|Wirth, V.; Pröbstl, U.; Haider, W.,
|The role of sport activities in Alpine summer tourism
|Management for Protection and Sustainable Development
|MMV 4 - Proceedings
|MMV4, Alps, destination choice, discrete choice experiment, sport activities, summer tourism
|Throughout the Alps, natural integrity, outstanding landscape beauty, and the opportunity to pursue various sport activities are key elements of the tourism product, and influence the choice of destinations. This paper focuses on the role of sports activities in the choice of Alpine destinations. The data were collected from a representative random sample of German tourists. The core element of the survey is a stated choice survey in which respondents had to make repeated choices between two hypothetical alpine destinations which were disguised as web sites with changing characteristics and landscape features. The results of the discrete choice experiment show that the sport activities contribute significantly to the destination choice, and that the respondents are rather heterogeneous, leading to the identification of different segments in a latent class segmentation. The largest segment is comprised of the social and activity oriented tourists (55%), followed by nature and alpine oriented tourists (31%), and finally by tourists interested predominantly in relaxing (14%). Their divergent preferences and expectations will be described below. The importance of this research is that these segments have been identified directly from the choice responses, instead of from some attitudinal or motivational set of questions. The findings indicate that sport activities play an important role in the destination choice for alpine summer holidays, but their significance differs between segments. For marketing and management purposes these results highlight that the target groups and related marketing campaigns must be adapted to new trends and societal changes. To attract and enlarge the less active tourism segment the Alps should be positioned as silent place where relaxing in a healthy environment and outstanding landscape is possible.
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