Tween Tourists: Children and Decision-Making.
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Research suggests that children influence family vacation decision-making. However, with few exceptions parents act as respondents in studies of family vacation decision-making and furthermore, children’s role is often defined as a rather passive one. Thus, it is often assumed that although children might explicate wishes pertaining to holidays, they generally submit to whatever choices their parents make. In recent years, marketing researchers have taken a keen interest in the so-called ‘tweens’, people who are 8 to 12 years old and in between childhood and the teenage years. One key finding of research on tweens is that tweens are consumers in their own rights – especially in regard to consumption of products such as cellular phones, clothing, magazines, music and movies. However, little research focuses on tweens and vacations and accordingly, we know very little about tweens as consumers of tourism. Drawing on 89qualitative interviews, we suggest that tweens as consumers of tourism differ profoundly from the traditional role of children in tourism consumption. The paper shows that tweens are highly experienced tourists; very active during up-front vacation decision-making; and wish for (and have) a say in regard to issues such as destination choice. Consequently, we argue that tweens should be given voice in future research on tourism consumption if we wish to gain knowledge on families as consumers of tourism.
Blichfeldt, B. S. et al. (2010) 'Tween Tourists: Children and Decision-Making', Journal of Tourism and Consumption Practice, 2 (1), pp.1-24
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