Tourist itineraries and yield: technical background report
The aim of this research was to identify yield based visitor and itinerary prototypes. An examination of tourist itineraries (i.e. tourist behaviour across space and time) as reported in the International Visitor Survey revealed that – when itineraries are sufficiently simplified – patterns of similarity emerge. However, the diversity was still too large to be able to derive a manageable set of ‘itinerary prototypes’. For this reason a simplified approach was taken, in which spatial implications of tourist travel where measured through visitation to Regional Tourism Organisations. It could be seen that the spatial distribution is shaped by a wide range of factors, including country of origin, port of arrival, travel style, repeat visitation, purpose of travel, and presence of children under 15. The weakest amongst the analysed factors was whether tourists travelled with children or not. Importantly, it has to be noted that most of the factors analysed are interrelated. In turn, it could also be shown that the spatial distribution of tourists is related to yield, for example average expenditure per day by tourists who visit major centres is higher than that of tourists who include more remote areas in their itinerary. Knowing that country of origin has an important influence on distributional patterns and its relationship to other key drivers of itineraries (see also the Ministry of Tourism’s Flows Model), made origin a useful variable for an a priori segmentation of yield analyses in relation to itineraries. The country of origin analysis provided useful insights into travel behaviour (e.g. length of stay, expenditure, transport choices), tourist decision making (where information was available), and financial yield. It could be seen, for example, that the behaviour of Australian tourists is largely driven by its strong visiting friends/relatives component (e.g. high repeat visitation), whereas behaviour by British and German visitors seems strongly influenced by the long distance from home (e.g. length of stay, expenditure). While the Chinese and Japanese markets share some similarities (e.g. shorter stays, propensity to tour group travel) the main difference lies in the greater travel experience by Japanese tourists. American visitors were found to fall between European and Asian visitors in their travel behaviour. The yield associated with the six main countries of origin was analysed for the financial dimension. Financial yield was chosen as it can be measured as a national-level or ‘systemic’ indicator rather than local or ‘site-specific’ indicators for yield, such as environmental or social impacts. Further analyses of yield at a local level will be undertaken later on in the research programme. The analysis of expenditure, Value Added and Economic Value Added shows that the ‘preferability’ of a certain market depends on the indicator selected and also whether yield per trip or per day is calculated. In all cases, the German market appears favourable, mainly as a result of their high spending on rented vehicles, which is associated with high financial yield. In the light of the findings above, this component of the research developed a framework for the further analysis of decision making in the Spatial Yield research programme. The framework incorporates the dimensions of country of origin and itinerary type (in the form of a matrix). Such a framework could be useful to explore the decision making behind key yield variables such as: length of stay, overall expenditure (budget), allocation of budget, and travel (geographic dimension).... [Show full abstract]
Keywordstourism yield; yield management; economic yield; financial performance; economic performance; tourism investment; tourism marketing; tourism management; on-site spatial behaviours; visitor decision making
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