Understanding travel behavior: A study of school excursion motivations, constraints and behavior

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Abstract

A more detailed understanding of actual travel behavior is crucial to better understand travel patterns and determine the attractiveness of target markets. Educational tourism, and school excursion tourism in particular, is a relatively under researched and poorly understood segment of the tourism industry. This paper examines the influence of socio-demographics, motivations and constraints on planned and actual school excursion behavior. A total of 1,314 schools from across Australia participated in an online survey. Analysis revealed the importance of interpersonal constraints at explaining both planned and actual travel. Socio-demographics including the number of staff and students at the school, and a dedicated school excursion planner helped to explain the average length of stay of school excursions. The push motive of ‘new experiences’ positively influenced the number of overnight excursions undertaken, while the push/pull motive of ‘a reward’ helped explain longer length of stay and distance travelled, alongside socio-demographic factors. Practical implications are outlined for both destinations and attractions interested in targeting school excursions. Future research avenues are also outlined based on the research findings and limitations.

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Dale, N. F., & Ritchie, B. W. (2020). Understanding travel behavior: A study of school excursion motivations, constraints and behavior. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management, 43, 11–22. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhtm.2020.01.008

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