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Demand for rural tourism : the effects of quality and information.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date09/2006
JournalAgricultural Economics
Journal number2
Volume35
Number of pages10
Pages183-192
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The development of rural tourism is regarded as a promising diversification strategy especially for lagging and mountainous areas of the European Union. Research concerning the demand and/or supply of rural tourism services has been limited within the agricultural economics domain despite the significance attached to rural tourism by various rural development policy measures and initiatives. The article examines the expenditure behavior of rural tourists within a framework of demand for composite (heterogeneous) goods. The proposed framework captures the quality of the tourism experience as the commodity�s unit value, a quantifiable economic variable, examines its effects on expenditures and allows for the estimation of elasticity in prices regarding expenditure and quantity. Empirical analysis is facilitated by a survey recording the expenditure behavior of 465 tourists in two rural and lagging areas of Greece. The quality of the tourism experience is significantly and positively affected by the income, the source from which information about the trip is retrieved (Internet, newspapers as well as general press and special travel press) and by the amount of information sought by the consumer prior to the trip. In turn, the quality of the tourism experience is the major endogenous factor that positively influences expenditures for rural tourism. Further research is needed before evidence provided in this work can be used to draw policy conclusions and recommendations.

Bibliographic note

The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com (c) Blackwell 2007.