The choice of destination made by tourists and its impact on their spatial behaviour.
One of the most important research problems in tourism
today, and one still to be thoroughly investigated, is the
understanding of tourist decision-making processes and the
way they are reflected in tourist spatial behaviour. Until
very recently, the study of tourist decision-making and
that of tourist flows went on independently of one another.
Thus, geographers were detecting and describing tourist
flows while psychologists and marketing analysts were
trying to understand the destination-choice process.
The current study merges these two aspects and addresses
the following questions:
A. What are the most important and frequently assessed
destination attributes anticipated and desired by tourists?
B. Is destination-choice behaviour (when based on different
desired destination attributes) class-differentiated?
C. Are spatial patterns of tourist flows also classdifferentiated?
D. If class differentiation does exist, is there a causal
connection between the manner of destination choice and
tourists' consequent spatial behaviour?
This study rests on two general assumptions. The first is
that the process of selecting from among alternative
tourist destinations is a direct outcome of the
individual's evaluation of the aggregate value of utilities
inherent in destination attributes. The second claims that the general tourist spatial pattern is a product of subpatterns
created by different groups of tourists. The
derived operational hypotheses suggest that both
destination-choice and tourists' spatial behaviour are
Initially, the study involved the detection of the 25 most
frequently assessed destination attributes. These were
then introduced into a questionnaire examining the
destination-choice and spatial behaviour of the North-Vest
London Jewish community. Analysis of the data collected
using Della Pave's 'Value Stretch' concept shows that
destination-choice processes among Barnet's Jewish tourists
are significantly class-differentiated. Significantly
different tourist behaviour patterns were also found among
them. The concept of 'Value Stretch' also revealed the
possible causes of different tourist spatial behaviour
emerging in the wake of class-differentiated destination-choice