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Understanding Visitors

Tourism destinations appeal to a wide variety of different types of visitors who are often categorised by:

  • Lifestage eg. Young Families
  • Demographics
  • Attitudes and values eg. Experience Seekers
  • Type of holiday eg. Beach Holiday
  • Duration of trip eg. Short Break
  • Purpose of travel eg. Visiting Friends and Relatives

It is therefore essential that a tourism destination clearly understands their current and desired visitor markets to influence how a destination is developed, managed and marketed. Identifying and understanding a destination’s visitor markets involves consideration of the following points:

  • It is important to understand not only who the current visitor markets are but the preferred future target market/s for that destination as highlighted in the Grampians region where market research identified the opportunity to reposition the destination in order to attract the preferred target market;
  • The development of a strategic direction for a destination should take into consideration both the current and future visitor markets to ensure that both short-term and long-term sustainability goals are achievable;
  • Market segmentation is important in identifying different characteristics and demands of visitor markets and to assist in the identification of a destination’s preferred target market/s as demonstrated in the Tennant Creek and Barkly region where market research and segmentation identified the self-drive market as the ‘ideal’ visitor market for the region;
  • Market segmentation can be undertaken based on visitor demographics, behaviours, preferences and interests. The aim of better understanding a destination’s current and future visitors is to get the best match between the aspirations and expectations of visitors, the host community’s aspirations and the potential of the destination. For this reason psychographic segmentation (attitudes and values) is becoming increasingly used to find the perfect match.
  • Identification of the preferred target market of a destination should be based on an assessment of the market segments against the destination image, stakeholder vision and goals, product and experience offering;
  • Understanding a destination target market’s needs, behaviours, characteristics, preferences and decision-making processes is important in developing appropriate strategies for destination development and marketing.

The Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre has an extensive body of research into understanding consumer choice and behaviours and the impact on identifying appropriate visitor markets. Research into best practice of regional destinations in the Sustainable Regional Tourism Destinations report showed that tourism destinations must understand the history and future direction of the consumer marketplace and the position of their destination in that marketplace. For further information on market research please see the ‘Market Research and Insights’ section. For further information on specific market segments please see the ‘Destination Products and Experiences’ section.

Destination Management Tip

Social trend analysis can be used to identify future visitor demands and potential new target markets for a destination.

 

Browse case studies:

International Education Visitation – Tourism Opportunities

This report presents the first comprehensive tourism study of international students and their visiting friends and relatives. It involved focus groups and a large national survey of international students studying at higher education, vocational education and training and English language institutions in Australia. The findings provide important insights for Australia’s tourism leaders seeking to take full advantage of this market and develop innovative approaches to maximise its potential.

by Michael Davidson, Hugh Wilkins, Brian King, Perry Hobson, Stephen Craig-Smith and Sarah Gardiner

Using the International Visitor Survey Data to Measure and Explain Dispersal of Visitors

This research focuses on extending the range of current inventory of tools used to monitor and analyse dispersal of inbound visitors using individual trip information embedded in the International Visitor Survey (IVS).

by Tay R. Koo, Richard Wu and Larry Dwyer

How Do Australians Choose Holiday Destinations and Experiences? Modelling Consumer Choice

The aim of this research was to explore and compare choice behaviours of different consumers for specific domestic and overseas destinations offering a particular set of holiday experiences. The selected eight destinations represent the whole range of option types for short trip vacation travel from or within Australia: overseas (Asia/Pacific), domestic metropolitan interstate, regional interstate, local regional (intrastate) and local ‘home’ destination. The implementation and modelling of consumer choice experiments such as this provides a powerful method for deconstructing and understanding how tourism consumers make decisions.

by  Harmen Oppewal, Twan Huybers and Geoffrey I. Crouch

Indigenous Tourism in Australia: Profiling the Domestic Market

Tourism Research Australia (TRA) has collected valuable data on Indigenous tourism visitors through its International Visitor Survey (IVS) and National Visitor Surveys (IVS and NVS).

by Tourism Research Australia

Megatrends Underpinning Tourism to 2020: Analysis of Key Drivers for Change

This report explores the way in which some key drivers could affect the tourism industry, both international and domestic, to the year 2020. An exploration of these trends allows important change agents, on both the supply side and the demand side of tourism, to be highlighted and discussed, strategies formulated by destination managers, and tourism operators to develop tourism in a sustainable way. While the implications extend to all tourism destinations and operations, the focus is on Australia in particular.

by Larry Dwyer, Deborah Edwards, Nina Mistilis, Carolina Roman, Noel Scott and Chris Cooper

Regional Tourism Profiles 2008/09 Australian Capital Territory: State Summary

This domestic and international visitor profile provides a state summary of South Australia, Australia.

by Tourism Research Australia

Regional Tourism Profiles 2008/09 New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia: Murray River Area

This domestic and international visitor profile covers the Murray River area, spanning Goolwa in the west to Cooryong in the far east.

by Tourism Research Australia

Regional Tourism Profiles 2008/09 New South Wales: Blue Mountains Region

This domestic and international visitor profile covers the Blue Mountains area west of Sydney, New South Wales.

by Tourism Research Australia

Regional Tourism Profiles 2008/09 New South Wales: Capital Country Region

This domestic and international visitor profile covers the Capital Country region located north of the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales.

by Tourism Research Australia

Regional Tourism Profiles 2008/09 New South Wales: Hunter Region

This domestic and international visitor profile covers the Hunter region of New South Wales, Australia.

by Tourism Research Australia

Regional Tourism Profiles 2008/09 New South Wales: Mid North Coast Region

This domestic and international visitor profile covers the Mid North Coast region of New South Wales, Australia.

by Tourism Research Australia

Regional Tourism Profiles 2008/09 New South Wales: Murray Region

This domestic and international visitor profile covers the Murray region of New South Wales Australia.

by Tourism Research Australia

Regional Tourism Profiles 2008/09 New South Wales: New England North West Region

This domestic and international visitor profile covers the New England North West region of New South Wales Australia.

by Tourism Research Australia

Regional Tourism Profiles 2008/09 New South Wales: Northern Rivers Region

This domestic and international visitor profile covers the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales Australia.

by Tourism Research Australia

Regional Tourism Profiles 2008/09 New South Wales: Outback Region

This domestic and international visitor profile covers the Outback region of New South Wales Australia.

by Tourism Research Australia

Regional Tourism Profiles 2008/09 New South Wales: Riverina Region

This domestic and international visitor profile covers the Riverina region of New South Wales Australia.

by Tourism Research Australia

Regional Tourism Profiles 2008/09 New South Wales: South Coast Region

This domestic and international visitor profile covers the South Coast region of New South Wales Australia.

by Tourism Research Australia

Regional Tourism Profiles 2008/09 New South Wales: State Summary

This domestic and international visitor profile provides a state summary of New South Wales, Australia.

by Tourism Research Australia

Regional Tourism Profiles 2008/09 New South Wales: Sydney Region

This domestic and international visitor profile covers Sydney, the capital city of New South Wales Australia.

by Tourism Research Australia

Regional Tourism Profiles 2008/09 Northern Territory: Arnhem Region

This domestic and international visitor profile covers the Arnhem region of Australia’s Northern Territory.

by Tourism Research Australia

Regional Tourism Profiles 2008/09 Northern Territory: Daly Region

This domestic and international visitor profile covers the Daly region of Australia’s Northern Territory.

by Tourism Research Australia

Regional Tourism Profiles 2008/09 Northern Territory: Darwin Region

This domestic and international visitor profile covers the Darwin region of Australia’s Northern Territory.

by Tourism Research Australia

Regional Tourism Profiles 2008/09 Northern Territory: Kakadu Region

This domestic and international visitor profile covers the Kakadu region of Australia’s Northern Territory.

by Tourism Research Australia

Regional Tourism Profiles 2008/09 Northern Territory: Katherine Region

This domestic and international visitor profile covers the Katherine region of Australia’s Northern Territory.

by Tourism Research Australia

Regional Tourism Profiles 2008/09 Northern Territory: MacDonnell Region

This domestic and international visitor profile covers the MacDonnell region of Australia’s Northern Territory.

by Tourism Research Australia

Regional Tourism Profiles 2008/09 Northern Territory: Petermann Region

This domestic and international visitor profile covers the Petermann region of Australia’s Northern Territory.

by Tourism Research Australia

Regional Tourism Profiles 2008/09 Northern Territory: State Summary

This domestic and international visitor profile provides a state summary of the Northern Territory, Australia.

by Tourism Research Australia

Regional Tourism Profiles 2008/09 Northern Territory: Tablelands Region

This domestic and international visitor profile covers the Tablelands region of Australia’s Northern Territory.

by Tourism Research Australia

Regional Tourism Profiles 2008/09 Queensland: Brisbane Region

This domestic and international visitor profile covers the Brisbane region of Queensland, Australia.

by Tourism Research Australia

Regional Tourism Profiles 2008/09 Queensland: Bundaberg Region

This domestic and international visitor profile covers the Bundaberg region of Queensland, Australia.

by Tourism Research Australia

Regional Tourism Profiles 2008/09 Queensland: Darling Downs Region

This domestic and international visitor profile covers the Darling Downs region of Queensland, Australia.

by Tourism Research Australia

Regional Tourism Profiles 2008/09 Queensland: Fitzroy Region

This domestic and international visitor profile covers the Fitzroy region of Queensland, Australia.

by Tourism Research Australia

Regional Tourism Profiles 2008/09 Queensland: Gold Coast Region

This domestic and international visitor profile covers the Gold Coast region of Queensland, Australia.

by Tourism Research Australia

Regional Tourism Profiles 2008/09 Queensland: Hervey Bay Region

This domestic and international visitor profile covers the Hervey Bay region of Queensland, Australia.

by Tourism Research Australia

Regional Tourism Profiles 2008/09 Queensland: Mackay Region

This domestic and international visitor profile covers the Mackay region of Queensland, Australia.

by Tourism Research Australia

Regional Tourism Profiles 2008/09 Queensland: Northern Region

This domestic and international visitor profile covers the Northern region of Queensland, Australia.

by Tourism Research Australia

Regional Tourism Profiles 2008/09 Queensland: Outback Region

This domestic and international visitor profile covers the Outback region of Queensland, Australia.

by Tourism Research Australia

Regional Tourism Profiles 2008/09 Queensland: Sunshine Coast Region

This domestic and international visitor profile covers the Sunshine Coast region of Queensland, Australia.

by Tourism Research Australia

Regional Tourism Profiles 2008/09 Queensland: Tropical North Region

This domestic and international visitor profile covers Australia’s Tropical North Queensland region.

by Tourism Research Australia

Regional Tourism Profiles New South Wales: Central NSW Region

This domestic and international visitor profile covers the Central region of New South Wales.

by Tourism Research Australia

Seeing and Motivation: Mansfield Shire

Mansfield Shire outlines EarthCheck’s worldwide sustainability program for tourism.

by Kim Steinle and Mansfield Shire

Snapshot 2009: Nature Tourism Fact Sheet

This data is sourced from Tourism Research Australia National Visitor Survey (NVS) and International Visitor Survey (IVS), 2005–2009.

by Tourism Research Australia

Substitution between Tourism Destinations: An Application of Discrete Choice Modelling – Short-break Choices of Sydney (Stage 1) & Melbourne (Stage 2) Residents

In this study, discrete choice modelling is applied to destination choices. A nested logit model is estimated and the results show the relative importance of various destination and trip attributes and of a number of respondent characteristics. The model results are used to simulate the effects on destinations’ market shares due to changes in attributes and tourists’ characteristics.

by Trevor Mules and Twan Huybers

Tourism and the Competition for Discretionary Expenditure

Tourists do not make travel decisions in a vacuum. The decision to spend money on tourism occurs in the context of the other potential uses of discretionary resources and their corresponding values or utilities. This study has therefore researched the conjoint decision of allocating and spending discretionary resources through the conduct of a choice experiment so that the trade-offs involved could be empirically assessed. The data provides an insight into how each type of discretionary expenditure is valued and how each type competes for a share of the discretionary expenditure ‘pie’. We discuss the results with an emphasis on the  implications for tourism.

by Geoffrey I. Crouch, Timothy Devinney, Sara Dolnicar, Twan Huybers, Jordan Louviere and Harmen Oppewal

Trends in Protected Areas

This study relied mainly on secondary data sourced directly from previous research projects conducted by STCRC in protected areas in Australia to review the management and visitor trends in national parks and other protected areas to review management practices, visitors, economic benefits, environmental impacts, education and interpretation and destinations marketing. An expert consultation was conducted to identify the trends in protected areas in Australia and internationally.

by Hum Bahadur Gurung

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