Date of Award

2004

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Business (Hons.)

Faculty

Faculty of Business and Public Management.

First Advisor

Dr Simone Pettigrew

Abstract

This exploratory study applied a grounded approach to the collection and analysis of data. The study investigated the consumption behaviours utilised by a sample of Grey Nomads who subscribed to an eco·camping philosophy and who occupied their own caravans for accommodation whilst travelling. The aim was to examine the growing phenomenon of Grey Nomads who travelled in Western Australia in order to obtain insight into the group as consumers. Thirty nine informants (n=39) were interviewed where an understanding of the primary concerns of informants could be achieved. Informants were recruited who were over 60 years of age, travelled for a minimum of three months of the year; and accommodated themselves in their own caravan. Informants were approached at a campground that is popular with Grey Nomads in Western Australia's Northwest. Data gathered in situ ensured the capturing of a wide range of authentic responses from informants. The study provides an insight into the culture of Grey Nomads, who engaged in a lifestyle, and how this directed the factors that Grey Nomads considered most relevant when selecting goods and services needed to undertake their travels. Grey Nomad research is limited within Australia and none appears to have been directly related to the understanding of the Grey Nomad as a consumer group. The knowledge generated by this study provided a list of characteristics to describe the Grey Nomad, the consumer behaviours of Grey Nomads with an emphasis on what they considered important in purchase decisions, a description of the drive tourism lifestyle they seek out and that the Grey Nomads looked to consolidate their identity by a process of on-going and continuing nomadic travels within Australia. A proposed model that demonstrates the links that represent the Grey Nomad consumer has been developed with a number of identified research opportunities being proposed to consolidate understanding of the Grey Nomad consumer. The findings may also assist in the development of government policy in the areas of tourism, healthcare and land access issues. Additionally, they may also assist caravan park and resort operators in a better understanding of this group.

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