42 / 2015
Tobias Weidinger, Stefan Kordel

German Spa Towns as Retirement Destinations: How (pre)Retirees Negotiate Relocation and Locals Asses In-Migration


The current generation of senior citizens strives for a self-determined way of life and frequently materialises this through relocation to tourist destinations. Based on this premise, this paper analyses German (pre)retirees who are planning or have realised inter-regional lifestyle migration to Bad Fuessing, a spa town in Southern Germany. While recent studies have focused on lifestyle migrants’ perspectives in pre- and post-migration lives, this article adds local stakeholders’ assessments of age-selective in-migration. It is proposed that locals view the latter ambivalently against the backdrop of demographic change and transformations in health tourism. The article opens up lifestyle migration research to applied questions by considering the economic and social implications for destinations, i.e. it takes into account the structures that frame migration.

KEYWORDS: tourism, lifestyle migration, ageing, regional development, Germany

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