The Influential Factors of Destination Choice: A study of Value and Travel Motivation Identification and the Influence on the Image of Copenhagen

Mia Bramsted Precht

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

During the past few years, travels have increasingly become more important for people worldwide. Today, the tourism sector is one of the most prominent economic activities and fastest growing industries in the world. It accounts for 10 percent of the world's total economic output. The popularity of traveling to various destinations around the world does not seem to decrease. On the contrary, experts predict the number of travels to grow even further. By 2030, the total number of foreign tourist arrivals may reach 1.8 billion. Due to the increased competition between travel destinations, it is even more crucial to improve the competitive advantage of the place. Thereby, the purpose of the study is to be able to understand which factors influence the place images of young adults. Hence, the research aims to investigate which values and travel motivations young Danes and Non-Danes believe are essential to them. As well as, it is trying to examine how these factors affect the place image formation process in regards to the associations they have with Copenhagen. The quantitative method in the shape of an online survey collected the data to enable one to investigate the value and travel motivation elements in the destination choice process. Furthermore, the survey also includes an open-ended qualitative question to understand the image of Copenhagen in the minds of the respondents. The respondents are 113 young adults between 20-35 years-old with 26 different national backgrounds. They were divided into females vs. males and Danes vs. Non-Danes to see if differences or similarities exist. The findings show that gender does not influence the identification of the values which is also the case in regards to their image of Copenhagen. However, the difference between the Non-Danish and Danish respondents was more significant. The NonDanish respondents appear to be more adventurous, like to take chances and do new things than the Danish respondents. The Danish respondents believe it is more important to be loyal, honest, forgiving, and helpful. On the other hand, gender appears to influence travel motivations. The male respondents seem to want to II experience culture. However, the female respondents travel to have fun and to get away. The variation in travel motivations also exists between the Non-Danes and Danes. Here, the Non-Danes are more motivated to experience culture, whereas, the reason the Danes travel are to be able to relax. The primary values and travel motivations seem to correlate with the Value-Motivation groups which the respondents identify with. Additionally, the Non-Danish respondents appear to have a more positive image of Copenhagen than the Danish respondents. It is due to the NonDanish respondents only have negative associations in regards to it being expensive and cold. On the other hand, the Danish respondents also view Copenhagen as a noisy, busy, and an expensive city with snobbish people. The findings also showed that young adults use the Internet, friends and family, social media, and travel guidebooks to get information about destinations. According to the results of this study, value and travel motivation identification seem to vary as an effect of cultural backgrounds. As well as, gender seems to influence travel motivations. The young adults prefer to use information sources such as the Internet, friends and family, social media, and travel guidebooks when they want to increase their knowledge about a destination. Furthermore, values and travel motivations seem to influence the image of travel destinations, which in this case is the image of Copenhagen. Thus, the personal characteristics of the destination shape travelers’ associations of a place. In this way, the values and travel motivations seem to enable one to understand what young adults believe are essential for them when they are choosing a travel destination. Thus, it is possible for place marketers to use the information to develop more targeted strategies. As a result, they may be more successful in attracting an increased number of visitors and improve satisfaction. As well as, it enables them to target tourists who value the aspects which the destination can offer them.

EducationsMaster of Business, Language and Culture, Intercultural Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2018
Number of pages123
SupervisorsFumiko Kano GlĂĽckstad