Perceptions and desires of Chinese senior outbound tourists receiving travel support from adult children: A qualitative study
Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics
School of Business and Law
This qualitative study explores how Chinese senior outbound tourists perceive support from their adult children and what kinds of support they desire.
Qualitative data were collected from semi-structured interviews with 26 participants. Transcribed interviews were analysed via thematic analysis.
This study captured the contradictory feelings of different types of Chinese senior outbound tourists (i.e. independent, neutral, and dependent) according to the degree of desire for support from their adult children. The results further identified the real desires among Chinese senior outbound tourists for children's attitudinal support, caring support, appropriate financial support, companionship, and timing support.
Since this qualitative research is based on small samples with typical social and cultural characteristics, our research results only describe an existence. Our findings provide insight into the existence of the phenomenon, rather than allowing the results to be generalized to the wider population (Gram et al., 2019).
The tourism industry could develop products to alleviate such feelings. Integrating the concept of filial piety into adult children's support for their parents' overseas travel can not only meet parents' expectations but also relieve parents' ambivalence. Destination operators and travel agencies could thus design mixed products targeting Chinese elderly parents and their adult children by providing activities for both generations. Purchasing behaviour represents a type of emotional and instrumental support for the elderly. Destination operators and travel agencies can also launch products suitable for in-depth outbound travel that cater to adult children's leisure travel while meeting the elderly's travel needs.
This study also extends both intergenerational support theory and intergenerational ambivalence theory regarding Chinese senior outbound tourists.