Determining the spatial needs of international tourists

Dejbakhsh, S 2009, Determining the spatial needs of international tourists, Masters by Research, Mathematical and Geospatial Sciences, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Determining the spatial needs of international tourists
Author(s) Dejbakhsh, S
Year 2009
Abstract Today's tourism industry features a wide range of tourists that behave in vastly different ways. This diversity ensures that tourists may favour different experiences according to their own personal preferences, a phenomenon best reflected in the selection of suitable destinations. Thus the choices tourists make, and the behaviours that emanate from them, come about through a number of influences originating from differences in social and cultural backgrounds. These choices vary from individual to individual and can change over time. A major challenge facing tourist managers is catering for the spatial needs of tourists from diverse cultures, whilst ensuring a positive tourist experience for all. The spatial needs of tourists are the key focus behind the destination planning and management process, as they outline the individual's basic spatial and service requirements for a particular destination. Determining these needs might lead to different groups of tourists being granted equitable access to public spaces, facilities and activities in destination countries. Additionally, these strategies ensure more practical applications in a variety of key areas such as destination management, product development and attraction
marketing. This research sought to investigate the spatial behavioural characteristics of tourists whilst linking them with specific cultural attributes.

In this thesis, a comparative study was used to determine the different needs of international tourists travelling to Melbourne city centre attractions. Overseas visitors who visited Melbourne city centre attractions (N = 278) completed a self-administered questionnaire. These questionnaires sought information in regard to spatial movement, as well as socio-demographic and travel characteristics, attitudes and satisfaction levels. These criteria were singled out in order to investigate the differing needs and preferences of this particular group of visitors. The data that came about through this study was analysed using chi-square and independent samples t-tests, as well as one way ANOVA tests between the groups and Pearson correlate analyses, all in the aim of testing proposed hypotheses.

The results of this study showed marked differences between tourists of various socio-demographic and ethnic backgrounds regarding spatial behavioural patterns. This study confirmed that visitor behaviour appeared to be primarily associated with, and in tum influenced by, social and cultural information, In other words, this particular study was successful in reinforcing the importance of culture in the tourism industry. Future research is recommended to investigate behavioural patterns of  international tourists from diverse cultures. After all, it will be useful to identify the influence of culture on spatial behaviour and to clarify whether various cultural groups indeed have dissimilar travel preferences and inherently different needs from each other - and, if so, how different.
Degree Masters by Research
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Mathematical and Geospatial Sciences
Keyword(s) Spatial behaviour
Built environment
Spatial needs
Self-administered questionnaire
Pearson correlate analyses
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Created: Wed, 27 Jun 2012, 11:25:05 EST by Guy Aron
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