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Visitor expenditure estimation for grocery store location planning: a case study of Cornwall

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Visitor expenditure is an important driver of demand in many local economies, supporting a range of services and facilities which may not be viable based solely on residential demand. In areas where self-catering accommodation is prevalent visitor demand makes up a considerable proportion of sales and revenue within grocery stores, yet this form of visitor consumption is commonly overlooked in supply and demand-side estimates of visitor spend. As such, store location planning in tourist resorts, decisions about local service provision and the local economic impacts of tourism are based on very limited demand-side estimates of visitor spend. Using Cornwall, South West England as a study area, we outline a methodology and data sources to estimate small-area visitor grocery spend. We use self-catering accommodation provision, utilisation and visitor expenditure rates as key factors driving visitor spend. We identify that the use of visitor accommodation accounts for the spatial and temporal complexities of visitor demand that may be overlooked when using alternative approaches, such as the up-scaling of residential demand. Using a spatial interaction model, we demonstrate that our expenditure estimates can be used to generate store level revenue estimation within tourist resorts, and we make a number of recommendations for service provision and store location planning in these areas.

Keywords: Cornwall; economic impact of tourism; grocery retail; spatial interaction modelling; visitor expenditure

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Geography, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK

Publication date: July 1, 2013

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