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This study aims to investigate the decision-making processes of international retirement migrants. The development of a place in response to the high demand for international retirement migration has become an important strategy for stakeholders within host destinations; of particular interest is international retirement migrant behaviour and intention to stay and retire in a foreign country.Design/methodology/approachThis research presents the results of a qualitative study using face-to-face interview techniques. Content analysis technique was used to analyse data from interviews with 33 international retirees in Thailand.FindingsDestination stakeholders must consider creating awareness of the destination through WOM, trustworthy websites and government channels, which migrants evaluate a destination based on pre-retirement visits that create attachment and emotional feelings for the place, and finally, the decision-making processes of short stay, semi-permanent and permanent migrants.Research limitations/implicationsThis qualitative study investigated migrants from Europe, Australia and the USA. An understanding of IR migrants from Asia needs further research.Practical implicationsThe results can be used as guidelines for government, hospitality and tourism stakeholders. IR migrants want different destination attributes to mainstream tourists, especially a peaceful environment, mild weather (not too cold or hot), and to live among locals.Originality/valueThis study examines migrant decision-making processes. The results provide a theoretical foundation for how IR migrants decide to retire overseas. This comprises three components: destination awareness, secondly, evaluation of the destination’s resources, and finally, the decision and implementation of their plans.
Journal of Place Management and Development – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 11, 2019
Keywords: Thailand; International retirement migration; Decision-making process; Place development; European retirement perception; Retirement in Chiang Mai
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