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Linking tourism, retirement migration and social capital

By M. Casado-Diaz, A. B. Casado-Diaz and J. M. Casado-Diaz


General trend in the study of international retirement migration has been the increased attention paid to the social contacts and network connections of the migrants in both the destination and origin areas. These studies have examined the extent to which migrants build social relationships with their neighbours and the host society while also maintaining social links with their countries of origin, addressing the central role that leisure travel plays in sustaining increasingly dispersed social networks and maintaining the social capital of these networks and of the individuals involved in them. This paper explores the relevance of transnational social networks in the context of international retirement migration providing an in-depth analysis of the nature, meaning and extent of these transnational social networks. Building on the concept of social capital and Putnam’s (2000) distinction of bonding and bridging social, we propose a framework for the analysis of the migrants’ international social networks. The results of a study conducted among 365 British retirees living in the coast of Alicante (Spain) show both the strength of the retirees’ international bonding social capital and the role of ‘visiting friends and relatives’ travel and communication technologies in sustaining the migrants’ transnational social practices and, ultimately, their international social capital. It also evidences the reinforcing links between tourism-related mobility and amenity-seeking migration in later life

Publisher: Taylor & Francis
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