مدلسازی رفتار انتخابی مصرف کننده در گردشگری فضایی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|1801||2009||14 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Tourism Management, Volume 30, Issue 3, June 2009, Pages 441–454
This paper presents the results of stated-preference, discrete choice experiments designed to examine potential consumer reactions to various options emerging in the embryonic space tourism industry. The research investigated choice behaviour between four types of space tourism: high-altitude jet fighter flights, atmospheric zero-gravity flights, short-duration sub-orbital flights, and longer duration orbital trips into space. Each type of space tourism was represented in terms of an array of major features that potentially may have a major impact on the perceptions, attitudes, and choice behaviour of likely customers in this market. The choice experiments were embedded in an information-rich, online survey. Choice data from the experiments were analysed with the mixed logit model, which is a random coefficient model that allows for a continuous distribution of the preferences (effects) for each feature. The results identify a number of features for each type of flight option as well as a number of customer characteristics that appear to impact the choice of space tourism type.
Since the publication of Schumpeter's Theory of Economic Development (Schumpeter, 1961), it is well-recognized that the birth of new industries creates a dilemma for understanding and predicting consumer choice behaviour. New industries typically present customers with conceptually or practically radical products that do not benefit either from the advantage of being able to reflect on past patterns of demand and choice, or from a history of competitive offerings, variations in product features, and market share performances. Thus, there is little basis for extrapolation and, at best, only poor market analogues (Gregan-Paxton, Hibbard, Brunel, & Azar, 2002) exist to provide entrepreneurs with some basis for anticipating or gaining insights into likely customer responses to really new products. Despite this challenge, the need to understand how consumers are likely to react to radically new product and service offerings is particularly acute in these circumstances. Unlike well-established markets, where more ‘incremental’ products are the norm, the risks, uncertainties, investment, and potential commercial rewards at stake are often considerably greater (Song & Montoya-Weiss, 1998). The birth of ‘space tourism’ is a case in point. If the likes of Richard Branson are to be believed, the next few years could herald in a space tourism industry that is nothing short of an economic ‘behemoth’ if it succeeds to the same extent as the civil aviation industry during the 20th century. From the first powered flight in 1903 through the early ‘barnstorming’ years of flight, advances in aircraft technology stimulated by two world wars, the development of jet aircraft engines, and most notably the Boeing 747, aviation advanced rapidly during the first several decades of technological and then commercial development. According to Belfiore (2007a): “Private companies took air travel out of the exclusive domain of militaries and governments and gave it first to the very rich; then low cost carriers such as Ryanair started turning around aircraft faster, increasing the frequency of flights and thus making them affordable for many more people. Space travel is taking the first step in this process.”1 However, forecasts of demand for the products and services of this industry require particular caution as the prevailing view in the 1960s and 1970s, during the heydays of the space race, was that by the late 20th Century the general public would already be travelling into space en masse. The benefit of hindsight tells us that this was an overly optimistic expectation based more on hope than on realistic assessments or appreciations of the costs, technical realities, risks, and/or commercial imperatives space tourism requires. Nonetheless, hopes and expectations have been renewed over the past several years in light of a number of developments (Crouch, Laing, & Smith, 2004) including: • flights of several, fare-paying tourists (Carey, 2005 and Malik, 2005) to the International Space Station via the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, with the assistance of Space Adventures, a commercial space tourism ‘go-between’. • the first successful flights of SpaceShipOne (a sub-orbital venture) to win the Ansari XPrize (David, 2004), followed by the announcement that the company that designed and built SpaceShipOne (i.e., Scaled Composites) had entered into an agreement with a new venture created by Sir Richard Branson (known as Virgin Galactic) to build a fleet of sub-orbital spacecraft for space tourism based on the SpaceShipOne prototype (David, 2005a). • a change in the attitudes of NASA and US policy makers and regulators who now seem to be willing to facilitate and encourage development of the industry and ensure that the lead of the United States is maintained (David, 2005b and Werner, 2004). The US Federal Aviation Administration has adopted the lead regulator role at this stage and has sought to facilitate rather than hinder the development of sub-orbital space tourism enterprise. • a flurry of other developmental activities involving design, testing, and facilitating of sub-orbital and orbital initiatives and ventures including the participation of, and investment by, several wealthy individuals (see David, 2005c, David, 2005d, David, 2005e and Malik, 2004 for examples). • the willingness of market mavens to buy into the initial product concepts. Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic has sold out its Founders Group with 100 individuals preparing to pay $200,000 for flights of just under 2 h duration. The company, Space Adventures, which to date has played a role in assisting the Russian Space Agency to find space tourism customers for its Soyuz flights to the International Space Station, has over 200 people prepared to pay $100,000 for a 90-min sub-orbital flight. Such developments suggest that we are seeing the birth of a nascent commercial space tourism industry, although the way ahead appears very uncertain, with a wide range of economic, technological, political, legal, environmental, financial and commercial issues eventually shaping the rate and direction the industry takes. Industry experts are keenly aware that among the most important of these uncertainties is the way in which consumers perceive and respond to the competitive options on offer. For example, many in the industry expect that prices will fall, allowing the industry to become more mainstream. According to Will Whitehorn, president of Virgin Galactic: “We hope ticket prices will come down by the end of the first decade of flight as all profits prior to this will be reinvested in the business.” Yet when pressed on what future prices might be, his response was telling: “On an unproven business model, we cannot accurately give that figure currently” (Kolesnikov-Jessop, 2006). In such circumstances, valid, reliable and accurate estimates of market demand are essential to capture the interest, participation and cooperation of many disparate businesses, organisations and individuals, and particularly capital markets. Simberg (2000, p. 10) suggests that “the current technology level is the least of the problems confronting space tourism entrepreneurs … the most difficult problem remains not in design and implementation, but in raising needed investment funds.” Although venture capitalists such as Boston Harbour have provided support for space tourism ventures “wooing venture capitalists and private equity firms has proven more difficult. Such investors are skittish [not only] because commercial human space flight is risky [but because] firms compete with traditional software, Internet, biotechnology and medical-device start-ups where the risk is lower and returns are potentially higher” (Sydney Morning Herald, 2007). As O'Neil, Bekey, Mankins, Rogers, and Stallmer (1998) note, “validation of the real market for general public space travel and tourism is going to be an essential step. A central issue will be: is it possible to get that validation with current vehicles?” (p. 8). In light of these challenges, the purpose of this paper is to take a modest step in the direction of assessing the demand for certain types of space tourism services. We did so by modifying and applying a promising approach to modelling and forecasting the likely consumer response. Our analysis allowed us to explore the effect of various configurations of specific features which may form potential future space tourism offerings.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This study confirms the implied assumption of previous research that potential space tourism customers are likely to be highly sensitive to price. The findings also show that there is considerable heterogeneity between respondents in terms of how they are likely to react to price when choosing between the different types of space tourism. The research also points to the significant role of other potentially important demand determinants. In terms of the features of a space tourism product, prominent determinants included the nationality of the operator (which may also have served as a proxy for other factors related to quality, risk, and convenience), the physical requirements placed on passengers, the level of passenger space or crowding, and the extent of pre-flight training required. Among the characteristics of the potential customer, gender, age, education, and the extent of other risk-taking behaviour typically played an important role in influencing choice. The results of this research indicate broadly that there is a significant portion of the public, in general, and of high-income/high-net-worth individuals in particular, who are favourably disposed towards engaging in some form of commercial space tourism flight activity. There are several different alternative forms of space tourism possible and, within each, there is likely to be a growing number of competing space tourism ventures to emerge over time. It has been observed in the early years of other ‘new’ industries, when the way forward is clouded by uncertainty – uncertainty in regards to: customer choice behaviour and preferences, technological foundations, and the dynamics of cost – that enterprises search for the best ‘business model’. At some point, however, typically such new industries undergo a shake-up during which a number of the early entrants exit the market as the business model they adopted turned out ultimately to be uncompetitive. Competitive business models for space tourism will comprise those which provide the right tradeoff between what customers most desire, and what technology is capable of delivering, at a price (and cost) that can keep pace with the declining cost of competitor operations as economies of scale unfold and as learning effects accumulate. Understanding what customers desire will, therefore, be a key ingredient to success. Although the scope of this study is modest, it has demonstrated that the tools for investigating this are available. Further ongoing research into space tourism consumer choice behaviour is bound to become a critical, continuous need as commercial space tourism unfolds in the years ahead. As experience from the commercial civil aviation industry analogue of the 20th century demonstrates, changes in technology, competition, the economy, society, legal and regulatory frameworks, demography, and the environment will necessitate many such consumer studies in the long run. Having demonstrated that private, commercial space tourism operators are capable of designing and building a sub-orbital spacecraft, the space tourism industry now faces questions about how to sell technological space flight solutions to potential consumers. Thus accurate marketing research is crucial for designing commercial space tourism experiences based on sound understanding of likely future consumer choices. The industry faces a major challenge in conducting sound, reliable, state-of-the-art research for a product with no history, numerous potential product configurations and little consumer understanding of risks and benefits. Our empirical results show that one can potentially overcome the challenges to estimate a good first approximation to the potential demand for space tourism based on sound theory and methods. We were able to deal with the challenges by addressing several issues. Firstly, we avoided the ambiguity and open-endedness of previous research in which respondents were not required to make tradeoffs. Second, we used well-tested theory and methods to model and predict demand for space tourism by using information acceleration methods to inform and educate respondents about the features of space tourism products and services; and we modelled the resulting choices with state-of-the-art discrete choice models. The use of a robust multimedia platform allowed us to execute the IA experiments fast and economically, which allowed us to integrate multiple layers in our experiments. In turn, this allowed us to simulate various market contexts as realistically as possible. Finally, we took advantage of recent advances to examine the evolution of customer choices as the market develops by using dynamic experiments