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Latin American Canadian Immigrants' Leisure Travel Motivations and Settlement into Canadian Society Open Access


Other title
travel motivation
latin americans
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Lynn, Maria C G
Supervisor and department
Walker, Gordon (Physical Education and Recreation)
Examining committee member and department
Halpenny, Elizabeth (Physical Education and Recreation)
Guardado, Martin (Extension)
Hinch, Tom (Physical Education and Recreation)
Physical Education and Recreation
Recreation and Leisure Studies
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Arts
Degree level
Immigration is a major contributor to Canada’s ethnocultural diversity and continues to shape the socio-demographic landscape of Canada. The Latin American community is one such group contributing to these socio-demographic changes and is, notably, one of the fastest growing ethnic communities in Canada (Statistics Canada, 2001). At the same time, there is a paucity of research on leisure, tourism, and immigration (Stodolska & Floyd, 2015). The purpose of my research therefore is to contribute to the latter by addressing the research question, “Why do Latin American Canadian immigrants travel within Canada and how are these travel motivations affected by settlement into Canadian society?” In order to address this question, I utilized Driver, Tinsley and Manfredo’s (1991) Recreation Experience Preference scales to measure the importance of non-immigrant specific leisure travel motivations. In addition, I developed and measured proposed immigrant-specific leisure travel motivations. By incorporating these immigrant-specific motivations, I was able to examine their importance in comparison to non-immigrant-specific leisure travel motivations. Through a cross-sectional self-administered survey available in Spanish and English, I also investigated similarities and differences in: (a) the overall importance of each leisure travel motivation; (b) travel motivations by level of acculturation; (c) travel motivations by country of origin; (d) travel motivations by number of years residing in Canada; and (e) travel motivations by certain socio-demographic variables. Results revealed that a core set of non-immigrant specific travel motivations (i.e., REP scales) generally drive Latin American immigrants’ leisure travel within Canada. Of these core motivations, the primary five were to: enjoy nature, physically rest, have a novel experience, escape personal social pressures, and bring the family together. These core motivations, as well as the immigrant-specific motives, were also found to vary based on a number of socio-demographic variables. Additionally, my results indicated that leisure travel motivations varied by acculturation strategy, suggesting they act as a reproduction of those values expressed through one’s orientations towards Latin American culture and mainstream Canadian society. The theoretical implications of these results are fourfold. First, my research contributes to the tourism literature by diversifying how travel motivations are conceptualized within the context of immigration. Second, this thesis extends Berry’s (1997) acculturation framework, specifically in terms of its acculturation strategies, to the study of leisure travel motivations. Third, it reveals that factors related to ethnicity provided valuable insight into explaining variations amongst certain leisure travel motivations, underscoring the importance of integrating ethnicity into tourism research. Fourthly, this thesis demonstrates that there is an intersection between motivations, acculturation, ethnicity, and immigration. It thus calls for us to expand our current thinking by developing a more comprehensive integration of these constructs into theory, research, and subsequently practice. Practitioners may all benefit from an increased understanding of immigrants’ motivations, both generally, as well as specifically for Latin American Canadians. By incorporating questions such as, ‘How many years have our clients typically been in Canada?’ ‘What Latin American heritage-based values are reflected/incorporated into our tourism products/service provision?’ ‘Which non-immigrant specific and immigrant specific-motives do/can we deliver on best?’ practitioners will be enabled to plan for, attract, serve, and better understand the needs of immigrants. In conclusion, leisure and tourism practices can be enhanced by thinking about what to offer and how to offer it within the unique context of immigration.
This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for the purpose of private, scholarly or scientific research. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
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