Tourism has been known as one of the worlds fastest and largest growing industry. The industry has become very significant to all countries across the world as for decades it has been a major contributor to a country’s economic growth and development. Nevertheless, today there has been a trend and an increasing growth of various tourism markets segments in the tourism industry, which one of them is known as the cultural or heritage tourism that has become the most significant and fastest growing segment in the tourism industry (Virginia Department of Historic Resources, 1998 cited in Huh, Uysal, and McCleary, 2006).
Cultural tourist defined by The Australian Bureau of Statistics (1998) is someone who has visited to cultural places and spent at least one night in more than forty kilometres from his original place of residence. The cultural places or attractions can be various including art galleries, museums, animal and sea parks, libraries, concerts, theatre plays, dancing performances and cinema (cited in Filippou et al., 2010). Cultural tourism as a distinct product category generally is different than when people travelling to a destination to experience cultures. Since all travel could involves cultural elements in which tourists are moving from their own cultural environment and travel to destination to experience other cultures. Even various touring activities may enable tourist to experience cultural differences. Yet, cultural tourism means more than just cultural displacement and it is important to distinguish between cultural tourism and touring to different cultures. Cultural tourism involves in the consumption of different range of a destination’s tangible and intangible cultural heritage assets include archeological sites, museums, castles, historical or famous buildings, arts, theatre, primitive cultures, subcultures, ethnic communities and other things that represent people and their cultures (Richards, 1996; Goodrich, 1997; Miller, 1997; Jamieson, 1994 cited in McKercher, Ho, Cross, and Ming, 2002)
There are only few research has been published examining the cultural tourism market, yet there are some figures indicating the size and the significant of this market. According to various research studies, a significant amount of percentage of tourists going for cultural experiences such visiting cultural attractions and participating in various cultural activities which are not ‘sun, sand and sea’ related (Richards, 1996 cited in Yun et al., 2008). The World Tourism Organization has also estimated the cultural tourism market accounts for 37 percent of all tourist trips and demand is growing by 15 percent per annum (Richards, 1996 cited in McKercher and Cross, 2003) The growth and importance of this cultural tourism has been stimulated mainly due to the rising demand despite the fact research has showed that cultural tourism is not developing as fast as the global tourism as a whole (de Hann, 1998 cited in Richards, 2007). However, due to the emerging of more educated and sophisticated tourists has enable people to access culture and globalization also tend to create more interest in cultures as well as local heritage. Cultural tourist now represents as a new type of mass tourist which seeks for meaningful cultural experiences (McKercher and DuCros, 2003).
Thus, this paper objective’s is to present a market intelligence report to Australia’s Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) which will provide them information particularly on cultural tourism segment. This paper also attempts to identify and analyze the profile characteristics and behavior of cultural tourists market in terms of its (1) demographic characteristics, (2) types of information sources used, (3) travel booking preferences, (4) travel motivations, (5) activity participation, (6) travel expenditure, and (7) the marketing implication that needs to be taken account or understand by the destination marketers in such a way for destination to maximizes the its appeal and profit, and highly attract more cultural tourists to the destination by understanding their behavioral profile.
2.0 Target Market Analysis
There have been various tourism research studies of cultural tourism which have focused on identifying and analyzing the characteristics of cultural tourists market. These studies are aim to provide comprehensive information and to learn in depth about the target market including their demographic characteristics, the travel behavior characteristics and motivations of tourists who visits cultural destinations, information sources used, booking preferences, expenditures as well the type of cultural activities they participated in such a way to develop marketing strategy of the destination.
2.1 Demographic Characteristics
Firstly, to have the understanding of the cultural tourism market segment of what are the characteristics of cultural tourists that visit cultural attractions or participate in cultural activities, hence demographic indicators are being used in tourism research to profile tourists such based on gender, age, income, educational levels, occupation, or marital status.
On September 27, 1999 and April 16, 2000, data study were collected by the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) in the United States by conducting a Travel Attractions and Motivation Survey, which to examine US originated tourists and helps to obtain general understanding of tourist behaviors and demographic profiles of cultural tourist in visiting various of cultural attractions or activities (Kim et al., 2007). There are 29 types of cultural attractions being identified and were categorized into a few distinctive groups using cluster (four clusters) analysis (see appendix A1) which are include festival and musical attractions, Commercial recreation parks, local festivals and fairs, knowledge or aesthetic seeking attractions. A series of logistic regression analyses were used in this study to identify the various demographic characteristics (gender, age, income, and education) on the four clusters of cultural attraction participation (see appendix A2). In addition, another study were also conducted which was composed of tourists who visited the cultural attraction of Virginia Historic Triangle (Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown) in June and August 2002 (see appendix B) (Huh, Uysal, and McCleary, 2006).
On the basis of the two studies mentioned above, demographic characteristics of cultural tourism segment can be clearly identified. It can be concluded that greater percentage or number of women participate in cultural tourism than men. Research also shows that the cultural or heritage tourism segment is slightly moved towards more females. U.S Department of Commerce and the U.S President’s Committee in the Arts and the Humanities (2005) showed that the majority of women or females participate more in cultural activities compared to men, this is because the position women has improved in recent decades, both in the family and workplace. Women also tend to have the biggest role in decisions making regarding to family vacations both in terms of duration of trips and destination choice (cited in Filippos et al., 2010). From the findings can be concluded cultural tourists are largely made up of adults and the senior age group in the aged of 40s- 60s years. Despite the younger age group typically aged 20-29 shows the smallest percentage in cultural tourism yet they are also part of the key demographic group. Moreover, large number of of cultural tourists tends to belonged to the high social group with high household income of $80,000 or more, and generally they are well highly educated with higher percentage of having college and advanced degree (graduate level). Hence, the higher education level of tourists, it shows greater participation and interest in cultural tourism. In contrast the lower percentage of participation in the four clusters of cultural attractions is mostly tourists with lower education level in high school and college.
2.2 Information Sources used
As part of information search about the destination that tourists want to visit, there are wide range of information sources of travel that tourists can choose prior to their destination include brochures and material published by visitor information centers and by tourist boards, articles or magazines, internet, TV, word of mouth (WOM) by friends and relatives, travel guidebooks, tour guides, travel agents, and past experiences. The different kinds of information sources available may be grouped into those accessed through internal and external searching (Fodness and Murray, 1997, 1998; Gursoy and Chen, 2000 cited in Osti, Turner, and King, 2009).
To know the main travel sources of information being used by cultural tourists can be obtained from a secondary data study which was drawn from the 2004 Tourist Exit Survey conducted on Prince Edward Island (PEI), Canada’s major tourist destination, with a total of 3,139 surveys were completed by overnight pleasure tourists (Yun et al., 2008). The 3,139 tourists were categorized into two clusters groups of non-cultural tourist (cluster 1) and cultural tourists (cluster 2) about 1,996 (63.6 percent) of tourists have low participation in cultural activities and 1,143 (36.4 percent) highly involved in cultural activities.
Based on the survey results, it was found that the majority of cultural tourists most likely to used the internet or tourism website as a main source of information which accounts for 58.4 percent. Travel information package (49.4 percent) is also become the second main important source of information used by cultural tourists, followed by friends, relatives, or co-workers which accounts for 36.9 percent, this may reflect the high information content of travel information package and strong personal recommendation from friends or family. Cultural tourists are also more likely to use package tour, travel guidebooks, and tourist information centre as well as a source of their travel information. However, very few of them used of newspaper story or advertisement, travel agent, and television program or advertisement as their source of information (see appendix C).
2.3 Travel Booking Preferences
Travel booking preferences is closely related to how cultural tourists book its travel in order to visit a cultural destination.
Motivations for Travel
What are generally the main travel motives of cultural tourists towards attending cultural experiences in a particular destination? Murray (1964), defined motives as a separate distinguishable internal characteristic that occurred, direct, and integrate a person’s behavior (cited in Kay, 2009). Some empirical research studies have been conducted to gain better understanding of tourist motivation for traveling to cultural attractions and events or other cultural experiences being offered in the destination.
A growing body of conceptual and empirical research is showing basically that not all cultural tourists are homogeneous. Some studies have segmented this market based on the importance or centrality of cultural tourism in the decision to visit a destination. Then McKercher (2002) has built on these studies by adding depth of experience and created a two dimensional model that produces a conceptual model of cultural tourists (see appendix D1) in which he classified and identified five types of cultural tourists based on the centrality and depth of experience (from shallow to deep), and the importance (or centrality) of cultural tourism (Low to high). He recognized different tourist may display different experiences despite having the same or similar motivation levels. Since availability of time, travel partners, tour group participation, level of awareness and interest, education, ethnic background and various other factors could affect individual’s participation in cultural tourism (cited in McKercher, Ho, Cros and So-Ming, 2002).
The types of cultural tourists he has identified include the purposeful (high centrality/deep cultural experience), sightseeing (high centrality/shallow experience), casual (modest centrality/ shallow experience), incidental (low centrality/shallow experience), and serendipitous (low centrality/ deep experience) cultural tourists. This model was then tested empirically on a sample on a sample of cultural tourists visiting Hong Kong and differences can be identified in terms of their travel motives (see appendix D2). Based on the data results of this study, each of the different types of cultural tourists are motivated to travel for different reasons than other tourists. Purposeful and sightseeing cultural tourists were motivated to travel for educational and cultural reasons, see travel mostly as a change to grow personally and as a change to learn about another’s culture. In contrast, incidental, casual serendipitous cultural tourists were motivated to travel for creation, fun, and relaxation, yet to learn also about other cultures. However, serendipitous see travel as more to change to grow personally instead for relax (McKercher and Cros, 2003).
There was another general research study by Pandora L. Kay, in the journal of Cultural Experience Tourist Motives Dimensionality: A Cross-Cultural Study (2009). It examine tourists’ motivational for attending and experiencing a range of cultural related experiences, some was by taken a sample represented by Japanese tourists and Mainland Chinese tourists (see appendix D3). The data showed a generic scale for measuring travel motives for tourists visiting cultural attractions, most commonly found on the dimensions from selected empirical studies representative of the considerable body of tourist motivation research in various contexts. The data shows the most commonly found travel motive dimension in a general context in relation to cultural and non-cultural attractions. Several motive dimensions being listed and it emphasized a large number of psycho-socio-physiologically based dimensions and with the listed of the authors. It clearly shows that only one significant travel motive dimension found for cultural attraction motives which mainly for education or knowledge based on the three studies.
2.5 Activity Participation
There are huge varieties of activities that cultural tourist usually participate in. The most common and important activities that cultural tourists still mostly engage or participate is visiting cultural sites or attractions such as museums, galleries, and monuments. Based on ATLAS (2004) surveys, about 60 percent of tourists had visited a museum, 30 percent had visited a monument and 29 percent visited a gallery. In addition, there is a trend of moving toward a greater visitation to various different types of cultural attractions in a destination mainly towards ‘arts’ attractions such as visiting to art galleries, performing arts, and festivals (cited in Richards, 2007).
Furthermore, study of cultural tourist taken from Tourists Exit Survey on Canada’s major destination Prince Edward Island (PEI), 2004 have identified the different activities participate by cultural tourist compared to non-cultural tourists (see appendix E1). Overall, high percentage of cultural tourists were likely to participate in sightseeing, visiting beaches, visiting a national park, driving tour, and shopping for crafts and souvenir compared to other travel activities being listed.
Nevertheless, activities that cultural tourists pursued in a destination can also be different from one another since different types of cultural tourist display different behaviors at a destination. McKercher (2002) classification of five different types of cultural tourists based on the centrality and depth of experience ranging from a shallow, superficial or sightseeing experience to a much deeper, learning oriented experience may display differences in cultural activities participation (see appendix E2). The first is purposeful cultural tourist which characterized as highly motivated and tends to have high centrality and deep cultural experience, thus this type of tourist would generally participate in activities of visiting cultural sites such museums instead of shopping, they likely to visit shop in local markets rather than in stores selling brand names. Tourist who is highly motivated but has more shallow experience is known as the sightseeing cultural tourist. This type of tourist usually interested in collecting experiences rather than pursuing any one activity in depth, and mostly undertakes activities such visiting museums, shopping or visit local market. The third is casual cultural tourist that has a shallow experience and a destination’s culture or heritage such historic buildings or theme parks plays role in the decision to visit. The incidental cultural tourist also has shallow experience and not so motivated to travel for cultural or reasons but still participate in mass cultural tourism activities such as heritage theme parks and other places of entertainment. They tend to avoid visiting temples and other religious assets, and rather choose to visit stores selling brand names. Lastly, the serendipitous cultural tourist is characterized as having deep experience yet has no motivation to travel for cultural reason and still participate in cultural activities like visiting museums (McKercher, 2002, McKercher and Cros, 2003).
2.6 Travel Expenditure
Travel expenditure is refers to travel budget or the amount of money in which cultural tourists spend on cultural tourism in a destination. According to a research, cultural tourists known in their high spending on cultural tourism in most tourist destinations with average total spending over $1920 which consider as much higher than visitors on a rural holiday ($1320), at the beach ($1825), and on city trips ($1535) in 2004 ( Richards, 2007).
The same data results of study which were taken from the 2004 Tourists Exit Survey conducted on Prince Edward Island (PEI) with 3,139 respondents of overnight pleasure tourist both consist of non-cultural tourist and cultural tourists, clearly shows the differences in travel expenditure between the two clusters (Yun et al., 2008). Cultural tourists generally spend more than non-cultural tourist with the average total spending per person per trip basis of $1186.2 whereas non-cultural tourists only have the total average spending about $825.1 (see appendix F). The relatively high amount of spending of cultural tourists highly associated with the high income levels which characterized this market segment. In terms of expenditure categories, based on the data results the largest percentage cultural tourist spent on accommodations, at restaurants and bars, spending on souvenirs and crafts.
2.7 Marketing Implications
Based on all the key findings on the profile characteristics and behavior of cultural tourism segment from various research studies, it has showed that cultural tourists have displayed different characteristics, behaviors, needs, wants and interest compare to non-cultural tourists, as well as different behavior, experience, and motivation are demonstrated in the five different types of cultural tourists indentified by McKrecher though their demographic characteristics are largely the same. This will likely affect the destination marketing or management organization in taking decisions of developing its marketing strategy which can be in terms of product, promotion, packaging, and distribution.
Cultural tourists like to seek different activities when they travel include sightseeing, visiting to museums, historical building, and other sites represent culture of a destination. Then destination marketers need to understand the needs of cultural tourists and travel behaviors through a promotional effort of promoting and providing a variety of packaging arrangement of cultural attractions. The types of packaging arrangement that can be offer to cultural tourists can involve different types of cultural products such as museum packaging with art festival and theatre performance or can also be national parks and art galleries. The advantage of these packaging arrangements can create a wider level of interest and offers the variety of experiences that most people are seeking, as well as increasing perceived value for time and money spent.
Furthermore, cultural tourists are generally motivated to travel for knowledge or educational reasons and seen as for self personal development by learning other’s culture. A good strategy of promoting cultural attractions or activities can be created by emphasizing the educational elements or educational information that may benefits to the tourists. Besides, various promotions could be focuses on promoting cultural facilities, attractions, and events through advertisement such as on website, travel guidebooks, or travel operator can be used to capitalize on opportunities to attract more cultural tourists and increase their motivation to participate in greater cultural activities.
Moreover, a growing body of conceptual and empirical research has shows the conceptual model or typology of cultural tourists identifying there are five types of cultural tourists which has demonstrates differences on the basis of their behavior, involvement cultural activities and travel motivation. Each of different types of tourists may seek different experiences and engage at different levels of cultural attractions both high and low involvement. For these reasons, destination marketers need to accurately segment the different types of cultural tourists market and apply differentiating marketing strategy for packaging and promotional or advertising in such a way to attract and suits the needs of the different types of cultural tourists.
The first is the purposeful cultural tourists who are greatly involved in cultural activities and highly motivated to travel to gain deep experience and knowledge, while sightseeing tourists similar to purposeful tourists the main difference is having shallow experience. Thus, destination marketers need to create an informative promotional or advertising strategy emphasize on works shops, exhibitions, performance, architectural, discussions, museums’ collection book shops, publications and research to attract both of these cultural tourists. Since these tourists have high involvement, they need to develop deep understanding of the meaning of cultural connections of the attraction and they are may highly attract or influenced by cognitive information (Kantanen and Tikkanen, 2005).
Next, the casual and incidental cultural tourists both have shallow experience and not highly motivated to travel to cultural attractions instead they are motivated to travel for fun, creation and relaxation yet still somehow engaging in more cultural entertainment and theme parks. Therefore, persuasive advertising strategy that appeals emphasize on parks, galleries, theater, theme events and parks would appropriate to attract this low involvement type of tourists. Then one effective marketing communication that allows to reach these tourists when they spend time in the destination would be TV advertising on the local network. Lastly, serendipitous cultural tourists who have no motivation to travel to a destination for cultural tourism yet have deep experience. Therefore, satisfaction strategy is can be used to highly attract this tourists to persuade them to visit a destination and experience a cultural attraction. Promotional can be mostly emphasizes on art, architecture, museums, exhibitions, theatre or music performances, and theme events (Kantanen and Tikkanen, 2005).
As the main objective of this paper is to present market intelligence report specifically on cultural tourism segment to Australia’s Destination Marketing Organization, in terms of its demographic characteristics, information sources used, travel booking preferences, travel motivation, activity participation, travel expenditure, and its marketing implications. Overall, based on the key findings from various research studies of cultural tourists that has been clearly identified, has showed that the cultural tourists segment are different with non-cultural tourists in terms of its characteristics, behaviors, needs and wants. Cultural tourists are made up of adults to senior age with the majority of women participating. This group of segment also highly educated and belong to the high social group of having large household income and travel expenditure. They also tend to choose the internet, travel information and gain information from friends and relatives as their main travel sources of information. However, McKrecher (2002) reveals that not all cultural tourists are homogeneous and each have different in motivation, experiences and cultural activities participation classify as the purposeful, sightseeing, casual, incidental and serendipitous cultural tourists. The main marketing implication for these reasons, destination marketers should be able to segment the different of cultural tourists’ market segments with different cultural products needs, promotional strategy and packaging arrangements to cater the needs each of the cultural market as well as to increase their participation in cultural activities. .
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