A Comparative Study of International Cultural Tourists
McKercher, Bob, Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management
This article analyses a subset of 1204 international tourists from 5 jurisdictions who were surveyed as part of the ATLAS Cultural Tourism Project. The study seeks to compare and contrast the trip and demographic profiles of visitors, and their motivations and actions. The results of the study challenge some of the assumptions of the cultural tourism market. For the most part, cultural tourists are no different from other tourists. Importantly, cultural tourism appears to be a secondary trip purpose and specific attractions play no significant role in the decision to visit a destination. Differences were noted in motivations, with some jurisdictions attracting people who wish to have a cultural experience in order to learn, while others attract tourists to cultural attractions primarily for reasons of fun or leisure.
Few international comparative studies of cultural tourists have been undertaken. Costs, methodological challenges, difficulties in finding collaborative partners and the need to use a consistent research instrument are just some of the challenges that inhibit such studies. The ATLAS Cultural Tourism Project, an initiative of the European Association for Tourism and Leisure Education, has attempted to rectify this situation by developing a survey for cultural tourism visitors and encouraging collaborators to apply that survey in their own jurisdictions. This ambitious project has interviewed nearly 30,000 visitors to cultural heritage attractions since 1991 (European Association for Tourism and Leisure Education, 2003). The author joined the study for the 2000 survey period, along with representatives from 13 other countries or jurisdictions. During that survey period, some 6079 visitors were surveyed. This article examines the subset of 1204 international tourists who were surveyed at cultural heritage attractions in 5 jurisdictions: the United Kingdom, Ireland, Slovakia, Hong Kong and Australia. The study compares and contrasts the profiles, activities undertaken and motivations for participation in cultural tourism activities of the 5 cohorts of visitors surveyed.
Understanding the Cultural Tourism Market
Our understanding of the cultural tourism market is, in many ways, naive and overly simplistic. Most of the research to date has tended to be generic, treating cultural tourists as a single entity. As a result, it provides a very misleading overview of this sector. In fact, many prevailing opinions about the size and economic importance of, and differences between, cultural tourism and other tourism markets are based on flawed assumptions that drive data analysis. Political correctness and a desire to show that cultural tourists represent a new type of tourist compound the issues.
Cultural tourism has allegedly emerged as a dominant tourism market of the new millennium. The World Tourism Organization estimates that cultural tourism accounts for 37% of all tourist trips or that 37% of all international tourists participated in some cultural tourism activity (Richards, 1996), while other studies suggest that 70% of Americans travelling to Europe seek a cultural tourism experience (Antolovic, 1999), half of domestic American tourists participate in some form of cultural tourism activity (Miller, 1997), and even that 60% of all tourists in Tasmania can be classified as cultural tourists (Tasmanian Visitor Survey [TVS], 1995). But are these figures accurate? On the surface, they add credence to claims about the value of promoting cultural heritage attractions to tourists. Yet few people appreciate how these figures are generated and the context in which they must be interpreted as a result.
Traditionally, labels were ascribed to reflect the primary purpose of the trip: "business travellers"; those who travel to visit friends and relatives ("VFR" tourists); and those who travel to a meeting, as part of an incentive, or to attend a conference or an event ("MICE" tourists). And so it would be a logical assumption that labels such as "cultural tourists" or "ecotourists" would likewise reflect primary trip purposes. But this assumption would be wrong. The labels "cultural tourist" and "ecotourist" in fact reflect participation in defined activities rather than the purpose of the trip. Thus, figures promulgated about the size of the cultural tourism market reflect the activities pursued by visitors rather than the reason those visitors travelled in the first place. Figures about the size of the cultural tourism market are derived from answers to the visitor's survey question "What did you do while in the destination?" instead of from the question "What was the purpose of your trip to this community?", which is used to identify business and VFR tourists. A "cultural tourist" therefore includes anyone who visits named cultural or heritage attractions or participates in a cultural event at any time during their trip. A person who steps into a temple in Hong Kong to avoid a rainstorm or joins a sightseeing tour that includes a 15 minute stop at a cathedral would be defined as a cultural tourist.
Clearly, labels that reflect the reasons for travel and those that reflect what people do when they travel are very different. Trip purpose cannot be inferred with any certainty on the sole basis of documented activities, as people participate in many activities during their travels, some related to the main trip purpose but many more peripheral to it. Consider delegates of the Council for Australian University Tourism and Hospitality Education Inc. (CAUTHE) as an example. Many will go shopping, do some sightseeing, eat fine food, drink wine, visit historic sites or natural areas, see live performances and participate in any number of other activities. But it would be misleading to give them labels such as "shopping" tourists, "pleasure travellers", "culinary tourists", "wine tourists", "cultural tourists", and "ecotourists" when in fact they are conference travellers. Labels based on the documentation of actions, therefore, will inflate the true significance of the activity as a trip motivator. From a marketing standpoint, understanding trip motivations is ultimately more important than documenting actions.
Few are aware of the differences in how labels like cultural tourism are developed, and how the numbers for these labels can be interpreted. Some who are aware appear not to care, as the greater the numbers, the more important the sector. In this way, the myth of the importance of the cultural tourism market is propagated. While it may be true that 37%, 60% or 70% of tourists visit some cultural or heritage attractions at some time, it is false to suggest that 37%, 60% or 70% of all tourists travelled primarily to consume the cultural heritage attractions of a destination.
Some empirical research suggests that the real number of true "cultural tourists", those motivated to travel for cultural reasons, is substantially smaller than the number of people who visit cultural tourism attractions. Silverberg (1995) identified four types of cultural tourists visiting Ontario, Canada, ranging from people who are greatly motivated by cultural tourism to "incidental" cultural tourists who do not travel specifically to participate in cultural tourism, but at some point do visit a cultural or heritage site. The "greatly motivated" segment represents about 5% of in-province cultural tourists and about 15% of out-of-province cultural tourists. Likewise, a study in Pennsylvania (D. K. Shifflet & Associates, 1999) found heritage tourists could be classified into three groups (core, moderate and low) according to the importance of heritage in the decision to visit the state. About 26% of domestic tourists in Pennsylvania participated in some form of heritage tourism. However, of these, less than half, or only about 12%, were classified as core heritage tourists-tourists motivated to travel primarily for heritage reasons.
McKercher (2002) and McKercher and Du Cros (2003) identified 5 types of cultural tourists who visited Hong Kong. They used the dual dimensions of centrality and depth of experience to develop their system. While about 33% of all tourists will visit cultural attractions, the "purposeful cultural tourist", defined as a person highly motivated to travel in order to learn about the cultural heritage of a destination and who seeks a deep experience, represents about 10% of the total cultural tourism market, or only about 3% of all tourists. The vast majority of other cultural tourists, on the other hand, were classified as "incidental" or "casual" cultural tourists, indicating that culture played little part in their decision to visit.
Visits to cultural tourism attractions are more likely to be a secondary activity than the core purpose of a visit. This finding is perhaps surprising, given that cultural or heritage assets represent a disproportionately large share of the total attraction base in most destinations. The suite of tourist attractions in most urban destinations tends to be skewed toward either shopping or to museums, historic precincts, theatres, festivals and events. Likewise, most sightseeing tours tend to be built around or include a substantial element of the cultural or heritage assets of a destination. Many of these attractions are accessible free of charge or at highly subsidised rates, enhancing their appeal as lower-order attractions. Many are also used as icons to promote visits to cities--where such visits have more to do with crossing an icon off a list than appreciating cultural heritage values.
In a similar manner, much of the published literature identifies cultural tourists as an attractive market segment easily differentiated from mainstream tourists. They are described variously as being older, better educated, and more affluent than the travelling public as a whole (Richards, 1996; D. K. Shifflet & Associates, 1999; Kerstetter, Confer, & Bricker, 1998; Formica & Uysal, 1998; Taubman, 1998; Craine, 1998; Prentice, Witt, & Hamer, 1998; Kemerling-Clack, 1999). Importantly, they stay longer, spend more and join in more activities than other tourists (Miller, 1997; Taubman, 1998; Anonymous, 1999; California Division of Tourism, 1998; Silberberg, 1995; Richards, 1996; Blackwell, 1997; D. K. Shifflet & Associates, 1999; Kemerling-Clack, 1999). Researchers then argue or strongly infer a relationship between cultural tourism and motivation to travel, that cultural tourism induces this type of person to visit and to spend more money in a community. They therefore conclude that tourism destinations should pursue the cultural tourism market.
However, great care must be exercised when arguing causality, as the assumption of a causal relationship is based on a flawed understanding of the data. Much of the research profiling cultural tourists is based on secondary analysis of visitor survey data. The cohort of people who participate in cultural tourism activities is segregated from and then compared to the rest of the sample. This type of analysis is methodologically acceptable, but it compares effects (e.g., participation in cultural tourism) with other effects (e.g., who visits, what they spend, how long they stay) rather than drawing relationships between causes (e.g., why people came in the first place) with effects (e.g., what they did). Again, few appreciate the inherent conceptual flaw involved in arguing causality and, as a result, few challenge the data. In this way, erroneous myths are promulgated.
A simple analogy is given here to illuminate the flaw in drawing conclusions of causality from effect-effect relationships. A relationship is found between wearing pyjamas and eating breakfast cereal. People who wear pyjamas are more likely to eat cereal than those wearing other types of clothing. One might therefore conclude that wearing pyjamas causes breakfast cereal consumption. If so, it would then be logical to assert that cereal consumption would increase if people could be convinced to wear pyjamas throughout the day. Indeed, if people wore pyjamas at lunchtime, the consumption of cereal could double! Of course, such a claim is absurd. The relationship between wearing pyjamas and eating cereal is spurious. One does not cause the other to occur. Time of day is the true causal agent behind this apparent phenomenon.
Yet spurious claims are made about the power of cultural tourism activities to attract a more desirable type of tourist. Does the possibility of participation in cultural tourism activities induce a more educated, up-market, active, long-staying and higher-spending tourist to visit, or do other conditions better explain the presence of these tourists? Analysis of primary data comparing cultural tourists with other tourists in Hong Kong and Australia shows that cultural attractions are serendipitous beneficiaries rather than causal agents. People who participate in cultural tourism are more likely to be first-time visitors to a destination and/or to identify the place as their main destination. These two conditions explain the greater length of stays, higher expenditure and higher participation levels. First-time visitors explore destinations widely (Gitelson & Crompton, 1984; Oppermann, 1997), while main-destination visitors stay longer and hence will do more and spend more (Oppermann, 1995; McKercher, 2001). Likewise, people who visit cultural tourism attractions are also disproportionately likely to participate in packaged tours, further explaining many of the differences noted in age, education and income.
ATLAS, the European Association for Tourism and Leisure Education, has been the coordinating agency for a number of cultural tourism initiatives since the early 1990s, including the operation of an annual survey of visitors to cultural tourism attractions. Over the lifetime of this survey, around 30,000 people have been interviewed. It seeks to generate consistent and comparable cross-national data profiling visitors to cultural and heritage attractions, and their motivations and actions. Each year, various organisations (usually universities) volunteer to participate in the study and distribute the questionnaire in their local jurisdiction. As a result, the number of participating countries varies from year to year.
ATLAS has developed a basic questionnaire and a four-page protocol for the delivery of the study. Participants are asked to ensure that the same questions are used in the same order. Further, the importance of using the exact wording is stressed--even when questionnaires are translated. Detailed instructions are provided outlining how the questionnaire should be administered. According to this document, the questionnaire is designed to be used either by interviewers or through self-completion by visitors. The total visitor population includes all visitors to the attraction or event over the age of 16, including both local residents and tourists. Exit interviews are preferred, with organisers suggesting the use of a systematic sampling process and the holding of interviews at different days and times to approximate a random sample.
It became apparent when analysing the data, however, that there was significant variation between jurisdictions in how the survey was administered. This is not surprising, given the volunteer nature of participation. The samples can best be described as "convenience" samples, with some consisting entirely of local residents, while others have a disproportionately large group of tourists. Some questions have been excluded from surveys administered in some jurisdictions, the ordering of questions has sometimes been changed, and faithful translation may not always have been possible.
The standard questionnaire format has changed little over time, even though the level of sophistication of knowledge of the cultural tourism market has developed. As a result, researchers were constrained to existing questions, when additions or modifications to some questions would have provided useful data. Questions relating to the importance of learning something about the cultural heritage of a destination as a motive for visiting, or about the depth of visitor experience could not be included. Finally, some important background information is missing, particularly relating to the location where interviews were conducted. The responses to a number of questions, especially those relating to motivations for visiting certain attractions, may be influenced by the type of attraction visited. For example, respondents may cite different reasons for visiting museums than they would for visiting art galleries or historic houses, or participating in festivals.
Notwithstanding the limitations identified above, the ATLAS study represents the best available trans-national data set for cultural tourism. The data are useful in presenting an indicative profile of cultural tourists in any jurisdiction and also for identifying indicative differences between visitors to different jurisdictions.
The Usable Sample
This study reports on the results of one aspect of the 2000 survey. That round was conducted in 13 countries or Special Administrative Regions and involved a sample of 6079 respondents. Since the focus of this article is on international tourists, the data needed to be cleaned to eliminate local residents and domestic tourists. Data-cleaning yielded a subset of 1362 international visitors who were surveyed in total of 9 jurisdictions. Small cell sizes, leading to questions about the validity of results in some countries, led to the further exclusion of the results from 4 jurisdictions, or another 158 respondents. In the end, a usable sample of 1204 respondents from 5 jurisdictions was selected (see Table 1). The jurisdictions were the countries Ireland, England/Scotland, Slovakia and Australia, and the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong. Australia is included for comparative purposes despite its small sample size because this article is being submitted to the CAUTHE conference.
Origin and Profile of Visitors, and Trip Characteristics
The continent of origin is shown in Table 2. The different geographical and geo-political locations of the jurisdictions explain the significant differences in the source of visitors. Perhaps reflecting traditional cultural links, Ireland and England/Scotland attracted a disproportionately large number of North American tourists. Slovakia, on the other hand, derives a disproportionately large number of its cultural tourists from Europe. This probably reflects its status as a developing destination that is better known to short-haul than to long-haul markets. Australia is the only jurisdiction to attract a significant number of Asian cultural tourists.
Differences in distance travelled influence both the characteristics of the trip undertaken and the profile of the person visiting (Table 3). Trips taken to Europe are typically of a shorter duration than those to long-haul destinations such as Australia and Hong Kong. Typically, trips to England/Scotland were the shortest. However, no significant differences were noted in the length of stay in the destination area where the interview was conducted, suggesting that trips to Australia and Hong Kong tend to include multiple stops, while those to Europe tend to involve fewer stops. Travel to Hong Kong, Slovakia, and to a lesser degree, England/Scotland involve a substantial VFR element, while the small cohort of Australian visitors were predominantly pleasure travellers. Hong Kong was the only destination where "other" cultural tourists, notably business and convention travellers, were surveyed. The small cohort of visitors to Australia was disproportionately skewed towards package tour participants. Apart from Australia, visitors to Slovakia and Ireland were most likely to join fully inclusive tours.
Females outnumbered males in the Irish and English/Scottish samples, while males outnumbered females in other jurisdictions. A typical group consisted of two adults travelling without children. Visitors to Ireland and England/Scotland were somewhat more likely to travel in groups, accounting for the larger mean travel party size. Visitors to England/ Scotland and Australia were generally younger that visitors to other jurisdictions, with those travelling to Slovakia and Hong Kong the oldest.
The survey included questions about the current type of holiday the individual was participating in (Table 4) and the usual type of holiday the respondent preferred (Table 5). The vast majority of respondents described their current trip as being either a touring or city-break holiday. Over 80% of visitors surveyed in Ireland classified their trip accordingly, while between 53% and 71% of tourists surveyed in other jurisdictions selected these categories. By contrast, a relatively small proportion of international "cultural tourists" surveyed indicated that the current trip could be classified as a cultural holiday, with fewer than 5% of visitors to Ireland ascribing to such an label.
Table 5 suggests that cultural tourism holidays are still relatively rare. Respondents were permitted to select up to 2 choices when answering this question. Further analysis of the data suggests that the category "cultural holiday" was typically selected along with a touring holiday, a city-break or a countryside recreation style of holiday. It was rarely selected as a stand-alone category.
Sources of Information Used in Planning Trips
Table 6 summarises the range of information sources consulted by respondents when planning their current trip. This question sought generic information about trip planning, rather than specific information regarding the attraction visited. Further, this question did not include travel agents as an option. Typically, respondents consulted 1 or 2 sources when planning their trip, with the average 1.5. For the most part, the information search is heavily reliant on word-of-mouth recommendations from family and friends, or the use of guide books. Between one quarter and one third of respondents also consulted the Internet. International visitors to Australia represent an anomaly. They were most likely to identify the largest number of sources (average 2.5), relied most heavily on the tour operator brochures and the Internet, and were also the only group to rank newspapers or magazines as important sources.
Different classes of cultural tourist attractions exist. For example, museums represent one class, while historic buildings, precincts, festivals and performances represent other classes of attraction. This question sought to determine whether tourists visited different classes of cultural attractions during their stay. The study revealed that visitors tend to visit more than one type of cultural attraction (see Table 7). On average, respondents visited a mean of 2.6 different types of cultural attractions, with visitors to Ireland and England/Scotland likely to visit the greatest range of attractions (average 2.8 and 2.5 respectively), while those visiting the Australia and Hong Kong limited their activities to a smaller set of attractions (2.0 and 2.1 respectively). Unfortunately, no information was available on the number of places visited within each attraction category, making it impossible to determine how many discrete places were visited.
Interestingly, tourists tended to participate in the same types of activities regardless of that destination visited. Museums were the most popular cultural attraction visited, typically followed by art galleries and monuments. Visitors to Ireland were more likely to visit historic houses than visitors to other jurisdictions. Performances were most popular with visitors to Ireland and Australia.
While visitors generally participate in the same range of activities, substantial differences were noted between the destinations in the reasons stated for visiting attractions (Table 8). The opportunity to have a unique experience, to learn about local history and the opportunity to find out more about the local culture scored relatively higher for Ireland than for other areas. Seeking a unique experience and learning new things emerged as relatively more important factors among visitors to Hong Kong. By contrast, the opportunity to have an entertaining experience and to learn about the local culture were relatively more important for visitors to Australia; while reasons of entertainment, relaxation and the opportunity to enjoy the local atmosphere played a relatively greater role in stimulating people to visit Slovakian attractions. An anomaly was noted for visitors to England/Scotland, whose scores for most of the variables tested fell below the mean for all respondents.
Five of the motivational statements tested were included in all studies. These were loaded into a factor analysis equation, which produced two factors, one highlighting the leisure aspect of participation and the other the learning aspect (Table 9). Collectively, these factors explained 53.7% of the variation noted. ANOVA tests revealed statistically significant differences between jurisdictions for these two factors. Leisure motives emerged as being particularly important for visits to cultural attractions in Slovakia, Australia and to a lesser extent, Hong Kong. Learning emerged as a key factor influencing visits to Irish attractions.
Importance to the Trip Decision of Visiting the Attraction
Visiting the specific cultural heritage attraction where the interview occurred played little or no role in the overall decision to visit the destination (Table 10). The mean score for all respondents was 2.92, which reflects an overall "neutral" opinion. Visiting the specific cultural heritage attractions was particularly unimportant in decisions to visit Hong Kong and appears to have played a minimal role in decisions to visit Ireland and Australia. Slovakia is the only jurisdiction where specific attractions appear to play some role in the decision to visit.
For the most part, visitors recorded high overall levels of satisfaction with the attractions visited (Table 11). Some disparities were noted between jurisdictions, with cultural tourists in Ireland and Hong Kong being the most satisfied, while those in England/Scotland and Slovakia tended to be the least satisfied. There is perhaps a relationship between motivations and satisfaction levels. The opportunity to learn played an important role in the decision to visit Irish attractions and, concomitantly, visitors to these attractions recorded the highest satisfaction levels. Conversely, leisure motives played a disproportionately large role in the decision to visit Slovakian attractions, and these visitors were generally the least satisfied. In addition, the small but statistically significant relationship (r = . 109, p = .000) is noted between satisfaction levels and the importance of the visit to the specific attraction in the overall decision to visit the destination.
The ATLAS cultural tourism survey provides limited, but nonetheless useful, data to examine tourists who visit cultural heritage attractions in different jurisdictions. While definitive statements cannot be made about cultural tourism and cultural tourists, insights into the profile, motives and actions may be gained. International cultural tourists come from a diversity of geographic origins and sociodemographic backgrounds. Continent of origin tends to parallel the destinations for most tourists under examination. English-speaking destinations tended to attract tourists from English-speaking markets, while non-English-speaking European destinations tended to attract a greater share of European tourists. Australia attracts a significant share of Asian tourists, as would be expected by its proximity to this source market.
It is also apparent that cultural tourists come from all demographic groups, although some variation was noted between source markets. Hong Kong and Slovakia generally attracted an older market while Australia and the United Kingdom attracted a younger market. Of greater significance, however, is the finding that cultural tourism participation is an activity undertaken primarily by adults or groups of adults and not by families with younger children.
The study findings suggest that cultural tourism is mostly complementary to the purpose of the trip, rather than the core reason for travel. Fewer than one third of respondents described their primary trip purpose as cultural. Most instead cited touring or city-break holidays as the reason for travelling. Likewise, visiting specific cultural tourism attractions played little role in decisions to visit a specific destination. Collectively, these findings corroborate the assertion that cultural tourism represents a lower-order trip purpose and that most cultural tourism attractions can be classified as secondary or tertiary attractions that complement the overall trip experience. Further, these findings add evidence to the claim that caution must be used when interpreting figures citing participation rates as a proxy for motivation to travel.
People who visit cultural tourism attractions do so to achieve different goals. Some will be motivated to learn about the cultural heritage of the destination, while many more will see a visit to a cultural asset as being primarily for leisure or fun. This finding has important implications for product development. Tourists seeking to learn will seek a qualitatively different experience than those visiting primarily to be entertained. The person seeking a learning experience will be likely to want to engage with the asset at a deeper level than the person seeking fun. Products need to be shaped to reflect these different goals.
This finding also has implications for destinations. Some destinations, and indeed some countries, may be seen as offering a more serious cultural experience than others and may, therefore, need to examine how they are positioned in the market. Motivations for participating in cultural tourism activities in Australia and Slovakia, for example, were seen as being far more oriented to entertainment than motivations for visiting attractions in Ireland. Prevailing perceptions of destinations may influence the type of tourist experience that visitors seek.
Notwithstanding this point, tourists tend to visit similar types of cultural tourism attractions regardless of the destination. Most destinations appear to possess the core assets that cultural tourists seek, such as museums, historic sites, and art galleries. Destinations struggling to differentiate themselves in a meaningful manner means there is a real risk that cultural tourism could become another "me-too" product. Further, the perceived similarity of generic cultural tourism products may lead to them continuing to be regarded as lower-order attractions.
Cultural tourism is an important category for most destinations. However, care must be taken to understand the true value of these activities and the real role they play in drawing tourists to a destination. This study questions the veracity of claims made that a majority of tourists travel for cultural tourism reasons. Instead, it supports the assertion that many tourists will visit cultural tourism attractions for fun and entertainment as part of an overall trip experience. The primary reason for visiting a destination may have little to do with desire to learn about its cultural heritage. Visiting cultural heritage attractions can enhance a visitor's experience but, in and of itself, may not induce greater numbers of tourists to visit a destination.
Table 1 Jurisdiction of Interview Jurisdiction Usable Sample Ireland 512 England/Scotland 275 Hong Kong 189 Slovakia 173 Australia 55 Total 1204 Table 2 Continent of Origin of Visitors * Ireland England/Scotland Australia Slovakia Europe 269 146 21 122 (52.5%) (53.1%) (38.2%) (70.5%) North America 208 84 14 41 (40.6%) (30.5%) (25.5%) (23.7%) Asia 2 19 12 4 (0.4%) (6.9%) (21.8%) (2.3%) Oceania 28 17 7 4 (5.5%) (6.2%) (12.7%) (2.3%) Other 5 6 0 0 (1.0%) (2.2%) (0.0%) (0.0%) Note: * Question not asked of Hong Kong respondents. Chi-square = 113.77, df = 12, p < .000. Table 3 Profile of Visitors and Trip Characteristics Ireland England/ Australia Scotland Trip profile Length of stay in destination area (mean nights) 6.1 5.2 8.1 Total trip duration (mean nights) 18.3 7.9 28.4 Trip purpose (%) Holiday 81.7 78.0 83.6 VFR 11.9 15.8 7.3 Other 6.4 6.2 9.1 Trip type (%) Full packaged tour 29.6 16.2 54.5 Independent 70.4 83.8 45.5 Visitor profile Gender(%) Male 42.2 41.9 50.9 Female 57.8 58.1 49.1 Number of adults Mean 4.15 4.47 2.53 Median 2.00 2.00 2.00 % of travel parties with children 10.5 13.8 9.1 Age (%) <30 30.0 41.3 41.8 30-59 59.0 50.3 54.6 60+ 11.0 84.0 3.6 Slovakia Hong Kong Sig Trip profile Length of stay in destination area (mean nights) (a) 9.7 Total trip duration (mean nights) (a) 23.3 ** Trip purpose (%) * Holiday 77.9 64.1 VFR 16.3 22.1 Other 5.8 13.8 Trip type (%) ** Full packaged tour 39.5 16.9 Independent 60.5 82.1 Visitor profile Gender(%) ** Male 51.5 58.2 Female 48.5 41.8 Number of adults (a) Mean 2.54 ** Median 2.00 % of travel parties with children (a) 4.7 Age (%) ** <30 31.9 26.1 30-59 45.4 53.2 60+ 22.7 20.7 Note: (a)--Question not included in study. * Difference significant at 05. ** Difference significant at .07. Table 4 Current Holiday Type (%--multiple response possible) Ireland England/Scotland Australia Slovakia Sun/beach 1.0 1.5 4.2 4.5 Touring 59.9 31.8 60.4 40.6 City-break 32.0 30.8 10.4 12.0 Cultural holiday 4.4 30.8 18.8 26.3 Other 3.0 7.2 6.3 16.7 Note: Question not included in Hong Kong study. Table 5 Usual Holiday Type (%--multiple response possible) Ireland England/Scotland Australia Hong Kong n = 491 n = 271 n = 55 n = 187 Sun/beach 44.0 35.8 36.4 24.6 Touring 36.9 36.5 50.9 50.3 City-break 15.3 20.3 14.5 12.8 Cultural holiday 25.3 31.0 16.4 52.4 Other 19.4 34.0 41.8 33.6 Note: Question not included in Slovakian study. Table 6 Sources of Information Used in Planning Trip (rank and % of respondents) Ireland England/Scotland Australia Hong Kong 1 Family/friends Family/friends Tour operator Guidebook (49.3) (50.4) brochure (48.3) (60.0%) 2 Guidebook Guidebook Internet Family/friends (44.9) (32.3) (50.9) (39.8) 3 Internet Internet Family/friends Internet (31.9) (30.8) (41.8) (25.0) 4 Prior visit Prior visit Guidebook Prior visit (22.0) (14.3) (38.2) (11.9) 5 Tourist board Tour operator Prior visit Tourist board (18.5) brochure (21.8) (11.4) (13.5) 6 Newspaper (20.0) Note: Multiple response permitted. Question not included in Slovakian study. Table 7 Activities Pursued (Actual and Intended) (rank and % of respondents) Ireland England/Scotland Australia Hong Kong 1 Museums Museums Museums Museums (75.5) (79.5) (68.5) (67.2) 2 Historic houses Art galleries Art galleries Art galleries (58.6) (53.1) (38.9) (45.3) 3 Art galleries Monuments Performances Monuments (45.6) (44.2) (33.3) (31.3) 4 Monuments Historic houses Historic houses Historic (447.0) (34.4) (25.9) houses (30.5) 5 Performances Performances Monuments Performances (32.2) (127.7) (24.1) (18.8) 6 Heritage centres Festivals Festivals Heritage (15.5) (7.6) (11.1) centres (11.7) 7 Festivals Heritage centres Heritage centres Festival (7.6) (7.1) (1.9) (3.1) Note: Multiple response permitted. Question not included in Slovakian study. Table 8 Reasons to Visit Attractions Ireland England/ Australia Slovakia Scotland I am visiting to learn new things 4.1 3.8 4.2 4.1 I am visiting to be entertained 3.6 3.4 3.7 3.8 I am visiting to relax 3.4 3.2 3.4 3.6 I want to learn something about the history of this place 4.5 4.0 4.2 4.2 I want to find out more about local culture 4.2 3.7 4.4 4.2 I want to experience the atmosphere of this place 4.1 3.8 3.4 4.4 I want a unique experience 4.2 3.5 3.9 (a) Hong Kong Mean Sig I am visiting to learn new things 4.3 4.0 ** I am visiting to be entertained 3.7 3.6 * I am visiting to relax 3.5 3.4 * I want to learn something about the history of this place 4.1 4.3 ** I want to find out more about local culture 4.1 4.1 ** I want to experience the atmosphere of this place (a) 4.0 ** I want a unique experience 4.0 3.9 ** Note: Mean: 5-point Likert scale. (a) Question not included in survey * Difference significant at .05. ** Difference significant at .01. Table 9 Factor Analysis of Motives Factor 1-- Factor 2-- Leisure Learning I am visiting this attraction to learn new things 9.565E-02 .444 I am visiting this attraction to be entertained .999 -1.051E-04 I am visiting this attraction to relax .485 6.030E-2 I want to learn something about the history of this place -5.348E-03 .863 I want to find out more about local culture 2.108E-02 .706 Note: Extraction method: Generalised least squares. Chi square = 9.432, df = 1, p = .002 Table 10 Importance in the Decision to Visit a Destination of Visiting the Attraction Where the Survey Was Taken Ireland England/ Australia Slovakia Hong Kong Sig Scotland 2.99 2.65 2.81 2.23 3.45 F = 18.74, p < .001 Note: Mean 5-point Likert scale. 1: very important-5: very unimportant. Table 11 Overall Satisfaction with Visit to Attraction/Event Ireland England/ Australia Slovakia Hong Kong Sig Scotland 8.46 7.91 8.17 7.78 8.29 F = 19.077 p < .001 Note: Mean: 10-point scale.
The author wishes to acknowledge the cooperation of the ATLAS Cultural Tourism Project for supplying the core survey instrument used in this study, data coding and the presentation of a core data set. The author also wishes to acknowledge Ms Billie Chow So-Ming for her role in coordinating the data collection exercise in Hong Kong.
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Dr. Bob McKercher, School of Hotel and Tourism Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowroon, Hong Kong, SAR, China. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong…
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Publication information: Article title: A Comparative Study of International Cultural Tourists. Contributors: McKercher, Bob - Author. Journal title: Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management. Volume: 11. Issue: 2 Publication date: August 2004. Page number: 95+. © 2008 Australian Academic Press Pty. Ltd. COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group.