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Purpose: This paper introduces measures of the motivation of tourists who travel to their ancestral homes. A set of learning exercises is presented for students and managers to apply understanding of these motives to tourism strategies.

Design/Methodology/Approach: This paper provides a brief review of the literature of heritage tourism and the special segment that travel with genealogical objectives. Survey data on motives to seek out ancestors is provided with learning exercises to link motives to tourism planning.

Findings: Data on the importance of multiple motives is presented with analytical measures of their overall importance levels and of differences between U.S. and U.K. samples.

Research Limitations/Implications: The motivational variables and data collection are primarily exploratory, focusing on samples that are interested in genealogy and heritage tourism. Further research could certainly be expanded to cover broader populations of tourists and genealogists. Practical Implications: By combining primary research with trade association research included in this paper students and tourism managers have the opportunity to apply research findings to tourism and hospitality decision-making to attract and satisfy tourists who have genealogical goals in their travel agendas.

Originality/Value: Data based on the important and growing domain of motivational research in ancestral/genealogical related tourism has not been presented for analysis and application until now. Strength of motives and differences between nationalities of tourists presents a unique analytical opportunity in learning exercises.

Copyright Statement

This is an author-produced, peer-reviewed version of this article. The final, definitive version of this document can be found online at International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, published by Emerald. Copyright restrictions may apply. DOI: 10.1108/17506180910994514

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