Assessing market convergence and divergence: studies of visitors to Australia's Great Barrier Reef

Pearce, Philip L., and Moscardo, Gianna (2004) Assessing market convergence and divergence: studies of visitors to Australia's Great Barrier Reef. In: Proceedings of Tourism: State of the Art II. - . From: Tourism: State of the Art II, 27-30 June 2004, Glasgow, UK.

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This paper considers the conceptual issue of convergence and divergence for tourist markets. The study addresses key issues shaping market segmentation research and explores these perspectives with data drawn from detailed visitor surveys pertaining to one of Australia's leading destination regions, the Great Barrier Reef. Much of the international market segmentation research in tourism works within a tradition which may be described as divergence. Divergence offers the perspective that markets are culture bound, often nationally distinct and likely to stay that way. Advocates of convergence suggest visitors with similar needs will have common preferences irrespective of their culture or nationality. It has also been suggested that convergence principles may be operating in select areas of travel behaviour, particularly the functional realms of purchasing and planning, but divergence may be insightful for expressive areas of tourist lift, such as for identity, meaning and personal development. It will be argued from the multiple findings that divergence offers the best account of both expressive and instrumental variables for Great Barrier Reef visitors in general. By way of contrast convergence explanations apply when a more focussed style of travelling, backpacker tourism is analysed. The findings are used to address the issues of the scale at which markets are considered as well as the issue of substantive meaning as opposed to statistically significant differences in assessing markets.

Item ID: 7857
Item Type: Conference Item (Research - E1)
ISBN: 978-0-9548039-0-2
Keywords: divergence; Great Barrier Reef; market convergence; tourism
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2010 03:15
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1506 Tourism > 150604 Tourism Marketing @ 100%
SEO Codes: 90 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 9003 Tourism > 900302 Socio-Cultural Issues in Tourism @ 100%
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