Understanding tourists’ leisure expenditure at the destination

Tourists’ expenditure behavior.

Group of tourists searching for places on their map outdoors.
Image: Shuterstock

Tourism has long been recognized as an instrument for local economic development and regeneration of rural areas, due to its ability to increase profits and generate economic benefits to host regions and communities. Understanding tourists’ leisure expenditure is essential for those tourism destinations whose major source of income is based on tourism revenues.

Understanding individual tourist expenditure and of visitor spending behavior can play a crucial role in achieving a better understanding of the economic benefits that a destination experiences when engaging in tourism. According to the previous study, expenditure is influenced by a wide range of socio-demographic and economic variables, psychological variables, trip-related and destination-related variables.

A new study published in Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing identified spending patterns of tourists in relation to the leisure activities performed throughout their day-by-day stay at the destination.

Scientists particularly utilized social network analysis (SNA) methodology, a tourists–activities bipartite network to identify a pattern known as core–periphery. Using multiple regression models, scientists also identified the effect of this structure including typology, number, and timing of performing the activities on tourism expenditure.

Scientists noted, the study reveals that through SNA between tourists and activities, we can study the behavior of tourists in a novel way. Tourists are influenced in their decision-making processes by many internal and external motivators and determinants when they choose products. They may be affected in different ways, according to the type of goods.

This information provides destination managers and private tourism businesses with practical knowledge useful for the management of customer service and the strategic planning and packaging of accommodation, attractions and other tourism and non-tourism services. The results of this study can also guide tourism planners in expanding their market share by seeking visitors who will spend money on as many services as possible at the destination.