Identifying the factors affecting tourism expenditure with emphasis on the family life cycle

Document Type : Research Article


1 Department of Tourism Management, Faculty of Management & Accounting, Allameh Tabataba’i University, Tehran, Iran

2 Tourism Management, Faculty of Management & Accounting, Allameh Tabataba’i University, Tehran, Iran


A proper understanding of tourists' spending patterns makes it possible for policy makers, planners, marketers and researchers to examine the economic interaction of tourists with the destination community. Families are the main consumers of tourism products; Therefore, it is important to understand and explain the characteristics of household consumption and the factors affecting it, so that tourism policies and marketing strategies are well adopted. The basic question in this research is whether the amount of money spent by Iranian households per household member on domestic trips undergoes significant changes due to economic, demographic, psychological and travel-related characteristics; And to what extent do these factors determine the cost? This research, using a systematic approach at the level of micro-economics, has answered this question and tries to encourage other researchers to enter this issue. The data of this research includes the economic, demographic and psychological characteristics of 628 Iranian households and information related to their last domestic trip until the end of 2018 and before the official outbreak of the corona virus in Iran. The results of this research show the influence of the amount of expenses of the households on the indicators of income, age, education and the type of occupation of the caretaker, the number of dependent and independent children, the number of family members on the trip, the use of a private vehicle and staying at relatives' houses during the trip and the importance Recreational trips are in the consumption basket of the household. Also, after comparing the amount of expenditure of households in different stages of the household life cycle, it was found that the stages of couples without children, single, the third phase of full nest and single parent, respectively, have the highest amount of expenditure on tourism, and the least amount belongs to widowed households. . At the end, suggestions were presented in order to increase financial circulation and benefit as much as possible from the supply chain of tourism in Iran, which can be a suitable guide for future policies in tourism.
Extended Abstract
Studying travel behavior patterns is one of the necessities for managers involved in strategic and sustainable tourism plans; for example, a proper understanding of tourist expenditure patterns allows policymakers, planners, marketers, and researchers to examine tourist economic interaction with tourism destinations. In addition, families are the main consumers of tourism products; therefore, it is important to understand and explain the characteristics of household consumption and the factors affecting it; also, since tourism is generally a recreational activity, children are expected to play an important role in choosing destination tourism activities and household expenses. The main question in this study is whether the expenditure level of Iranian households per member on domestic trip is significantly affected by economic, demographic, psychological, and trip-related characteristics, and to what extent do these factors determine the expenditure? Considering the demographic characteristics of household size and composition, the study of expenditure changes during different family life cycle stages is another goal of this study. Lack of studies on tourist expenditure and the factors affecting it in Iran, as well as the lack of basic attention to household structure, as a powerful factor affecting the behavior of tourists, are the distinguishing features and motivations of this study.
Using a systematic approach at the microeconomic level, this research answers this question and encourages other researchers to enter into this issue. This research is scientifically based on the purpose, and in terms of method and nature, is a correlation study. The data of this study include economic, demographic and psychological characteristics of 628 Iranian households and information related to their last domestic trip until the end of 2020 March, and before the official outbreak of Covid-19 in Iran, which was collected through an electronic questionnaire. To analyze the data of this study and examine the correlation between independent and dependent variables, ANOVA and multivariate regression tests in SPSS 26 software were used. According to the conceptual framework of the research, 12 independent variables were selected for the study, which are: income, age and education of the caregiver, type of job and conservatism of the householder, number of family members traveling, use of personal vehicle and staying at relatives at the destination, number of independent and dependent children, family life cycle and the importance of recreational trips in the household consumption basket. The dependent variable in this study is the amount of household expenditure per person/per night during the trip.
Results and Discussion
The results of this study show a positive correlation between household expenditure per person/per night with the variables of household income, age and education of the householder, and also the importance of leisure trips in the household consumption basket. On the other hand, it was found that if you use a personal vehicle and stay at relatives' during the trip, expenditure will be significantly reduced. Also, with the increase in the number of family members present on the trip and the number of dependent and independent children, the expenditure decreases. Considering the comparison of the average household expenditure with different types of occupations, it was found that householders with non-governmental occupations had the highest expenditure and students the lowest. Finally, after comparing the average household expenditure in different stages of the family life cycle, it was found that the stages of a married couple without a child, single, complete nest phase 3 and single parent, respectively, have the highest expenditure, while the lowest belongs to widows.
According to the findings of this study, most of the households used to travel in a personal vehicle and about half of them did not pay for their accommodation. This indicates the low expenditure for Iranian households as well as the preference for private vehicles over other modes of transportation, which is suggested that further research study the causes of this phenomenon. The results of this research model differ in different societies due to the diversity of demographic, economic and psychological characteristics. However, most researchers believe that enhance of economic situation and education lead to more spend money on travel, which underscores the importance of targeting the elite and wealthy markets, especially in less developed or developing countries. Finally, suggestions are provided to increase turnover and benefit the tourism supply chain in Iran as much as possible, which can be a proper guide for future policies in tourism; including the creation of recreational facilities, leisure activities and tourism experiences tailored to the tastes of children in domestic tourism destinations. These suggestions could be used by tourism policymakers, planners, and marketers.


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