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Benno Herzog
GlobalH-M (eds). Global Health and Migration: Interdisciplinary Tools to Tackle Health Inequalities. Valencia: Consortium GlobalH-M: 103-109.
Publication year: 2013


International Retirement Migration (IRM) is a growing phenomenon in the globalized world. It takes account of the migration of retired or often early-retired people towards traditional tourist regions. These migrants are usually attracted by the climate and the relatively higher purchasing power. They often acquire a house or a flat in the chosen region and are characterized at the beginning by a high level of well-being. One of the regions which receive the most IRMs is the Costa Blanca, i.e. the coastal area of the southern autonomous region of Valencia (Spain). Despite a more than 40-year-old tradition of IRM in Europe, there is relatively little social research on this field. Retired European migrants have not been felt to be politically controversial, i.e. they have not been seen to be the reason for social problems, nor have they be seen as needy, poor or deprived. The terms used in the 80s and early 90s for describing this population often have been linked to the model of the social agent of tourist rather than to a migration model. Instead of talking of migration, the terms real estate tourism, residential tourism or second-home tourism seemed more adequate for conceptualizing this phenomenon. Consequently the focus on this type of research was more on the economic impact of these social groups. However, with the idea of European residents or International Retirement Migrant there is a shift of attention.