Anomaly in Spanish tourist sensitivity to price

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The literature suggests that the effect of price on destination choice can be either positive or negative and income is considered an important determinant of tourist decisions, so that tourism products are thought to behave like 'normal goods'. Given that studies have paid little attention to the relationship between income and sensitivity to price, this paper analyses the relationship between income and tourists' sensitivities to price. The author identifies and measures these sensitivities – individual by individual – from real choices made by tourists: that is, tourist sensitivity to price is estimated for each individual by observing the destination he or she actually selects. The empirical application is carried out on a sample of 2,127 individuals and the operative formalization used to estimate individual sensitivities to price follows a random coefficient logit model. To detect how the sensitivities relate to income, a regression analysis is employed. The results show an anomalous relationship: income levels moderate tourist sensitivity to price such that increases in the first levels of income reduce the negative effect of price (as expected), but there is a 'saturation point' – that is, beyond a threshold, tourist sensitivity to price increases again (the negative effect of price reappears) – against expectations for these high-income earners.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • Tourism Economics, published bimonthly, is a peer-reviewed journal devoted to the economics and finance of tourism worldwide. Articles address the components of the tourism product (accommodation; restaurants; merchandizing; attractions; transport; entertainment; tourist activities); and the economic organization of tourism at micro and macro levels (market structure; role of public/private sectors; community interests; strategic planning; marketing; finance; economic development).

    Fast Track. Tourism Economics Fast Track papers have been peer-reviewed, revised and fully accepted for publication. However, although these are the final versions from the authors, they are unedited manuscripts and will undergo a rigorous editing process before their appearance in an issue of the journal. This means that the Fast Track manuscripts may not conform to journal style in terms of presentation, spelling and other usages. They may also contain errors of typography, grammar, spelling, referencing, etc, all of which will be corrected in the processes of copy-editing and proofreading.
    Tourism Economics operates a Fast Track online publication system so that papers can be published and made available almost immediately on final acceptance by the journal. Each Fast Track article is given a DOI. When the paper is assigned to an issue, this DOI will automatically be transferred to the article in the journal issue.
    Fast Track articles may be cited using the DOI. Citations should include the author's or authors' name(s), the title of the article, the title of the journal followed by the words Fast Track, the year of Fast Track publication and the DOI. For example:

    Smith, J. (2013), Article title, Tourism Economics Fast Track, DOI xxxxxxxx.

    Once the paper has been published in an issue of the journal, the DOI will automatically resolve to that final version and the article can be cited in accordance with normal bibliographical conventions.

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