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|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|16354||2005||12 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Tourism Management, Volume 26, Issue 2, April 2005, Pages 121–132
This paper presents a typology of vacationers based on decision-making variables and processes. Employing a naturalistic perspective, the (summer) vacation decision-making process of 25 Belgian households was followed for a year. In-depth interview and observation data were analyzed and interpreted through the grounded theory methodology. Findings show that vacation decision-making is an ongoing process with a lot of contextual influences. A distinction is made between six types of vacationers: habitual, rational, hedonic, opportunistic, constrained and adaptable. This new typology may be useful for both theoretical and segmentation purposes.
The tourism literature has proposed a large number of typologies of vacationers, tourists and travelers. Many of these typologies are based on segmentation criteria (see Table 1), which have been proposed to sub-divide vacationers into homogeneous groups, in order to help targeting and positioning strategies. These criteria can be used separately or in combination (Lang & O’Leary, 1997). Widely used are demographic criteria, such as age (Anderson & Langmeyer, 1982), the family life cycle (Fodness, 1992) and vacationers’ predispositions such as benefits sought (Shoemaker, 1994; Woodside & Jacobs, 1985). A lot of attention has also been given to behavioral variables, such as vacation activities (Hsieh, O’Leary, & Morrison, 1992; Moscardo, Morrison, Pearce, Lang, & O’Leary, 1996), amount of expenditure (Spotts & Mahoney, 1991), chosen destination (Lang et al., 1997), distance traveled (Etzel & Woodside, 1982) and frequency of travel (Woodside, Cook, & Mindak, 1987). More traditional geographical and economical criteria have been suggested as well (Swarbrooke & Horner, 1999). Table 1. Tourist typologies based on segmentation criteria Author(s) Major variable(s) Tourist types Anderson and Langmeyer (1982) Age The under-50 and over-50 travelers Etzel and Woodside (1982) Distance traveled Distant and near-home travelers Fodness (1992) Family life cycle Young couple, young parents, mature parents, mature couple, senior couple Hsieh et al. (1992) Activities Visiting friends and relatives, outdoor sports, sightseeing, full-house activity, entertainment Lang, O’Leary, and Morrison (1997) Destination Within-Asia and out-of-Asia (Taiwanese outbound tourists) Moscardo et al. (1996) Travel benefits and activities Escape/excitement, self-esteem/self-development, family relationships, physical activity, safety-security, self-esteem/social status, escape, relaxation Shoemaker (1994) Benefits sought Get away/family travelers, adventurous/educational travelers, gamblers/fun oriented travelers Spotts and Mahoney (1991) Expenditure Light, medium and heavy spenders Woodside and Jacobs (1985) Benefits sought Rest and relaxation, cultural experiences, family togetherness Woodside, Cook, and Mindak (1987) Frequency of travel Light and heavy travelers Table options Typologies based on segmentation criteria can be used for day-to-day marketing operations such as segmentation, targeting, destination selection, pricing, etc. However, segmentation criteria are less useful for describing more fundamental and structural aspects of the vacationer's life, which are important for theoretical purposes and for strategic marketing planning (e.g. product development and (re)positioning may be based on an analysis of social and cultural trends in the market). Although segmentation criteria can highlight various aspects of the vacationer's life, without an integrated theory of how to combine them they are like separate pieces of a puzzle. Therefore, more theoretical typologies have been proposed and these have focused either on socio-psychological variables of the vacationer, or on his/her decision-making style. In this paper, we propose a new typology where socio-psychological processes and decision styles are combined. The need for such a typology becomes apparent when one looks at the strengths and weaknesses of existing typologies.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
According to Hunt (1991), typologies used in marketing should be ‘intersubjectively unambiguous’, ‘mutually exclusive’ and ‘collectively exhaustive’ (pp. 187–188). The typology presented here scores well on the first criterion: the naturalistic longitudinal design allows for a rich description of each type. This makes it easy to identify a type at various stages of the DMP. With respect to the second criterion, this typology is not mutually exclusive at the DMU level, since there may be individual differences within DMUs. Even within one individual, different types of DMPs may be followed depending on opportunities, emotions, etc., as illustrated by the following quotation: Martine (F, 37, teacher, single): The destination, well that depends. There are some trips which I have in reserve and I wait to find the best trip or when the prices have lowered; then there are the ones that I fall in love with. Sometimes, I may have not even considered any destination and then suddenly… Although DMUs and individuals may mix decision-making styles, informants could easily be classified in one particular style within each vacation project. This means that the typology is mutually exclusive at the vacation project level. As for the third criterion, the typology is exhaustive within the boundaries of the small sample of Belgian vacationers. The six types provide a good description of all encountered cases. The need for relativism is the major theoretical lesson from this research. There is not only one but a plurality of vacation DMPs. Six types of vacationers have been depicted based on personal, social and decision-making variables. This breaks with existing models which propose one typical, i.e. bounded rational (March & Simon, 1958), vacation decision process. Our findings have shown that there is a need to ‘soften’ traditional tenets which characterize vacation decision-making as high involvement (Moutinho, 1987; Swarbrooke & Horner, 1999), extensive problem solving and information search (Middleton, 1994) and a sequential evolution of plans starting from the generic decision to go on vacation (van Raaij & Francken, 1984; Mansfeld, 1992). More particularly, one should pay more attention to adaptability and opportunism in vacation decision-making. Adaptability (Payne et al., 1993) has major consequences on decision timing, information search and the predictability of choices. Another aspect deserving more attention is the daydreaming of hedonic vacationers (Hirschman & Holbrook, 1982). A lot of information about tourist destinations is collected for fantasizing and stirring the imagination. At the same time, that information is hardly predictive of actual vacation choices. So one may wonder whether daydreaming is an end in itself, or whether it serves some function during the actual vacation experience. Further research should clarify this since the informants of this study were not contacted during their vacation. Finally, the constrained vacation type shows that people do not always feel in control in choosing and planning their vacation. In the sample, this concerned women and children the most, who often felt forced into supporting certain decisions, becoming disinterested in the vacation as a result. Again, the implications of this finding for the actual vacation experience and family relations during the vacation deserve more attention. At the managerial level, tour-operators and travel agents should benefit from the opportunistic nature of decision-making of some vacationers by keeping in touch with them and making them offers (early booking or last-minute discounts). Active steps are particularly recommended because vacationers prove to be waiting for and not purposefully searching for information. The adaptability of vacationers should also be taken into account. As vacationers are involved in more vacation projects at the same time with different needs and desires, they should not be put in one exclusive segment. This typology of vacationers based on DMPs could therefore be used in addition to more traditional segmentation bases. Given the stress on the DMP, this typology is more likely to be applied for the purpose of product communication than for the purpose of product development. It gives indications about vacation involvement and planning, decision timing, the amount and type of information search, etc. All those elements could be used in promotion campaigns. Finally, it should be noted that vacationers may like more flexibility in their planning, that they may value product information as much for its utility as for its ability to stir up the imagination and that the actual vacation package may have to deal with uninvolved and even unwilling vacationers. These issues could be exploited when developing packages and organized tours. Probably the major question about this research pertains to the external validity or transferability of emerging findings. Two dimensions of transferability need being discussed: statistical generalization and the ethnicity of informants. In this paper, a typology of vacationers has been built inductively from the study of a phenomenon situated in a particular context. Although analytical generalization of some emerging findings is possible, statistical generalization is not possible because of the theoretical (non-random) sampling procedure and the small sample size. If statistical generalization were desired, the emerging propositions of this paper could be tested on larger representative samples. For example, it would be interesting to investigate whether a typology similar to this new typology of vacationers could be derived from quantitative survey data using factor analytic or clustering techniques. The present study has put forward many propositions that could be converted into questions to generate those data. The issue of the transferability in terms of the ethnicity of the decision makers also has to be raised since the sample of this study only consists of Belgian vacationers. However, the emergence of a ‘touristic’ culture, as opposed to a ‘nationalistic’ culture, has been put into light for western countries from which most tourists emanate (McIntosh, Goeldner, & Brent Ritchie, 1995; de Vulpian, 1989). As a result, international tourists tend to have similar profiles: ‘The international [tourism] market is largely made up of middle-income people, including the more prosperous minority of the working class, who normally live in large cities and earn their living in managerial, professional, white-collar, supervisory and skilled occupations’ (McIntosh et al., 1995). Moreover, Sproles and Kendall (1986) argue that decision-making styles are largely independent of the culture but are rather descriptive of a personal orientation. Therefore, the six types of vacationers presented in this paper could be found in different parts of the world, of course with different distributions. In general, the Belgian society is reported to be a ‘miniature Europe’, where ‘most general economic and consumption tendencies that have a grip over Europe, also reign the Belgian society’ (Gijsbrechts, Swinnen, & van Waterschoot, 1995, p. 389). However, on one particular point Belgians have been reported to be different: they are seen as more risk averse (Hofstede, 1983). Since risk aversion may lead to higher involvement levels, more information gathering, avoiding conflicts and safer choices, the description of the habitual, rational and constrained vacationer types may be somewhat exaggerated when looked at from a culture that is less risk averse.