Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Examining Young Malaysians Travel Behaviour and Expenditure Patterns in Domestic Tourism

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Examining Young Malaysians Travel Behaviour and Expenditure Patterns in Domestic Tourism

Article excerpt

Abstract

Young travellers, though restricted by relatively low levels of disposable income, are commonly having high interest and leisure time in exploring new destinations. It has been found that young travellers have high expectations regarding the importance of value for money though they have their financial resources available for travelling. Therefore, it has raised questions on the worthiness of carrying out a study about the travel behaviour and expenditure patterns among the young travellers in Malaysia. The study employed a survey questionnaire to collect data, which was adapted from standardized measures. A total of 643 respondents, which has been randomly selected in the Northern States of Malaysia were involved in the study. The completed questionnaires were analysed to measure the variables of the study consisted of selected socio-demographic, travel behaviour and expenditure patterns. This study found the expenditure patterns of the young travellers vary with regards to the purchase of tourism products. In addition, the results of the study also portrayed the differences of selected travel-related characteristics of young travellers in relation to the purpose of travel. Thus, this study may provide information which will help tourism marketers to develop marketing tools to satisfy and fulfill those young tourists' needs and understand certain reasons behind their spending patterns.

Keywords: young traveller, travel behaviour, expenditure pattern, domestic tourism

1. Introduction

Youth travel is one of the fastest growing and most dynamic market of the global tourism sector. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) estimates that approximately 20 per cent of all international tourist arrivals in 2010 were young people. In that particular year, young travellers generate 165 billion USD towards global tourism receipts, affirming their financial value to the global tourism industry and local economies (United Nations World Tourism Organisation, 2011). Likewise, the World Youth and Student Travel Conference (WYSTC) identified that the young traveller market is worth about US$136 billion (Simpson, 2010). In addition, young travellers have a higher lifetime value compare to other travel segment such as senior travellers. According to the UNWTO, based on youth and student travel market survey 2011, young travellers often spend more than other tourists and are likely to return and give more value to the destination over their lifetime. Furthermore, as the chances of getting higher education and exposure to the world, young travellers have penetrated and played an important role in the tourism market.

Malaysian young travellers are raised in an environment with a wide and increasing range of travel opportunities. As the low-cost carriers becoming the common travelling, transportation, the ease of information searching and tourism products, purchasing via the World Wide Web, travelling is at most accessible ever and thus increasing freedom to travel. Therefore, further study needs to be carried out to investigate their travel behaviour. Despite an increasing interest in the market size of young travellers, economic potential and their desire to travel, relatively little is known about their actual travel behaviour and expenditure patterns. Understanding the behaviour and expenditure patterns of Malaysian young travellers in tourism and hospitality is a matter of utmost importance for improving the sustainability of the tourism industry.

The market segment of young travelers, especially in Western countries is generally studied by researchers (Carr, 2001; 2005; Hesse & Tutenges, 2011; Xu, Morgan, & Song, 2009). UNWTO (2008) predicted that the main source of the forecast growth in travel demand will be the young, affluent middle class that is emerging - from 175 million people in 2008 to around 500 million by 2025. In relation to that, population statistics from Department of Statistics, Malaysia shows that there are 28. …

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