by using a five point L ikert scale in a matrix format Answering a set of ques tions in the same format helps respondent s to expend less cognitive energy On the other hand, since it could also engender boredom each question in a section was alternatively colored. By using these strategies the researcher tried to guard against as ma ny potential limitations as possible.

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98 CHAPTER4 STUDY 3: IDENTIFYING SEGMENTS OF SENIOR EDUCATIONAL TRAVELERS Overview regarded as a n important market for the tourism industry because they are thought to have more free time, increased discretionary income s and better health than previous generation s As the baby boomer generation started to retire in 2010, many who have active lifestyle s and strong a desire for self actualization may be potentially interested in leisure travel An AARP survey (2010) indicated that baby boomers turning 65 years old ranked travel as the first activity that they most want to do for the next five years. According to a report by Focalyst (2007), baby boomers and the older generation took a total of 340 m illion domestic trips in 2005, and 110 million international trips between 2003 and 2005. More seniors are independent, quality conscious, a nd experienced travelers as many have traveled throughout their lives (Poon, 1994) Many are now looking for special ized travel programs with learning components (Demographics, 2002). For example, Smithsonian Journey a provide r of educational travel programs experienced a 13% increase in the number of mature travelers who participated in their trave l programs between 1998 and 2002 which was more than twice as fast as the growth seen in the travel market (Smithsonian Magazine, 2003). Dychtwald and Kadlec (2010) also pointed out that modern older adults, who are seeking social interaction, lifelong learning, and new adv entures are more drawn to travel experiences that provide pleasure, stimulation, learning and fond memories. Indeed, Wight (199 6 ) indicated that educational travel such as eco tourism, has attracted more senior travelers because such travel enhance s thei r quality of life through the benefits associated with learning and travel. Educational travel is defined as travel offering a pre organized, structured, high quality learning opportunity that allows visitors to experience the authentic culture, historica l, and

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99 natural wonders of an area (CTC, 2001). Distinct from regular travel, educational travel provides lectures and field trips led by experts in a specific area. Educational travel programs for the senior traveler also extend into hobby and skill areas (Holdnak & Holland, 1996). Educational travel programs have mainly been developed and provided by educational institutions and non profit organizations such as Road Scholar (formerly Elderhostel), the Sierra Club, and Smithsonian Associates. Recently, pro fit based travel agencies have become more involved in developing educational travel programs. Thus, it is expected that more competition will exist among previous and new educational travel providers in the near future. However, to develop satisfying prog rams for senior travelers who participate in educational travel, we first need to understand more about the needs and characteristics of senior educational travelers. Literature Review Seniors and Travel Motivation Researchers have indicated that senior t Leary & Lee, 2001; the diversity of senior travelers, recent studies have attempted to segment senior travel markets not only by trav el motivations, but according to various concepts including cognitive age, travel risk, values, life stage, and cohort groups. T he earliest stud y on senior travel motivations conducted by Guinn (1980) identified five travel motives of elderly recreational vehicle travelers: rest and relaxation, family and friends, physical exercise, learning experiences and self fulfillment/accomplishment. Although the author did not segment senior travelers in a sophisticated way, it provided insightful knowledge about th e characteristics of senior travelers based on travel motivations. Rest and relaxation was the primary motivation of senior travelers in this study. Guinn also found motivations for learning experiences tended to increase as individuals age d Shoemaker (19 89) similarly examined senior travelers with respect to travel

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100 motives and activity preferences while traveling. Three senior travel clusters were identified: family travelers, active resters and the older set. For active resters, the primary reasons for travel were not only to seek intell ectual and spiritual enrichment, but also to meet people and socialize, rest and relax, escape everyday routine s engage in physical activities and visit historic sites. The majority of participants were 64 years and old er, three fourths of whom traveled at least two times per year. Similarly Lieux, Weaver and McCleary (1994) identified three different travel clusters in the senior travel market in the United States: novelty seekers, active enthusiasts and reluctant tr avelers. In their study, novelty seekers and active enthusiasts correspond to active experience d new things, and were interested in cultural and event type activities. Ac tive enthusiasts were motivated by warm weather and physical activities. Both novelty seekers and active enthusiasts consisted of female seniors with high incomes and higher education. Moscardo Morrison, Pearce, Lang eary (1996) examined the rela tionship between travel motivation, activities, and preferred destination of Australian outbound travelers. They identified three distinct clusters: social status, self development and escape/relaxation. Of those clusters, the self development group was mo tivated by learning. The self development group consisted of people aged 55 or older, many of whom were at an stage. They part icipated in activities such as getting to know the local inhabitants, touring the countryside, visiting wilderne ss areas, visiting galleries, museums, historic, and archaeological places. Another study on Australian senior travelers conducted by Wei and Ruys (1998) identified three travel groups: enjoying later life travelers, comfort and familiarity travelers, and self fulfillment travelers. The self fulfillment travelers represent older adults who are

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101 adventurous and like to try new things, meet new people and seek personal growth and enrichment. Using psychographics, Backman, Backman and Silverberg (1999) profi led the senior nature based travel market in the United States. They identified five travel segments: education/nature, camping/tenting, socialization, relaxation, and information. The study revealed travel group s seeking education/history experiences was comprised of retired seniors, with college educations and higher income levels. These travelers were involved in hiking, photography, and visiting historical and cultural sites during their travel s Kim, Wei, and Ruys (2003) examined the senior travel mark et in Western Australia using a neura l network. They found there was a group they called learners were female and traveled for personal growth and learning. The active learners wanted to embrace new experiences and took part in diverse activities while they traveled. Sellick (2004) also segmented the senior travel market in Australia by using travel motives, travel risk perception, and cognitive age as well as demographic variables. Four travel segm ents were identified: discovery and self enhancement, enthusiastic connectors, reluctant travelers and nostalgic travelers. The group seeking discovery and self enhancement were mainly motivated by learning, connecting with other people and physical acti vities. They included individuals with younger cognitive ages, as well as higher incomes and self rated health than other senior travel clusters. Sangpikul (2008) investigated the motivations of U S senior travelers to Thailand by using push and pull moti vations theory The study identified t hree push factors including novelty and knowledge seek ing, ego enhancement, and rest and relaxation. There were four pull factors: travel arrangement and facilities, cultural and historic attractions, shopping and leis ure activities and safety and cleanliness. Based on the four pull motivation factors the study

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102 extracted two cluster groups: cultural and historical seekers and holiday and leisure seekers. Cultural and historical seekers were motivated by seeking new knowledge and different cultural experiences while they were concerned about safety and cleanliness in Thailand. The cluster was comp rised of more female, older and retired seniors. On the other hand holiday and leisure seekers want to enjoy a variety of leisure and holiday experiences with reasonable price of good s and services in Thailand. They were younger than the other clusters and were still working. Although these studies have used different motivation tools to segment senior travel ers it is evide nt that education is one of the primary travel motivations of older adults. In addition to the learning motive, socializing, rest and relaxation, and adventure or physical activities are common among travel segments labeled : active rester, novelty seekers, active learner, self development, self fulfillment and self enhancement. Specifically, in the initial studies, intellectual, socializing, rest and relaxation motivations tended to be combined within one segment. In later studies, the re st and relaxation motivation has been replaced by adventure or physical activities. This supports the finding s of Horneman, Carter and Ruys (2002) that senior travel motivation for many has shifted toward more active pursuits and perhaps provides support for studies that s uggested baby boomers are different from the silent generation in their preferences (e.g. Lehto, Jang, Achana Gray & Lane, 2001). In particular, the travel segment with a learning motivation prefers involvement in activities s uch as visiting wilderness, touring the countryside, hiking, and visiting historic, archaeological, or cultural sites. Furthermore, it should be noted that senior travelers have always sought both learning and socializing together. They perceive themselves as younger than their actual age and have higher education s and income s Ultimately, a consistent finding is that senior travelers seek personal growth and try to enrich their lives through travel experiences.

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103 Motivations of Senior Educational Travelers Although previous studies have identified learning or intellectual seeking as one of the major travel motivations, only a few researchers have investigated the travel motivations associated with educational travel which is growing more popular among senior travelers. The lack of research in this area may be due to the assumption that senior educational travelers have only one travel motivation, namely learning. However, Arsenault, Anderson, and Swedburg (1998) in a study of educational travel participants f ound a range of motivations. They examined group discussions and in depth interviews and found that not all participants were motivated by a desire fo r intellectual experiences. Th ey developed a typology of six Elderhostel participant types : the activity oriented, the geographical guru, the experimenter, the adventurer, the content committed and the opportunist. Some participants chose Elderhostel programs so they could participate in physical activities. Geographical guru travelers chose the program because of location. Experimenters were novice participants of Elderhostel. Content committed travelers participated in the program in order to satisfy their intellectual curiosity abou t their interests while the Opportunists were not interested in the Elderhostel program and used it as a means to take a rest. Thomas and Butts (1998) investigated the relationship between motivations and L eisure M otivation S cale (LMS). The researchers confirmed the four motivational dimensions of the LMS: intellectual, mastery competence, stimulus avoidance and social. Moreover, they found the more social interactions are satisfied, the more intellectual needs are satisfied. In a similar study, Abraham (1998) examined the primary motivations of Elderhostel participants and the satisfaction achieved from the Elderhostel experience with the LMS and another of measure s (1980), the L eisure S atisfaction S cale. The researchers used only two of the

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104 motivation subscales, intellectual and social scales. The results indicated that satisfaction was maximized when the programs satisfied intellectual interest s as well as social interaction. Szucs, Daniels and McGuire (2001) explored differences in motivation between inte rnational and domestic Elderhostel participants using the nine motivation items identified by Arsenault et al (1998). They found that international participants were motivated by the history and culture of the area where the program was held, the safety p rovided by group travel, the desire for travel, and the desire to socialize with locals Domestic participants were motivated by accommodations, word of mouth recommendations, program dates, the opportunity to escape per sonal problems and course topics. Dimensions of E ducational T ravel E xperiences The preliminary qualitative study ( chapter 2 ) found that meaningful travel experiences ronment, leader in providing a high quality travel experience (Ham, 1992; Malcolm Davies, 2004; Moscardo, 1998; Roberson, 2003). Participants in the qualitative study also confirmed how their travel leaders influenced their educational travel experiences by their informed knowledge and expertise. Whipple and Tach ( 1988) indicated that the quality of a tour guide was a major attribute of travel satisfaction. Moscardo (1998) indicated that the interpretation provided by a provide information on the available options to tourists, which enables them to make the best choices about what they do and where they go. The second is to provide information to encourage safety and comfort so tourists know how to cope with difficultie s. Finally, a tour

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105 guide can create the actual experience so tourists can participate in activities such as guided walks, visit ing nature sanctuaries or art galleries and learn ing about their area of educational interest. Regarding the role of a tour lead 5) four roles of a tour guide are appropriate for revealing the major roles of tour leaders in educational travel programs. These include the roles of pathfinder, animator, tour leader and mentor. The role of pathfinder is literally to nav igate tourists safely to the destination and to lead a smooth tour. The animator role involves facilitating relationships and atmosphere within a tour party. The tour leader mediates sites and institutions as well as facilitating between a travel party and a local community. Meanwhile, the mentor role is to mediate information and to provide knowledge to the tourist. qualitative study (chapter 2) the role of tour leader in educational travel programs corr esponds to a mentor and an animator rather than a pathfinder or a tour guide. Most tour leaders affiliated with educational travel programs are experts with professional knowledge and background s in a specific area or place. The senior travelers in the qu alitative study stated that the primary reason why they chose an educational travel program was for the high quality experiences of being led by an informed sites not only influence s satisfaction with the travel experience, but raises awareness about wildlife and environmental sustainability (Ap & Wong, 2001; Gray, 1993; McDonnell, 2001; Moscardo 1996). Thus, the role of a tour leader as a social facilitator is an important part in creating high quality educational travel experiences. Some senior travelers in the preliminary study mentioned how a tour leader facilitated the social atmosphere amon g people in a travel group. Similarly, Arnould and Price

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106 indicated that travel guide s are fully integrated into the travel experience as a member of the trip by creating a sense of communion with friends, family and other travelers over the course of a trip. The learning environments identified in the qualitative study ( chapter 2 ) involve a wide range of lectures, learning resources, and interactions with people with the same interests in a travel group. The participants stated that many lectures across diverse areas and abundant learning resources (i.e. books, reading materia ls, b inoculars) provided supported them by extend ing their knowledge and enhancing their learning. As such the findings concur with memorable experiences are likely to com e from abundant choices, shared experiences with family, friends or socializing with new people. Also, for the senior travelers in the preliminary study, sharing their thoughts and impressions with follow travelers in a group seems to amplify the fun and p leasure of learning during a trip. Tennant (1997) indicated that learning in groups is important in adult education because it encourages the pooling of resources, builds a sense of group belonging, allows participants to express their views, and helps the m in clarifying their participants revealed that participants who were satisfied with social interactions in a travel group tended to be more satisfied with their intelle ctual needs being fulfilled. Similarly, Abraham (1998) demonstrated that satisfaction among Elderhostel participants was maximized when the programs satisfied intellectual interests as well as social interactions. In the preliminary study, participants eas ily found communality with their travel fellows because of their similar interests and curiosity, which seemed to induce active interaction s among people in educational

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107 travel groups. Burton Smith (1999) found that for the participants in Elderhostel, trav eling with a group of like that, particularly women, felt that travel companions had an impact on the ir travel experiences. These results imply that social interactions with people who have similar taste s interests and ideas during their trip contributes to the quality of travel experience as well as satisfaction of their educational desires. Another dimension of educational travel experiences is novelty and authentic educational travel experiences. Participants in the qualitative study ( chapter 2 ) believed that experiencing local life at a destination and interacting with local people are auth entic travel experiences, which makes their travel more valuable MacCannell (1973) conceptualized travel experience as a meaningful modern ritual, which involves a quest for authenticity. However, the senior travelers in the preliminary study had particip ated in educational travel programs not only to satisfy a need for authentic travel experiences but for fulfillment of their special interest s The authentic travel experiences they mentioned resemble personal or social existential authenticity as suggest ed by Wang (1999). Moscardo (1996) indicated that the mindful experience of a visitor could be enhanced through direct contact with or participation in the local culture. Both Morgan (2006) and Moscardo (2006) also identified local distinctiveness as one o f the elements that form visitors ocal distinctiveness involves the local food, drink, landscapes and townscapes. On the other hand, novelty has been also identified as one of the major travel experiences in tourism s tudies (Coh en, 1972; Fondne s s, 1994; Mo, Havitz, & Howard, 1994; Pearce & Caltabiano, 1983). Novelty is a multi dimensional construct that is comprised of several dimensions including change from routine, escape, thrill, adventure, surprise, and boredom alleviation ( Lee & Crompton, 1992). In the preliminary study, participants

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108 often described novelty revolving around nature based educational travel programs. For example, encounters with natural wonder s /wildness and appreciating beautiful scenery. Such experiences rema ined as one of the most memorable moments of their educational trips. Novel travel experiences apparently contributed to enhancing their whole travel experience and directly brought senior travelers emotional benefits such as feeling refreshed, inner peac e, and self renewal. Arnold and Price (1993) indicated that the link with nature and separation from their daily routine provides an environmental setting that forms an extraordinary experience. Indeed the C anadian T ravel C ommission (2004) underscores the importance of an element of surprise such as novelty in creating the most memorable experiences. When it comes to pre post travel activities, few studies have empirically explored how the pre or post travel activities of a traveler affect travel experienc es. In the qualitative study, the senior travelers invested their time and effort in research related to their educational travel before a trip, and spent some time after a trip in digesting what they had experienced, or researched more about what they had learned. These efforts are likely to facilitate constructing their educational travel experiences with deeper meanings and more learning. Gibson (2002) found that senior travelers who treasured the educational value of travel had done extensive library ba sed research for their trip before leaving on their travels. Ross (2005) also revealed that senior travelers motivated by culture spent more time preparing for their trip before departure. ndful visitor revealed that visitors who experienced mindfulness during their trip tended to study further what they had learned after coming back home. This might explain the research activity of the senior travelers who participated in an educational tra vel pr ogram motivated by learning Novak (1998) illustrated that there are two requirements th at underpin meaningful learning: well organized and

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109 knowledge wit travel topic and areas. Researching as a post travel activity corresponds to incre asing new knowledge on what they learned during their trip. It appears that senior travelers finally c ome to discover meaningful learning in the process of connecting their background knowledge and what they had newly learned during a trip or what they stu died more about aft er a trip. On the basis of this pre and post travel acti vities need to be examined as potentially influential factor s that affect the quality of educational travel experience s by providing meaningful learning experiences The purpose of the study wa s to identify the travel motivations of senior educational travelers and the dimensions of educational travel experiences and to delineate more detailed characteristics of senior educational travel clusters using a segmentation approach. The study w as guided by four research objectives: 1) what are the travel motivations of senior educational travelers? 2) What are the dimensions of educational travel experiences? 3) Are there different types or segments of the senior educational traveler ? And 4) does each cluster differ in terms of educational travel experiences and demographics ? Method s Data Collection A criterion sampling method was used for data collection. The participants for the study were recruited with the cooperation of Road Scholar (previously Elderhostel), a non profit organization that has provided educational travel programs since 1975. The participants were selected from the mailing database of Road Scholar on the basis of three criteria. First, participants were 50 years old or above. Second, they had participated in an educational travel program provided by Road Scholar between June 2008 to June 2010 Third, the scope of

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110 programs that they participated in was limited to those who had taken part in Area study progra ms Areas stud ies are educational travel programs that deal with both culture and nature in a local area. At the end of August 2010, 1500 participants were sent a survey package inc luding a cover letter from Road Scholar and the researcher (Appendices C & D) a questionnaire, and a return envelope. In an effort to boo st the response rate, a n email reminder was sent 15 days after sending the original survey packet According to Dillma n, Smyth, and Christian (2009) sending a reminder with a replacement questionnaire can improve response rates up to 12%. However, due to the limited budget for this study, a replacement questionnaire was substituted with an online survey that could be accessed by clicking the on URL contained in the email reminder. From September to October of 2010, 513 questionnaires were returned and two of the m were undelivered and 8 were found to be incomplete A total of 50 3 questionnaires were completed resulting in a 33.4% response rate Only 313 out of 503 surveys answered the questionnaire based on participation in international educational travel programs. Among 313 international educational program participants, 8 surveys were excluded because they were filled out based on service learning, skill or other programs. Meanwhile, participants in culture, nature, or adventure programs were included in this study because many parts of these programs overlapped with Area Study Programs. Therefore, 305 surveys were use d for analysis in this study. Sample T wo thirds of respondents (65.5%) were female and the average age of respondents wa s 72.83 years old ( SD =5.73 ) ranging from 55 to 91 years old. Slightly, more than half of the respondents (53.5%) were aged from 66 to 75, followed by 76 to 85 (35.3%), and 55 to 65 (10.7%). Over half of the respondents (55.3%) were married/partnered, followed by those who were single (22.7%) and widow/widower (21.9%). With respect to their education level, 48.7%

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111 had earned a ree, followed by a college degree (29.2%), Ph.D. degree/JD/MD (19.2%), and high school diploma (2.9%). The majority of the respondents (89.4%) were retired and only 3.9% were employed full time. Among respondents, 28.1% reported household income s of $40,00 0 to $69,999, followed by $70,000 to $99, 999 (20.8%), $100,000 to $129,000 (13.1%). Finally, 48.1% evaluated their current health status as very good, followed by good (25.2%), excellent (23.8%) and fair (2.9%). Measurement The data were collected usin g a self administered ques tionnaire (see Appendix E ). The questionnaire was designed in a booklet format with one sheet forming four pages (11"17") which provides responden ts more space per page (Dillman et al., 2009). The questionnaire was comprised of six sections: 1) general information about an educational travel program, 2) travel motivation scale, 3) dimensions of educational travel experience, 4) meaningful travel experience scale 5) previous travel experience s, and 6) demographics. P articipants were asked to complete the questionnaire based on their recent education al travel experiences. All scales were developed from a review of previous studies and the results of the qualitative study (chapter 2). The scales for educational travel m otivations were generated based on previous leisure and travel motivation studies (Beard & Ragheb, 1983; Moscardo, Morrison, Pearce, Lang All statements measuring the various d imensions of educational travel experience wer e extracted from the interview data (chapter 2) e xpertise, learning environment, authentic travel experiences and pre post travel activities All items were measured on a 5 point Likert Scale (1 strongly disagree to 5 strongly agree). Previ ous travel experiences were measured in terms of domestic, international and educational

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112 travel with an open ended question. The socio demographics section included gender, age, marital status, education, income, employment status, and self perceived healt h status. In order to establish the face and content validity of the instrument, the questionnaire was screene d through a panel of eight academics (four professors and four graduate students). After some modifications, a pilot test was conducted with 26 ol der adults (8 participants from the first study and 18 seniors at a local church) Based on the results of the pilot study, a final questionnaire was developed with 22 travel motivation items, 39 educational travel experience items, and 12 meaningful trave l experiences items. Data Analysis Descriptive statistic s were generated for all data in order to explore the overall sample characteristics using SPSS 18.0. The data analysis consisted of three phases. First, Principal Components Factor analysis was conducted to identify the educat ional travel motivations and educational travel experience dimensions using a varimax rotation procedure. Two criteria were used t o evaluate items: Eigenvalues should be greater than 1 and communality or a factor loading should be greater than 0.5. The internal consistency reliability of the items was determined by means cluster an alysis were performed to segment the senior educational travelers based on educational travel motivations and Hierarchical cluster analysis was first conducted on 25% of the data to determine the number of clusters. Based on the results of a denogram of th e Hierarchical cluster analysis, K means cluster analysis was run on the whole data. Finally chi square tests, MANCOVA, and MANOVA were employed to test for differences among the clusters based on gender, age, marital status, education, employment, annual household income, health status, educational travel participation, and educational travel dimensions.

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113 Results Educational Travel M otivations Table 4 1 shows travel motivations of the senior educational travelers. All travel motivation scales wer e measu red by using 5 point Likert scales where 1= strongly disagree to 5= strongly agree. Principal components factor analysis was conducted with varimax rotation. Among the original 22 items, 6 items were deleted because of a lower communality or factor load ings less than .5. Finally, five educational travel motivations were derived from the 18 items with eigenvalue s larger than 1. The five dimensions accounted for 70.98 % of the total variance. 2569. 13 ( p < .00 1 ) and the Kaiser Meyer Olkin (KMO) measure was 846. The first factor was labeled Learning & E nrichment which contains five items and this factor has the highest mean value of the five educational travel motivations ( M =4.48 SD =.74) The Cronbach coefficient alpha of the items was .90 The five items of L earning & E nrichment To satisfy my curiosity or increase my general knowledge ( M =4.60, SD =.79), To learn about the world around me ( M =4.52, SD =.85), To learn new things and e nrich my life ( M =4.50, SD =.82), To broaden my perspective ( M =4.46, SD =.87), To experience something different or new ( M =4.29, SD =.89) The second factor, E xistential S eeking, contains four items and repr esents a desire to recognize the value of th eir own existence and inter connection with people and the world ( M =2.59, SD =.94) The Cronbach coefficient alpha of the four items was .85. Existential seeking includes the follo self fulfillment and accomplishment ( M =2.85 SD =1.21) To share my thoughts and feeling with my travelling companions ( M =2.80, SD =1.15) about who I am and what life means ( M =2.40, SD =1.12) ( M =2.28, SD =1.03). The third factor, Change of Scene, is related to a desire to get away from daily life and change their surroundings. The motivation dimension has the lowest mean value among five educational

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114 travel motivations ( M =2.45, SD =.99) The factor had a reliability alpha of .79. More specifically, it contains three items : M =2.56 SD = 1.29 ) M =2.54 SD = 1.01 ) M =2.21 SD = 1.23 ) Table 4 1 Educational travel motivations for senior travelers Travel motivations 1 Mean SD Factor loading Eigen value Variance (%) 4.48 .74 5.30 29.38 To learn about the world around me 4.52 .85 .91 To broaden my perspectives 4.46 .87 .89 To learn new things and enrich my life 4.50 .82 .81 To experience something different or new 4.29 .89 .81 To satisfy my curiosity or increase my general knowledge 4.60 .79 .81 2.59 .94 3.84 21.31 To help me think about who I am and what life means 2.40 1.12 .84 T o give a feeling of self fulfillment and accomplishment 2.85 1.21 .79 To share my thoughts and feeling with my travelling companions 2.80 1.15 .75 To find simplicity or peace of mind 2.28 1.03 .68 2.45 .99 1.43 7.97 To change my surroundings for the sake of change 2.56 1.29 .87 To get away from the demands of home and in daily life 2.21 1.23 .83 To rest and relax 2.54 1.01 .62 3.79 .83 1.20 6.65 To bring back good memories 3.53 1.27 .76 To have fun and be entertained 3.46 1.13 .69 To travel now while my health is good 4.31 .94 .59 To be a little adventurous 3.82 1.00 .57 2.91 1.14 1.01 5.63 To have a good time with my spouse or friends 3.45 1.33 .87 Because my partner wanted to go 2.38 1.36 .79 Total variance explained 70.98 1. All items were measured on a 5 point Likert scales, where 1=Strongly disagree to 5=Strongly agree.

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115 The fourth factor was labeled Collecting Fond M emories ( M =3.79, SD =.83) which had the largest mean value after the L earning & E nrichment factor. Factor four comprised four items: M =4.31, SD =.94) ( M =3.82, SD M =3.53, SD M =3.46, SD =1.13). The Cronbach coefficient alpha of the items was .75. Two it ems loaded on factor five labeled Time with Family and Friends ( M =2.91, SD =1.14) The items are ( M =3.45 SD = 1.3 3) M =2.38 SD = 1. 3 6 ) Cronbach coefficient alpha for factor five was.62. Educational Travel D imensions Table 4 2 present s the results of the educational travel dimensions for senior travelers. Principal Components Factor analysis was conducted on 28 motivation items with varimax rota tion to identify the dimensions of educational travel Eight items were eliminated because they had factor loadings less than 0.5 or communality less than 0.5. In the test of multivariate 8.12 ( p < .00 1 ) and the Kaiser Meyer Olkin (KMO) measure was 0 .844 which is acceptable for running a factor analysis. Six dimensions were derived with eigenvalue s larger than 1 and accounted for 67.7% of the total variance. Six educational travel factors wer e finally identified: Tour leader, Trip logistics, Structure of learning environment, Fellow travelers, Authenticity and Reinforcing learning. The first factor was labeled as Tour Leaders which includes five items pertaining to the and abilities ( M = 4.32, SD =.70) M =4.59, SD =.68) had the highest mean value, followed by leaders M =4.57, SD rs had M =4.25, SD =.93). This factor explained 31.66% of the total variance with an alpha reliability coefficient of 0.86.

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116 The second factor, Trip L ogistics contains five items ( M =4.50, SD =0.54) related to general travel service provided by an educ ational travel program provider during an educational trip. The dimension includes the following items: smoothly ( M =4.57, SD ( M =4.54, SD =.66), s were clean and comfortable ( M =4.52, SD ( M =4.43, SD =0.75), and ( M =4.38, SD =0.77). The Cronbach coefficient alpha of these five items is 0 .82 Three items loaded on the third factor, Structure of Learning Environment ( M =4.13, SD =0.73). The factor involves creating a learning what we were learning and e M = 4.19, SD learning and hands M =4.13, SD ( M =4.11, SD =.85). The alpha reliability coefficient of the items is 0.75. The fourth factor was labeled Fellow Travelers in an educational travel group ( M =4.62, SD =0.55). The dimension M =4.68, SD =0.56) and M =4.55, SD =0.65) The alpha reliability coefficient of the items is 0.79. The fifth factor, Authenticity, contains three items ( M =3.45, SD M =3.20, SD M =3.2 1, SD M =3.99, SD =0.93). The Cronbach coefficient alpha of the items is 0.72. Two items loaded on the sixth factor, Reinforcing Learning ( M =3.68, SD =1.01), representing activities that respondents were inv olved in that deepened their learning during a trip. These items are as M =3.29, SD M =4.06, SD =0.90). The Cronbach coefficient alpha is 0.63.

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117 Tab le 4 2 The dimensions of educational travel Educational travel dimensions 1 Mean SD Factor loading Eigen value Variance (%) 4.32 .70 6.33 31.66 were very attentive and responsive to questions 4.57 .76 .87 provided information on available options 4.23 .93 .79 were experts about the destination or specific topics 4.59 .68 .79 had an interactive presentation style 4.25 .93 .78 encouraged interaction among travelers 4.00 .99 .70 4.50 .54 2.17 10.83 Accommodations were clean and comfortable 4.52 .70 .86 The food was good quality 4.43 .75 .79 There were a variety of activities provided 4.38 .77 .59 The land transportation was convenient 4.54 .66 .57 The travel was well organized and flowed smoothly 4.57 .72 .51 4.13 .73 1.74 8.69 A wide range of learning resources was available 4.11 .85 .81 A trip provided both academic learning and hands on experiences 4.13 .92 .72 There are many discussions and Q&A about what we were learning and experiencing 4.19 .86 .71 4.62 .55 1.23 6.17 I chatted or ate together with fellow travelers 4.68 .56 .87 Most people in the travel group were nice and congenial 4.55 .65 .87 3.45 .90 1.06 5.32 I interacted with local people 3.20 1.16 .80 I was a part of the special atmosphere of the destination 3.21 1.22 .77 I experienced authentic local culture(s) 3.99 .93 .75 3.68 1.01 1.01 5.04 I kept a journal or took notes 3.29 1.48 .92 I talked with other participants about what we learned 4.06 .90 .61 Total variance explained 67.71 1. All scales were measured on a 5 point Liker t scale, where1= Strongly disagree to 5=Strongly agree.

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118 Identification of S enior E ducational Travel Clusters A Hierarchical cluster analysis was initially used to segment the senior educational travelers. Based on the result s of the denogram of the Hierarchical cluster analysis, K mean s cluster analysis was conducted on the whole data set yielding a five cluster solution. However, one cluster included only 6 respondents, which was too small for further anal ysis. Accordingly, the cluster was removed and four clusters were finally identified based on 272 respondents in T able 4 3. Table 4 3 shows mean values for the five travel motivations of the four clusters and major centroids of each cluster are presented in bold type. C luster I (n=98, 36.03%) was the biggest group within the senior educational travelers and was labeled ial Fun Memory C ollector he centro id of the cluster is based on two travel motivation factor e w make pleasurable memories by having a good time with their family or friends as well as learning something new. C luster II T he and self fulfillment by gaining new knowledge and experiencing new things. C luster III (n=58, 21.32%) was labeled Social L earner s to learn something new in the world around them as well as wanting to have quality time with their family and friends during an educational trip. C luster IV (n=48, 17.65%) is the smallest group among the senior educational travelers. It is labeled Novel Memory C ollector s on the basis of the centroids of the cluster. The group consisted of senior travelers who prefer to get away from their daily life, to change their ordinary surroundings, and to bring back good memories

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119 Table 4 3 Classification of senior educational travelers clusters Clusters (N=272) F P Travel motivations 1 I (n= 98) II (n= 68) III (n= 58) IV (n= 48) Learning & enrichment 4.72 4.66 4.53 4.10 67.75 .00 0 **** Existential seeking 3.00 3.15 1.78 1.76 46.69 .00 0 **** Change of scene 2.87 2.51 1.60 2.24 11.35 .00 0 **** Collecting fond memories 4.35 3.87 2.78 3.88 69.71 .00 0 **** Time with family and friends 3.81 2.04 3.14 2.01 73.55 .00 0 **** 1. All scales were measured on a 5 point Liker t scale, where1= Strongly disagree to 5=Strongly agree. **** p < .00 1 Profile of S enior E ducational Travel C lusters A demographic profile of the four senior educational travel clusters was presented using cross tabulation analysis in T able 4 4 There were some significant differences among the four senior educational travel groups. First of all, the four segments were significantly different based on gender 2 = 16.59 p =.001 ] Social fun memory collectors (cluster I ), existential learners (clus ter II ), and novel memory collectors (cluster I V ) were overwhelmingly more likely to be comp rised of female s while social learners (cluster III ) had more male s Age was significantly different among the four segments 2 =15.25 p =.044 ]. Specifically, soci al fun memory collectors ( 60.8% of cluster I) and existential learners ( 63.2% of cluster II ) had the largest proportion of seniors aged between 66 to 75 while a high percentage of both social learners ( cluster III ) and novel memory collectors (cluster IV ) were divided between the 66 to 75 and 76 to 85 age brackets respectively. Marital status was also significantly different among the four senior educational travel segments 2 = 39.36, p < .00 1 ]. Married/partnered category made up the largest group for soci al fun memory collectors ( 73.5% of cluster I), social learners ( 69.0% of cluster III) and novel memory collectors ( 50.0% of cluster IV ). Meanwhile, e xistential learners ( cluster II ) had the h ighest percentage of widow/widowers (39.7%) and singles (30.9%).

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120 Table 4 4. Demographic p rofile of four senior educational travel clusters Senior educational travel clusters 1 (%) I (n= 98) II (n= 68) III (n= 58) IV (n= 48) 2 P Gender 16.59 .001 *** Male 39.8 22.1 53.4 25.0 Female 60.2 77.9 46.6 75.0 Age 15.25 .044 55 65 10.3 13.3 10.5 13.6 66 75 60.8 63.2 45.6 40.9 76 85 28.9 23.5 43.9 43.2 86 and over 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.3 Marital status 39.36 .00 1 **** Single 12.2 30.9 20.7 27.1 Married/Partnered 73.5 29.4 69.0 50.0 Widow/Widower 14.3 39.7 10.3 22.9 Education 13.09 .159 High school graduate 3.1 2.9 0.0 8.3 College degree 34.7 29.4 25.9 27.1 48.0 48.5 43.1 41.7 PH.D. degree/JD/MD 14.3 19.1 31.0 22.9 Employment 9.494 .393 Retired 88.8 91.0 89.7 85.4 Employed part time 5.1 1.5 6.9 12.5 Employed full time 5.1 6.0 3.4 2.1 Unemployed 1.0 1.5 0.0 0.0 Annual household income 19.32 .100 Less than $40,000 4.8 10.3 4.0 18.9 $40,000 $69,999 34.9 43.1 24.0 24.3 $70,000 $99,999 21.7 25.9 32.0 27.0 $100,000 $129,999 18.1 13.8 18.0 10.8 $130,000 $159,999 8.4 3.4 8.0 8.1 $160,000 or more 12.0 3.4 14.0 10.8 Health status 15.34 .082 Excellent 30.6 19.1 24.1 22.9 Very good 49.0 50.0 43.1 39.6 Good 19.4 30.9 25.9 31.3 Fair 1.0 0.0 6.9 6.3 Poor 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1. Social fun memory collectors (Cluster I), existential learners (Cluster II), social learners (Cluster III), and novel memory collectors (cluster IV). **** p < .001, *** p < .005, p < .05

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121 Although the four clusters were not statistically significantly different on education, employment, annual household income, and health sta tus; there are several facts to look at. With regard to education level, high and in particular, 74 .1 % of social learners ( cluster III) had a M aster degree or higher The majority of the seniors in all of the clusters were retired and their annual income primarily ranged from $40,000 to $99,000; although social fun memory collectors (38% of cluster I ) had the highest percentage in the $100, 000 or more annual income b racket. Regarding health status, more than 90% of senior travelers evaluated their health as good to excellent. A higher percentage of social fun memory collector s (79.6% of cluster I ) rated their health as very good or above compared to the other three c lusters. E ducational Travel E xperience of Four Cluster G roups Table 4 5 displays the educational travel participation of the four senior educational travel clusters. The f our clusters were not statistically di f ferent on the type of educational program s the y participated in 2 = 14.24 p =.061 ] There were a high percentage of participations in A rea S tudy P rogram s because participants for this study were selected based on this program type Novel M emory C ollectors (27.1% of Cluster IV ) had the largest propor tion of participants choosing a cultur al program compared to the other groups while a few S ocial L earners (6.9% of Cluster III ) participated in nature and adventure programs. There was no significant difference among the four cluster groups on countries visited 2 = 25.63 p =.056 ] Novel M emory C ollectors (64% of Cluster IV ) were more likely to visit English speaking countries an d European countries than S ocial F un M emory C ollectors (59.2% of Cluster I ), and E xistential L earners (51.5% of Cluster II ). On the other hand, S ocial F un M emory C ollectors (28.6% of Cluster I ) and E xistential L earners (28.0% of Cluster II ) reported trave ling more to the Middle East, Asia, and Africa than N ovel M emory C ollectors (12.6% of Cluster IV ). Regarding travel

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122 companions, there w ere statistically significant difference s among the four cluster groups 2 = 50.70 p <.001 ] First, S ocial F un M emory co llectors (63.3% of Cluster I ) and S ocial L earners (67.2% of Cluster I II ) were more likely to travel with their spouse/partner, while a high percentage of E xistential L earners (48.5% of Cluster II ) traveled by themselves. For N ovel M emory C ollectors, there was a split between spouse (41.7%) and travelling by themselves (45.8%). Table 4 5 Educational travel participation of four senior educational travel clusters Educational trip participation Senior educational travel clusters 1 2 P I (n= 98) II (n= 68) III (n= 58) IV (n= 48) Program type 14.24 .061 Nature 15.3 11.8 5.2 12.5 Culture 14.3 11.8 15.5 27.1 Area 64.3 69.1 77.6 60.4 Adventure 6.1 7.4 1.7 0.0 Count r ies visited 25.63 .056 CA/AU/NZ/EN 15.3 19.1 14.0 22.9 Europe 43.9 32.4 54.4 41.7 Central/South America 12.2 20.6 3.5 22.9 Middle East 8.2 8.8 14.0 2.1 Asia 8.2 11.8 10.5 4.2 Africa 11.2 7.4 3.5 6.3 Antarctica 1.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 Travel companion 50.70 .000 **** Spouse/partner 63.3 27.3 67.2 41.7 Family/Relative(s) 8.2 7.6 6.9 2.1 Friends 18.4 16.7 13.8 10.4 By myself 10.2 48.5 12.1 45.8 1. Social fun memory collectors ( Clu s ter I ), existential learners (Cluster II ), social learners (Cluster III ), and novel memory collectors (cluster IV ). **** p < .001, ** p < .005, ** p< .01, p < .05 Table 4 6 illustrates trip related behaviors of the four senior educational travel clusters. Previous travel experiences were measured with an open ended question. The responden ts were asked not to include the number of educational travel trips in counting the number of international tr ips they had made previously Senior travelers had participated in an average of

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123 11.10 educational travel programs ( SD =6.78) and had traveled internationally 21.08 times ( SD =9.63) on average. Participation in previous educational travel p rograms is significantly correlated with previous international travel experiences ( r =.25, p <.001). Age of respondents significantly affect s the number of both previous educational ( r =.196, p =.001) and international travel experiences ( r =.224, p <001). Therefore, MANCOVA was performed to examine previous travel experience differences among the four cluster groups. As shown in table 4 6, there was no significant di fference in previous travel experiences among the four groups after controlling for a F =1.93, p =.148). Table 4 6 Trip related behaviors of four senior educational travel clusters Trip related Senior educational trav el clusters 1 lambda F P I (n= 98) II (n= 68) III (n= 58) IV (n= 48) Previous travel experiences 2 .985 1.93 .148 Educational travel 10.44 10.36 11.0 10.63 2.39 .052 International travel 21.03 18.79 24.11 21.52 1.28 .278 PrePost travel activities 3 .938 2.89 .008 ** Pre travel activities 4.00 4.13 3.71 3.58 1.67 .155 Post travel activities 4.44 4.40 4.02 3.85 5.22 .002 *** 1. Social fun memory collectors ( Clu s ter I ), existential learners (Cluster II ), social learners (Cluster III ), and novel memory collectors (cluster IV ). 2 Measured with an open ended question. 3 M easured on a 5 point scale, where 1=none to 5=a great deal **** p < .001, *** p < .005, ** p< .01, p < .05 The qualitative study revealed t hat all senior educational travelers spent a certain amount of time in preparing or recalling their educational trip before and after their trip. For example, pre travel activities that senior travelers participated in are as follows: web searching, readin g Post travel activities include arranging photos, sharing their travel stories with other people, and keeping a journal. I n this study, pre post travel activ ities were measured on a 5 point scale, where 1= none to 5= a great deal. The results demonstrated senior educational travelers actively

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124 participated in pre post travel activities to make their experiences more valuable (pre travel activities M = 3.86, SD =0 .88; post travel activities M = 4.18, SD =0.96) in Table 4 6 Also, since there was a significant correlation between pre and post travel activities ( r =.306 p <.001), the difference of pre post travel activities among the four groups was examined using MANOVA F =2.89, p =.008). Although there was no significant difference among the clusters in pre travel activities LSD post hoc tests revealed that E xistential L earners (Cluster II) were more likely to participate in pre travel activities tha n N ovel M emory C ollectors (Cluster IV ). Meanwhile, post travel activities were significantly different among the four senior educational travel groups [ F (3, 267 ) =5.22 p =.002]. More specifically, post hoc tests showed that S ocial F un M emory C ollectors (Cl uster I) and E xistential L earners (Cluster I I ) were more likely to do post travel activities than S ocial L earners (Cluster I I I) or N ovel M emory C ollectors (Cluster IV ). Table 4 7 Educational travel dimensions and intention of four senior educational travel clusters Senior educational travel clusters 1 lambda I (n= 98) II (n= 68) III (n= 58) IV (n= 48) F P Educational travel dimensions 2 .826 4.06 .000 **** Tour leaders 4.45 4.40 4.23 4.18 2.65 .049 Trip logistics 4.59 4.60 4.43 4.30 4.36 .005 ** Structure of learning environment 4.25 4.30 4.02 3.87 4.79 .003 Fellow travelers 4.66 4.66 4.58 4.57 0.50 .682 Authenticity 3.66 3.71 3.21 3.05 9.02 .001 *** Reinforcing learning 3.81 4.04 3.29 3.33 8.39 .001 *** Intenti ons 3 .956 3.60 .048 Another trip 6.27 6.38 5.90 5.75 3.31 .020 Recommendation 6.37 6.38 6.03 6.15 1.25 .292 1. Social fun memory collectors ( Clu s ter I ), existential learners (Cluster II ), social learners (Cluster III ), and novel memory collectors (cluster IV ). 2. M easured on a 5 point Likert scale where 1= Strongly disagree to 5= Strongly agree. 3 M easured on a 7 point Likert scale where 1= Extremely disagree to 7= Extremely agree. **** p < .001, *** p < .005, ** p< .01, p < .05

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125 Table 4 7 displays actual mean values of the four clusters for the six educational travel dimensions used instead of the mean values created by factor loadings. The differences in the six educational travel dimensions among the four clusters were examined using MANOVA The e ducational travel dimensions were significantly different among the four clusters lambda=.823, F =2.92, p <.001). The four cluster s showed significant differences on tour leaders [ F (3, 268)= 2.65 p =. 0 4 9]. LSD post hoc test indicated that S ocial F un M emory C ollectors and attitude more positively than S ocial L earners (Cluster III) and N ovel M emory C ollectors (Cluster I V ). With respect to trip logistics, significant differences were found among the four cluster s [ F (3, 268)= 4.36 p =. 005]. In particular, S ocial F un M emory C ollectors (Cluster I) and E xistential L earners (Cluster II) were more likely to be satisfied with trip logistics across all educational travel services than N ovel M emory C ollectors (Cluster I V ). Structure of the learning environment was also statistically significant [ F (3, 268)=4.50, p =. 0 4 5]. Post hoc tests showed that S ocial F un M emory C ollectors (Cluster I) and E xistential L earners (Cluster I I) had significant mean differences from N ovel M emory C ollectors (Cluster IV ). This indicates that S ocial F un M emory C ollectors (Cluster I) and E xist ential L earners (Cluster I I) seemed to perceive the structure of the learning environment created on site more positively compared to N ovel M emory C ollectors (Cluster I V ). Fellow travelers was not found to be statistically significant among the four educat ional travel groups. There was no actual mean difference among the four groups. The mean value of the factor fellow travelers ( M = 4.62, SD =.55) was most highly ranked among the six educational travel dimensions. This implies that most of seniors in educati onal travel programs actively socialized with fellow travelers in a travel group and felt they were nice and congenial with one another.

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126 When it comes to authentic travel experiences, there were statistically significant differences among the four cluster s [ F (3, 257)=9.02, p < .00 1 ]. In LSD post hoc tests, both E xistential L earners (Cluster I I) and S ocial F un M emory C ollectors (Cluster I ) were more likely to experience authentic local culture or interact with local people than S ocial L earners (Cluster I II) and N ovel M emory C ollectors (Cluster I V ). Also, the activities engaged in to reinforce their learning on site w ere significantly different among the four senior educational travel groups [ F (3, 266)=6.96, p < .00 1 ]. A Post hoc test showed that E xistentia l L earners (Cluster I ) and S ocial F un M emory C ollectors (Cluster II ) actively participate d in activities to deepen what they had learned during their educational trip than S ocial L earners (Cluster I II) and N ovel M emory C ollectors (Cluster I V ). Intention to take another educational trip and recommend to others were assessed using a 7 point scale where 1= strongly disagree to 7=strongly agree. These senior travelers rated their intentions to take another trip ( M = 6.14, SD =1.27) and were willing to recommen d these program to others ( M = 6.28, SD =1.23). I ntention to take another trip was strongly correlated with recommendation ( r = .751, p <.001). Accordingly, MANOVA was used to examine the differences among the four senior educational travel groups. The resul t s revealed that intentions F =3.60, p = .048). Intentions to take another trip was significantly different among the four groups [ F (3, 268)=3.31, p =.020]. Post hoc test indicated that the intentions to take another trip for existential learners (Cluster I ) was significantly higher than social learners (Cluster III ) and novel memory collectors (Cluster IV ). Social fun memory collectors (Cluster II ) were also more likely to take ano ther educational trip in the future than novel memory collectors (Cluster IV ). Meanwhile, regarding recommendations to other people, there was no significant difference among the four senior educational clusters [ F (3, 267 ) =1.25 p =.292 ].

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127 Discussion This study attempted to identify segments of senior educational travelers based on their travel motivations and to delineate the characteristics of each segment in terms of demographics and educational travel dimensions. The analysis revealed five travel motiv ation factors of senior educational travelers: learning & enrichment, existential seeking, change of scene, collecting fond memories, and time with family and friends. As expected, learning & enrichment is the most compelling motivation for senior traveler s to participate in educational travel programs For seniors, the desire for learning is derived by not only the need to simply know something new but the need to make sense out of their experiences and to bring order and harmony to their lives (Merriam & Heuer, 1996). In the same light, the learning & enrichment motivation of the senior travelers might be understood as the need to figure out meaning and values in their lives through travel experiences beyond simply extending their knowledge. In contrast t o previous studies on of later adulthood First collecting fond was the most important motive aft qualitative study (chapter 2) indicated that since they recognized the limitation s on their time to enjoy travel before their health and physical condition decline d they wanted to make as many pleasurabl e memories as possible through their travel experiences. This seems to suggest that aging and health concerns influence their motivations and behaviors (Pederson, 1994; Romsa & Blenman, 1989). Also, as the preliminary study indicated, what senior travelers sought from an educational travel program s was not only intellectually charged travel experiences but emotionally charged travel experiences. In the end, emotionally charged travel experiences may be satisf ied by collecting fond memories from travel The may be related to existential issues associated with later life. Th is motivation is similar to spirit

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128 and solace seeker s (Sellick, 2004) and thinkers (Cleaver et al., 1999) identified in previous studies. The e xisten tial seeking motivation of senior travelers seems to imply that as people become older, their motivations become intrinsic (Kuhl & Fuhrmann, 1998) and the desire for spiritual fulfillment is stronger (Morrison, 1994). This study revealed that there were s ix dimensions of educational travel experiences: tour leaders, trip logistics, structure of the learning environment, fellow travelers, authenticity and reinforcing learning. These educational travel dimensions can be divided into three parts based on who is responsible for creating the educational travel experiences. The first two dimensions, namely, tour leaders and trip logistics are d etermined by an educational travel program provider. Authenticity and reinforcing learning are initiated by the traveler level of participation in a trip Finally, structure of the learning environment and fellow travelers might be regarded as domains created by a combination of the travel program provider, a traveler, and fellow travelers. A ll cluster segments reported fellow travelers in their travel g roup were nice and congenial. They actively socialized with other fellow travelers during their trip. The qualitative study also indicated that fellow travelers contributed to not only creating educational travel experien ces by providing intellect ual stimulation and a sense of group belonging but increasing level of satisfaction with travel experiences This finding is also consistent with previous studies (Abraham, 1998; Burton Smith, 1999; Thomas & Butts, 1998). It seems to show that travel experiences are created by the service provider, fellow travelers, and the participants compared to service experiences which are co created by an interaction between the service provider and the consumer. Accord ingly, future studies on travel experiences need s to give more attention to the role of fellow travelers in creating travel experiences.

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129 Using the five travel motivations, four clusters or types of senior educational travelers were identified: S ocial F un M emory C ollectors, E xistential L earners, S ocial L earner s and N ovel M emory C ollector s. Individuals in all four clusters were highly motivated by learning & enrichment motivation. Social F un M emory Co llectors, the largest segment of the senior educational t ravelers, also wanted to have fun and pleasurable memories with their family or friends. In light of their major travel motivations, they are similar to segments identified in other studies such as E njoying L ater L ife T ravelers (Wei & Ruy, 1998) and the A c tivity O riented P articipants (Arsenault et al, 1998). Social Fun Memory Collectors were com prised of more married/partnered couples and are younger than the Social Learners and Novel Memory Collectors. Their annual household incomes and self evaluation of health status were higher than the other three groups which may have explained why m ore Social Fun Memory Collectors chose remote places such as Africa and Antarctica as their destinations than the other three groups. Certainly, health and financial statu s have been identified as precursors to a satisfying retirement (Kelly, 1987 ) and have also been related to travel in later life (Blazey, 1992; Fleisher & Pizam, 2002). Also, m ost of them traveled with their spouse/partner and tended to spend more time in doing post travel activities than other groups. Regarding educational travel dimensions, Social Fun Memory Collectors highly rated all dimensions except authenticity and reinforcing learning. Existential L earners, the second largest segment, were mainly mo tivated to satisfy their intellectual desire s self fulfillment, and accomplishment through educational travel. They are similar to c luster segments in previous studies such as self development travelers (Moscardo et al., 1996), self fulfillment travelers (Wei & Ruys, 1998), the content oriented travelers (Arsenault et al., 1998), active learners (Kim et al., 2003), and discovery and self enhancement

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130 travelers (Sellick, 2004). Interestingly, these studies indicated that the groups were commonly comp rised o f more female senior travelers. Most of the Existential Learners were also either single females or widowers. They were the youngest among the four cluster groups and most of them traveled by themselves. They visited more Central/South America and Asia cou ntries for their educational travel program than other groups. The seniors in this cluster were more actively involved in both pre and post travel activities than other groups. Like S ocial F un M emory C ollectors, they also rated high on all educational trav el dimensions. In particular they tried to expose themselves to local culture or to interact with local people more than other clusters and thus actively exchanged their thought s about their learning with fellow travelers and were more likely to take note s or a journal to deepen their learning during their trip. When considering E s to keep developing travel themes that appeal to female single senior or widowers who have a str ong desire for self fulfillment. Also an educational travel program provider needs to encourage pre and post travel activities of Existential Learners. For example, providing a reading list related to their trip, a trip photo contest, or encouraging journa l writing. Such interventions before and after trip could help Existential Learners enhance self fulfillment by constructing their travel experiences with their own personal meaning. Social Learners are those who seek to enrich their lives by learning som ething new and having a good time with family or friends. The group was comp rised of more males, more married/partnered, and more highly educated seniors. They mainly participated in area study programs hosted in European countries, Middle East, and Asia w ith their spouse/partner. Participation in pre and post travel activities was relatively lower than Social Fun Memory Collectors and Existential Learners. Social Learners were highly satisfied with tour leaders, trip

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131 logistics, and structure of the learnin g environment. Meanwhile they were less involved in local culture or with local people at destinations and participated in less activities to reinforce their learning than social fun memory collectors and existential learners. Finally, Novel Memory Co llectors represent senior travelers who have fun memories and seek to change their surroundings through educational travel. Most of them were female seniors and were the oldest group among the four cluster groups. Half of the members were married /partnere d and the other half was single females or widow/widowers, respectively. They participated more in culture study programs compared to the other groups. Most of them mainly visited European countries, English speaking countries, and Central/South America. T heir travel companions were evenly divided into two categories, they traveled with their spouse/partner or by themselves Their participation in pre and post travel activities was the lowest among the four groups. Also, they rated relatively all of the edu cational travel dimensions lower than the other groups despite their high intentions to recommend their trip to other people. When identifying possible explanation for these results, N ovel M emory C ollectors were the oldest group with relatively lower healt h status and their health status might hinder them from getting actively involved in diverse travel experiences compared to other groups. This finding reconfirms the fact that better health status is critical for seniors wishing to participate in travel activities, irrespective of their age (Balzey, 1992; Fleischer & Pizam, 2002; McGuire, 1984). Consistent with previous studies (Mills, 1993; Weiler & Kalinowski, 1990), the senior educational travelers in this study were also better educated, wealthier and more self actualized than the wider population of seniors Also, they were not only very experienced travelers who had traveled many times internationally but were regular educational travelers, averaging ten previous educational traveler programs. This seems to indicate that they are generally satisfied

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132 with their educational travel programs. When intentions to take another trip and recommendation to others w ere asked, all of the four clusters had high intentions to recommend the trip to other people. However, regarding intentions to take another trip, S ocial L earners (Cluster III) and N ovel M emory C ollectors (Cluster I V ) had lower intentions to take another trip than S ocial F un M emory C ollectors (Cluster I) and E xistential L earner s (Cluster II). Such difference in intention s to take another trip among the four groups might result from the inherent difference in the four groups First, Social Learners and Novel Memory Collectors did not participate in activities related to their lea rning and also did not experience authenticity as much as the other two groups. Social Learners and Novel Memory Collectors generally rated all educational travel dimensions except for fellow travelers lower than Social Fun Memory Collectors and Existentia l Learners. Particularly, among the four groups, the distinct differences in educational travel dimensions were in authenticity and reinforcing learning rather than tour leaders and trip logistics which are controlled by the educational travel provider. Ac cordingly, it might be assumed that Social Learners and Novel Memory Collectors have strong intentions to recommend their trip to their friends and relatives based on the high quality travel services of an educational travel program. Second, their age and health status might affect their intentions to take another overseas trip. Almost half of Social Learners and Novel Memory Collectors were aged 76 or older. Their health status was also a little lower than that of the other two clusters. Fleischer and Piza m (2002) revealed that the number of vacations for senior travelers decreased at an accelerating rate after the age of 75. Also, their age and health status might affect countries they visit ed for their educational program s Particularly, Novel Memory Coll ectors visited Canada, England, France, Italy, and Costa Rica which are culturally or geographically closer to the United States. Their decisions may have been made with their health and physical mobility in mind. Romsa and

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133 aled that the travel distance of old er seniors was shorter than that of young seniors. These findings imply that senior travelers might negotiate their travel frequency and distance according to their health and mobility status. Future research needs to ex amine how seniors downsize their travel behaviors due to the barriers associated with later life. This study has a few limitations and delimitations due to its research scope. First, the educational travel dimensi ons identified by this study did not cover travel experiences of a wide range of educational travel programs such as adventure, hobby, nature, service learning, and intergenerational trip s The educational travel dimensions were developed inductively from a sample of participants who had largely taken part in nature based or cultural educational programs and the goal of this current study was to confirm these dimensions based on the travel experiences of people who had taken part in Area, Culture and Nature programs. As a result, perhaps not all of the relevant educational travel dimensions applicable to a more diverse array of educational travel programs were identified. Indeed, the questionnaire contained items measuring authenticity and novelty. However, novelty was not found to be a di mension associated with nature based travel experiences. Thus, future research should explore the existence of more travel dimensions in a diverse range of educational travel programs. Second, classifying senior educational travelers based on travel motiva tions might not be sufficient to show the more distinctive characteristics of the sub groups in senior educational travelers. All participants in this study were highly motivated by learning. Thus, the participants in this study are a homogeneous group in terms of their socio demographics and previous travel experiences. This raises the possibility that the indicators used to segment senior travelers and to examine differences among sub segments may not suitable for revealing differences among senior educat ional travelers more generally. Future research needs to adopt new ways to reflect the

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134 characteristics of the different segments of senior educational travelers. Finally, the survey questionnaire was potentially quite long due to many items being used for scale development. In order to address this issue this study attempt ed to design an easily answe red questionnaire for participants w ho were 50 years and older. It was hoped that using a mail survey instead of an online survey would cause less fatigue whi le participants answer ed the qu estions. Thus, all questions w ere written with as clear and as short a wording as possible. The format of a questionnaire is as important as the nature and wording of a question (Babbi e, 2006). Most questions were asked by u sing a five point L ikert scale in a matrix format Answering a set of questions in the same format helps respondent s to expend less cognitive energy On the other hand, since it could also engender boredom each question in a section was alternatively colo red. By using these strategies, the researcher tried to guard against as many potential limitations as possible and is cognizant of the delimitations of the findings.

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135 CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSION S This study attempted to extend the understanding of senior travelers who participate in educational travel programs through three studies. The studies were conducted using both inductive and deductive approaches. The first study focused on developing a theoretical ravel experiences in the context of educational travel by the use of grounded theory. Six main themes were generated from in depth interviews: motivation, getting ready for the trip (pre travel activities), structured learning experiences, general travel e xperiences, reinforcing the meaning (post travel activities), and benefi ts (Figure 2 1). This study developed three theoretical assumptions based on the major themes evident in the proposed grounded theory model The first assumption was that pre and post travel activities are as important as actual travel in forming the whol e educational travel experience All p articipants in this study spent some time being involved in a diverse array of pre and post travel activities. The participants recognized that pa rticipation in pre or post travel activities is one part of their travel enjoyment of travel and made their travel experiences more valuable. The second assumption related to what senior travelers sought from educational travel programs, namely a high qua lity and tise, pre and post travel activities novelty and authentic travel experiences, and learning environment. The last was that f or senior travelers, all travel including educa tional travel is a way of creating meaning in their lives by understanding t hemselves and the outside world. U ltimately this seems to enhance their psychological well being. The second study was conducted to examine and empirically verify the first and s econd theoretical assumptions. Regarding the first one, the results suggest that most senior travelers i n educational travel programs get involved in a variety of pre or post travel activities as a way of

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136 adding enjoyment to their travel experiences. Participation in pre travel activities appears to have a significant influence on the structure of the learning environment and reinforcing learning. In addition, involvement with pre travel activities, structure of the learning e nvironment and reinforcing learning quest s for knowledge. All dimensions of meaningful travel experiences significantly in fluenced participation in post travel activities. These findings support the first theoret ical assumption in the first study that pre and post travel activities are as important as the actual on site travel activities in forming the whole educationa l travel experience For the second theoretical assumption, the second study identified six ed uca tional travel dimensions that occur during the on site travel experiences : Tour Leaders, Trip logistics, Structure of the Learning Environment, Fellow Travelers, Authenticity, and Reinforcing Learning. Meaningful travel experiences, a consequence of edu cational travel were found to comprise a quest for knowledge, joy, and pleasant surprise. All educational travel dimensions significantly contribute d to creating meaningful travel experiences. More specifically, the quest for knowl edge is more likely to b e related to the structure of the learning environment, fellow travelers, authentic ity, and reinforcing learning. Joy seems to result from travel leaders, trip logistics, structure of the learning environment, authenticity, and reinforcing learning. Finall y, plea sant surprise is more likely to arise from the structure of the learning environment, authenticity, and reinforcing l earning. The results support the second theoretical assumption in the first study that meaningful t ravel experiences are derived fro m educational travel dimensions such as tour leaders, learning environment, fellow travelers, and authenticity in the context of educational travel.

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137 The third study aimed to identify the travel motivations of senior educational travelers and the dimensions of educational travel experiences and use them to delineate the characteristics of senior educational travel clusters using a segmentation approach. The study revealed five travel motivations for senior educational travelers: learning & enrichment existe ntial seeking, change of scene, collecting fond memories, and time with family and friends. The six dimensions of educational travel experiences identified in study two were also used: tour leaders, trip logistics, structure of the learning environment, fe llow travelers, authenticity and reinforcing learning. S enior educational travelers were segmented into four groups b ased on the five travel motivations: Social Fun Memory Collectors, Existential Learners, Social Learners, and Novel Memory Collectors Soc ial Fun Memory Collectors, the largest group, seek fun and pleasurable memories with their family or friends through an educational travel program. Their annual household income and self rated health status were highest. They highly rated most of the educa tional travel dimensions. The second largest segment, Existential Learners were motivated by intellectual desire and self fulfillment and were comprised of more female senior travelers. They were most actively involved with pre and post travel activities. Social Learners represent those who seek to learn something new and have a good time with family or friends. They participated less in pre and post travel activities compared to Social Fun Memory Collectors and Existential Learners. Finally, Novel Memory Collectors are those who are motivated by having fun memories and changing their surroundings. Most of them were female seniors and the oldest group among the four clusters. They tended to prefer participating in cultural study programs in mainly English speaking countries and European countries. They rated all of the educational travel dimensions lower than the other groups.

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138 The qualitative study (chapter 2) revealed that what senior travelers ultimately seek from educational travel is a high quality tr avel experience, namely, a meaningful travel experience. Meaningful travel experiences are comprised of intellectually charged experiences (quest for knowledge) and emotionally charged experiences (joy and pleasant surprise). Providing a high quality servi ce or product has been a core issue in leisure and tourism research and practice (Otto & Ritchie, 1996) Based on the findings above, the study here suggest s two practical implications in terms of creating and managing high quality educational travel programs. First, an educational travel program provider needs to develop programs that relate to the components. The big attraction of educational travel program s comes from bo th interesting themes that stimulate desires. As revealed earlier, most of senior travelers who participate in educational travel programs have rich trave l experiences and higher educational backgrounds. They look for travel programs that can satisfy their special interests and provide unique experiences, thereby escaping from standardized package travel. In particular, when senior travelers choose an inter national educational travel program, they tend to put more priority on the travel theme and contents than factors such as place, date, costs, and accommodations (Arsenault, et al., 1998; Szucs, et al., 2001). The growth of special interest travel reflects the increasing diversity of leisure interests in modern society (Douglas, Douglas & Derret, 2001). Therefore, to satisfy such needs of senior educational travelers, an educational travel program provider needs to be aware of changing diverse inte rests across political, economic, ecological, technological and social cultural aspects at both the macro and the micro levels. Also, another distinctive feature of an

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139 educational travel program is that experiences are differentiated by adding learning val ue for example, guiding by experts in specific areas and providing hands on experiences, learning materials or lectures related to travel themes. Although it is necessary for educational travel y securing informed and knowledge experts (Bodger, 1998), an educational travel program provider should keep in mind that senior t ravelers are self oriented learner s motivated by intellectual seeking. This means that a travel program provider needs to reco gnize creating meaningful travel experiences is not just the responsibility of the program provider but of the traveler him or herself. Pine, Gilmore and Joseph (2007 p.6 ) expressed such a role change between a provider and a customer as authenti Accordingly, an educational travel program provider needs to provide diverse forms of learning components to facilitate self directed learning among senior travelers. For example, reading materials, discussion induced lecture s experiential learnin g linked knowledge to hands on experiences might be used. An educational travel program provider also needs to focus on creating an atmosphere that facilitates interactions among all participants during a trip by arranging social meetings or enough free ti me during their trip. and post travel experiences, as well as the on site travel experiences through diverse channels. The findings showed that senior travelers actively particip ated in pre post travel activities which contributed to creating their whole educational travel experience. Boswijk, et al. (2005) indicated that experiences are not static quantities like products but occur in a process in which interaction take place in a certain setting. They also noted that creating experiences started before and after purchasing the experience. Recently, there has been a sharp increase in companies using social network systems as a communication tool. Utilizing social network systems may provide an

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140 educational program organizer with a way to effectively influence travel experiences before and network systems such Facebook and Twitter to com municate with their past and potential travelers. Future travelers can meet and talk with a tour leader through their social network systems before leaving for their trip. A travel program provider or tour leaders can share useful information and learning materials related to their trip before leaving through social network systems. Also, senior travelers who just came back from their trip can share their feelings and thoughts about their trip with other people on the social network systems, which might pro vide good feedback for educational travel programs. These active dialogues among a travel program provider and past, current, and future travelers, not only allow a travel program provider to promptly handle the needs of their customers, but can influence the formation of experiences in the pre and post travel phases. This study suggests a few directions for future studies on high quality experiences for senior travelers. First of all, in marketing research, a high quality experience has been understood as being created by the interaction between a provider and a consumer (e.g., Pine & Gilmore, 1999). The findings of this dissertation reveal that meaningful travel experienc es are co created by reciprocal interaction among a travel program provider, fellow travelers in a travel group, and a traveler. In particular, previous studies on senior travelers have revealed the importance of fellow travelers in enhancing the quality o f travel experiences in terms of intellectual or social aspects (Abraham, 1998; Burton Smith, 1999; Tennaut, 1997). Therefore, further research needs to examine how high quality experiences may be formed by interactions among other significant factors in t he context of educational travel. Besides, this study identified six educational travel dimensions for senior travelers who participated in programs provided by one organization. As

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141 the scope of this study was primarily limited to one type of educational t ravel program notably Area Studies, the educational travel dimensions identified may not have reflected all educational experiences encompassed in various educational travel programs such as natural history, adventure, service learning, and intergeneration programs. Therefore, future studies need to identify more dimensions of educational travel experiences across a wide range of educational travel program types

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142 APPENDIX A INFORMED CONSENT Protocol Title: The experiences of educational travel programs for older adults Please read this consent document carefully before you decide to participate in this study. Purpose of the research study: The purpose of this study is to understand the ex periences of participants in educational travel programs by learning styles What you will be asked to do in the study: The interv iew questions will consist of three parts: 1) your experiences and meaning s of educational travel programs; 2) your experiences of educational components within the programs, 3) the barriers and facilitator s you and your spouse and friends experience in participat ing and; 4 ) your personal background Time required: approximately 45 60 minutes Risks and b enefi ts: You are at no risk and confidentiality will be maintained at all times and your identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law. The interview will be transcribed. Your name will not be associated with any of the information that you s hare. There is no direct benefit. However, you may gain a better understanding of your experiences of educational programs and have an opportunity to reflect on the value of educational travel in your life. You may request a written transcript of your interview you will receive it through mail or e mail so that you can check the interview for accuracy before any information is used Compensation: There is no compensation for participating in this study. Confidentiality: This study will maintain ano nymity by assigning pseudonyms and participant numbers to all of the information that you share with me. Your identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law. Voluntary participation: Your participation in this study is completely voluntary. There is no penalty for not participating. Right to withdraw from the study: You have the right to withdraw from the study at any time without consequence. Y ou do not have to answer any questions you do not want to answer. Whom to contact if you have questions about the study : Sung Jin Kang, ( sungin75@hhp.ufl.edu ) or Dr. Heather Gibson, ( hgibson@hhp.ufl.edu ) University of Florida, Department of Tourism, Recreati on and Sport Management at or (813) 392 4042 x 1301. Whom to contact about your rights as a research participant in the study: UFIRB Office, Box 112250, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611 2250; ph 392 0433. Agreement: I have read the procedure described above. I voluntarily agree to participate in the procedure and I have received a copy of this description. You are encouraged to ask any questions that you have throughout the research process. Participant : ____________ _______________________ Date : __________________

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143 APPENDIX B INTERVIEW QUESTIONS 1. Please share with me your experiences related to your participation in educational travel programs. How often do you travel? Can you tell me the main reason for your previous travel? Do you define yourself as a traveler? As an older adult, what is significant about travel? Travel seems to be a growing choice of leisure for older adults, why are older people traveling more? Before or after a trip, you usually search for informa tion related to your trip? Can you tell me what kind of educational travel program that you have participated in? How did you first hear about educational travel? How did you choose the programs you attended? Can you tell me the reason you participated in educational travel? Can you explain the difference you experienced between educational travel and other types of travel? What did you expect as educational experiences? What does educational travel mean to you? What are the key components of educational t ravel experiences? Do you think you changed as a result of participating in educational travel? Can you tell me what you come to know and realize during or after the educational travel? What do you like about educational travel? What kind of educational experiences do you like in your travel? Tell me about your most memorable educational travel experience. What makes it special? Is there anything you dislike about educational travel? What kind of educational component do you dislike in your educational tr avel? Could you give me any detailed reasons why you disliked it? Do you plan to take any educational trips in the future? If yes, what? Do you have any intention to introduce your friends to go to an educational travels? If so, why you recommend it to your friends? If no, could you tell me the reason? What could be improved about educational travel? How could educational quality be improved? 2. Is there anything else you would like to add ?

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144 APPENDIX C THE PROFILE OF INTERVIEW PARTICIPANTS Name Age Gender Education Interest Educational Travel Program (frequency) Traveled Destination Travel Frequency (per year) Grace 86 F Bachelor Drawing, oil painting Elderhostel (1) Italy, France 1 time Joan 60 F Masters Zoology, environmental education Museum (12) Alaska, Mexico, Ecuador, European counties, Galapagos 6 7 times Jessica 71 F Masters Natural history Museum (3) Cost Rica, Alaska, Ecuador, Mexico 2 3 times Jane 61 F Masters Geology Smithsonian museum (4) Alumni (3) Antarctica, worldwide, across states 4 times Carrie 84 F Bachelor History Elderhostel (2) France, Alaska, 2 times David 80 M Ph.D. Nature Elderhostel (2) Alaska, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, European countries 3 4 times Barbara 80 F Bachelor European culture Elderhostel (1) France, Italy, across states 2 3 times Susan 70 F Ph.D. Foreign language, geology Elderhostel (5) Alumni (2) Mexico, Russia, Grand Canyon, across states 1 2 times Peggy 64 F Masters Geology paleontology, history, Elderhostel (4) Alumni (1) Worldwide, across states 3 4 times Mari 73 F Ph.D. South American culture, nature history Elderhostel (5) Worldwide, across states 2 3 times Eddie 68 F Masters Culture Elderhostel (6) Worldwide, across states 1 2 times John 76 M Ph.D. Computer, photography Alumni (2) Swiss, Mexico, Alaska, Caribbean counties 3 4 times Elisa 74 F Masters History Alumni (3) Worldwide, across states 1 2 times Lauren 86 F Ph.D. Diverse areas Elderhostel (+ 30) Canada, Australia, across states 3 4 times

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145 APPENDIX D COVER LETTER FROM RO AD SCHOLAR August, 02 2010 Dear Road Scholar Participant; In keeping with our mission of Lifelong Learning, we at Road Scholar are always interested in learning. In this case, we are hoping to lea rn more about what makes your educational travel experiences meaningful. We would like to ask you to help by completin g the enclosed questionnaire. This questionnaire is part of a broad research study focusing on travel experiences for mature travelers We are working on this particular study with a researcher from the University of Florida whose grant to study educatio nal travel is funding this research. Together, we are looking to this research as an aid in pursuing our ongoi ng mission to further understand what constitutes m eaningful educational travel experiences for mid and older adults We know that you are very bu sy, and we very much appreciate you taking the time (10 to 15 minutes) t o fill out this questionnaire. Your feedback will be a valuable contribution to this study. When you have completed the questionnaire, please return it in the enclosed postag e paid en velope. All information that you provide will be kept confidential. It will be used for research purposes only and the results will be reported only in group form so that individual respondents cannot be identified. Your participation in this research is entirely voluntary and your cooperation will be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your cooperation and continuing support! Sincerely, S teve Lembke Vice President, Institutional Advancement Road Sc holar, Inc.

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146 APPENDIX E COVER LETTER PO Box 118208 Gainesville, FL 32611 8208 August 1 1 th 2010 Dear *** My name is Sung Jin Kang, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management at the University of Florida. As part of my doctoral dissertation I am requesting your participation in my study about meaningfu l educational travel experiences for mid and later life travelers. As somebody who has taken part in educational travel programs I would value your insights for my study. Educational travel programs in this study are defined as travel programs led by a pr ofessional guide, usually an academic expert in their field. Examples include Elderhostel, Smithsonian Journeys, Lindblad Expeditions, Sierra Club, and Eco travel programs. Participation in this study will involve filling out the enclosed questionnaire an d mailing it back to me in the stamped addressed envelope provided. The questionnaire takes about 15 minutes to complete. This study has been approved by the Institutional Review Board of the University of Florida. Your participation is completely volunt ary and your responses will remain anonymous and confidential. The survey has an identification number for mailing purposes only. If you have any questions or need additional information regarding this research, please feel free to contact me Sung Jin Kan g, University of Florida, Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management or at (352) 226 6630 or by e mail sungin75@ufl.edu Questions regarding your rights as a participant in this project should be directed to the UFIRB office, PO Box 112250, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611 2250 or at (352)392 0433. Your insights on your educational travel experiences are an invaluable part of this study. I would very much appreciate that you return a complete questionnaire to me in the enclosed prepaid envelope by August 31, 2010. Sincerely, Sung Jin Kang, Doct oral Candidate Department of Tourism, Recreation & Sport Management

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147 APPENDIX D THE SURVEY QUESTIONN AIRE

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161 B IOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Sung Jin Kang was born in 1975 in Seoul, Korea. She did her undergraduate in tourism at Yongin University in 1998 and then completed her m at Hanyang University in South Korea in 2000 Ms Kang worked in various tourism related position including the Hotel Lotte, Kyongsung Women Vocational School and the Korea Culture and Tourism Policy Institute Since starting her Ph.D. program in the Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management at the University of Florida in 2003, she has worked as a researc h and teaching assistant. Her research focuses on the socio psychological perspectives of leisure behavior and aging. Her doctoral dissertation ex amine d how the experience of educational travel may help improve l i ves in terms of cognitive and emotional well being She has conducted both qualitative and quantitative studies in order to examine these research interest s Ms research has been present ed at the National Recreation Park Association, World Leisure Congress and at the Southern Gerontological Society among others