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EMPLOYING INTERNET TECHNOLOGY TO INVESTIGATE AND PURCHASE TRAVEL SERVICES: A COMPARISON OF X'ERS, BOOMERS, AND MATURE MARKET SEGMENTS

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Professional surveyors completed 13,923 personal interviews with travelers during their recent trip to Tampa, FL. Visitors answered queries from a standard questionnaire regarding their recent trip, including spending patterns (for food, lodging, and activities), travel mode, and Internet use. The following five hypotheses were formulated based upon recent research into Internet use: - H1: Measurable travel characteristics such as length of stay and on-site expenditures are significandy greater for Internet users than Internet nonusers. - H2: Mature tourists are significantly less likely to book travel services on the Internet than Baby Boomers or Generation X'ers. - H3: Non-US tourists are significantly less likely to use the Internet to book travel services on the Internet than US travelers. - H4: Mature tourists are significantly less likely to purchase travel-related goods and services over the Internet than “Baby Boomers" or “Generation X'ers." - H5: Non-US tourists are significantly less likely to purchase travel goods or services over the Internet than US tourists.

This article investigates three specific consumer age groups: Generation X'ers, Baby Boomers, and Mature Travelers. The groups were further categorized as US residents or non-US residents. The profiles are created for these age group classifications based upon their use of the Internet identified a number of statistically significant differences between these two, six classifications based on age and Internet use. These profiles presented in this article demonstrate the utility of segmenting travelers by their willingness to use Internet technology to purchase goods and services via the Internet, which could contribute to promotional efficiencies for travel destination marketers.
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Keywords: Age segments; Destination marketing; Internet; Travel products

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2000

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  • The aim of Tourism Analysis is to promote a forum for practitioners and academicians in the fields of Leisure, Recreation, Tourism, and Hospitality (LRTH). As a interdisciplinary journal, it is an appropriate outlet for articles, research notes, and computer software packages designed to be of interest, concern, and of applied value to its audience of professionals, scholars, and students of LRTH programs the world over.
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