|General programme, activity sheet|
||Friday 25 October, 2013 15:40 to 16:00
Prioritizing decisions: destination choice versus travel modeSpeaker: Francisco Sastre Albertí, University of the Balearic Islands, Spain
Speaker: Natividad Juaneda Sampol, Vice-Chancellor, University of the Balearic Islands, Spain
Authors: Jaume Garcia , Catalina Juaneda, Josep M. Raya and Francesc Sastre
Inthe current context ofeconomic crisisthere isa limited number ofpapersdealingto studyfrom a microeconomic perspective, the reactionsof the tourist asa consumers and thedemandchanges that these reactions cancause. This is particularlyimportant ifone takes into accounttheflexibilityshown bytouristswhenreplacing theplace, timeand type ofvacation(Gosslinget al(2012);SheldonandDwyer(2010)). Given thedemand flexibilityandthe crisis current situation, mature tourist destinationsare facing significantchallengesfroma few years ago.
The supply of All-Inclusive (AI) package holidays,thathas been increasingly developed at mature tourist destinations, offered by tour operators and hotels in parallel with half or full board packages or even instead of them, is one of the facts that the destinations have to face. This development is often perceived by residents and some producers of the tourism industry (mainly buy the complementary supply) as a threat for their own survival. Within this context, the aim of this study is to know better the main features of the AI demand in a mature destination and more specifically to study if this demand is spurious and, therefore, determined by the current circumstances or if there is a deliberate demand that gives priority to this type of travel experience over a specific geographical destination. The paper warns of the need to assess the consequences for destinations of a rise in all-inclusive holidays based mainly on aspurious demand.
AI Package in mediterranean mature destinations
All-Inclusivepackage can vary substantially among destinations and AI providers (tour operator and travel agencies),with the product’s intensity being the main distinguishing feature (Anderson 2008). Furthermore, distinctions in bundles are supported by issues such as facility location, which explains the higher intensity of Caribbean AIs compared with the Mediterranean destinations were AI hotels and resorts are located in zones with a wide-ranging complementary tourist offer (bars, restaurants, shops and entertainment, among others). Sometimes AI packages are even offered at the same time as other kinds of packages in accommodation establishments; thus, different types of travel styles co-exist in one sole resort (Anderson, 2008). Hence, the AI package in the Mediterranean is usually much less dense than in the Caribbean, because of the destinations’ developmental aspects.
In the face of this new phenomenon, it is important to analyse the potential consequences thatthe growth in this type of offer has for mature tourist destinations, as are many tourist zones in the Mediterranean. If, as in Majorca, the AI offer is primarily available in the same hotels and resorts that offer traditional products, there is a replacement effect of one kind of package for another, which may have repercussions on the destination.
2. Study framework and methodology
Holiday experience and destination choice
The connection between choice of destination and tour mode has yet to be studied in depth and the few studies that are available have tried to link destination choice with the nature of the holiday experience, processes and activities. Hwang et al (2006) and Rewtrakunphaiboon and Oppewal (2004) acknowledge the complexities and multifaceted decision-making processes involved in travel choice and agree that destination choice depends on the holiday experience and the other elements that make up the holiday.
The point is that some tourists may be oriented more towards a destination than a tour modality. In other words, not every AI package traveller is a genuine AI travel mode client, but instead buys an AI for convenience, because of marketing efforts. Furthermore, tourists who prefer a certain type of tour operator or travel agency will tend to choose the destinations it offers, which will also entail a certain type of package tour.
It must also be taken into consideration that from the consumer’s perspective, bundle packages offer not only monetary savings, but other non-monetary savingsas well in terms of time and physical effort in the holiday decision-making process at the origin and destination. Therefore, destination choice and travel mode are usually inter-related and it is not easy to distinguish between the priority decision and the motivations leading up to it.
A visitor exit survey was conducted at Palma airport (Mallorca) in summer 2012, following the same guidelines as other similar survey conducted by Anderson (2008), whose results are shown in Anderson (2008). A questionnaire was designed on the basis of collect information about the characteristics of All Inclusive tourists and their trips including tourism expenditure and motivation and 603tourist were interviewed. One fundamental research question was posed: Would you still have come if there were no all-inclusive products in Majorca?with the response options being, Yes, No or Not sure.From the results of the survey a decision process model has been estimated.
Anderson, W. (2008). Analysis of All-Inclusive Travel Mode: Demand and Supply Perspectives in the Balearic Islands. PhD thesis.University of the Balearic Islands, Palma de Majorca.
Gössling et al (2012) Consumer behaviour and demand response of tourists to climate change, Annals of Tourism Research, vol. 39(1).
Hwang, Y., Gretzel, U., Xiang, Z., & Fesenmaier, D. (2006). Travel Destination Choice Models. In Fesenmaier, D.; Wober, K. &Werthner, H. (Eds), Destination Recommendation Systems: Behavioral Foundations and Applications(pp. 17-29). CABI Publishing.
Rewtrakunphaiboon, W., &Oppewal, H. (2004).Holiday Packaging and Tourist Decision Making. Tourism Analysis, 8, 193-196.
Sheldon, P. and Dwyer, L. (2010). The global financial crisis and tourism: Perspectives of theacademy.Journal of Travel Research, vol. 49(3).
Session 7 – Destination development and management (2)
Place: Room SB03