Koreans are increasingly participating in overseas golf holidays in the Asia Pacific region and this trend is expected to continue. The popularity of golf holidays has been linked to the growing demands of special interest tourism and sport tourism where tourists seek to satisfy specific travel needs and wants to meet their travel motivations. Research into travel motivation using the concept of the push and pull framework is therefore a focus of study in tourism research. To date, little or no research has examined travel motivation and tourist typology using the push and pull framework in the markets of special interest tourism, sport tourism, or golf tourism. This thesis fills the gap in the literature and contributes to knowledge of tourist motivation and typology. The aims of the research were therefore three-fold: to identify the push and pull factors of golf travel motivation, to classify heterogeneous golf tourists into homogeneous groups, and to profile the clusters with respect to socio-demographics, golf related behaviour and travel characteristics, destination attributes, and destination preferences. This was achieved by collecting empirical data on Korean golf tourists travelling in the Asia Pacific region. The methodology comprised both qualitative research based on semi-structured interviews and quantitative research based on self-completed questionnaires. A principal component factor analysis was employed to identify five push based socio-psychological motivations and seven pull based destination attributes. A cluster analysis was then conducted to classify golfers into three different clusters, namely, Golf-intensive Golfers, Multi-motivated Golfers, and Companion Golfers. The golf clusters were then profiled based on the findings in respect to socio-demographics, golf related behaviour and travel characteristics, destination attributes, and destination preferences. A cross tabulation with chi-square tests and analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used to test the hypotheses of this thesis. Results revealed that golf tourists were not homogeneous in their push based socio-psychological travel motivations. Their profiles are theoretically and statistically feasible because the research tested hypotheses indicate that each cluster had both similarities and differences in socio-demographics, golf related behaviour and travel characteristics, destination attributes, and destination preferences. This suggests that marketing strategies should target both the different and similar aspects of golf travel behaviour. The research is of benefit not only to academics and practitioners in the study of travel motivations and tourist typology in the field of special interest tourism, sport tourism, and, in particular, golf tourism, but also to tourism marketers and tour operators in the development, promotion and packaging of golf holiday products.
|Date of Award||2007|
|Supervisor||Brent Ritchie (Supervisor) & Jeremy Huyton (Supervisor)|