Doctoral thesis

Understanding tourist behaviour in terms of activeness and intra-destination movement patterns for managing tourism experience


110 p

Thèse de doctorat: Università della Svizzera italiana, 2014

English The dissertation is focusing on the demand side of tourism, in particular on tourists’ consumption of a destination and on the conceptualization of their decision process during visitation. Travel behaviour can be related to and motivated by several factors and the analysis of these factors allows a better understanding of tourists’ movements and activity participation. This information can be used for creating customized tourism products that can bring additional benefits to the tourists and the destination. In this context, destination cards are analysed in the thesis which are integrated products to facilitate tourists in their consumption by offering public transport usage and entrance to activities and attractions at the destination. The dissertation is divided into four chapters and refers to four research articles; three of them are published in refereed journals and one of them is presented in an edited book. The first article investigates the relation among motivation with variables introduced for the first time in this study, namely activeness indicators and destination card requirements. In addition, it attempts to identify the customer profile of destination cards. The second paper models the correlated choices of the spatial extent of the visited destination and the selection of transport modes, and determines the influential variables in this context applying bivariate probit models. The third article investigates the existence of spatial or product clustering in consumption with destination cards and looks for the discriminating factors among the clusters. Finally, the fourth paper reviews and elaborates theories on movement patterns and their influencing factors. The implications of the thesis are beneficial for destination marketing organizations, regional transport authorities and tourism operators.
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