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Title: Understanding drive tourists - A typology of German classic car enthusiasts
Authors: Gronau, Werner
Issue Date: 18-Dec-2020
Publisher: ZPID (Leibniz Institute for Psychology)
Abstract: Background of the study: For over a decade, scholars, such as Guiver (2007) and Kagermeier (2002), have outlined the large share of non-environmental friendly transport modes in the leisure and tourism context. “Estimates for industrialized countries show that about half of all mobility is for leisure-related purposes, out of this 70%–75% by car” (Gössling, 2002). Furthermore Holyoak et al. (2009) documented the shift in Australia, from a market dominated by tourists in transit – using the vehicle as the most convenient mode of transport between the origin and the destination – to one where the use of the vehicle was more central to the enjoyment of the trip. To put in other words: “the major change in the global self-drive markets is a shift from the car as a form of least-cost transport towards the use of a variety of self-driven vehicles that add value to the tourism experience” (Carson et al. 2011) . Purpose of the study: Both the mentioned high share of individualized modes of transportation as well as the ongoing trends towards more life-style-orientated forms contributes to the ongoing growth of drive tourism. Unfortunately, “drive tourism remains an under-researched component of the wider tourism industry” (Fyall, 2014). Therefore the study aims on a better understanding of drivers and motvations of drive tourists more specifically on a target group-segmentation of German classic car enthusiasts, as perfect example of experience driven drive tourists. Methodology: The quantitative study was conducted as an online survey, inviting all 167 member clubs of the DEUVET, the DAVC and the corporative classic car club members of the ADAC. All associations were contacted electronically and asked to forward the link to the survey to their members. 245 correctly completed surveys are the basis of the following analysis. The questionnaire itself focused on measuring attitudes and interests with respect to their interest in classic cars and travelling of the specific clientele while utilising a 5-item-Likert-Scale. Furthermore, classic socio-demographic aspects like age, household size and household income were included in order to learn more about the identified target group of drive tourism. Results: The cluster analysis resulted in 5 clusters, segmenting the given target group of German classic-car enthusiasts. the clusters describe the specific clusters by utilzing the following dimensions: Preference for guided tour, Preference for group tour, Preference for cultural activities Preference for activities in the nature, Preference for contact with locals, Preference for beach stay, Preference for competitions included into tour, Preference for high driving time with stops (vs. preference for very high driving time without any other activities). A comparison of the five of the different clusters shows that none equals another. However, it can be said that the five clusters can be subdivided into two subgroups: On the one hand there are three classic car tourist-types (cluster 1, 2 and 4) that favour group tours and on the other hand there are two classic car tourist-types (cluster 3 and 5) that prefer individual travels. However, the two clusters 3 and 5 are very different from each other regarding almost all other aspects (except the opinion on a guided tour and a group tour). The authenticity-searching nature-oriented individuals are far more similar in their other interests to the other three clusters than the active comfort-oriented individualists. The three group-travel-types are classic car club members and therefore being interested in the company of persons with similar interests. Whereas the multifaceted culture-oriented persons and the spontaneous companionable explorers just favour the companionable aspect of travelling in a group, the competition-oriented group travellers like to add some competition to being in a group. Conclusions: The study provides a better understanding on how German classic car enthusiasts like to travel and what activities they prefer when travelling. It shades light on a clientel utilizing self-driven vehicles to add value to their tourism experience and enriches the understanding of self-drive tourism as an experience driven tourism product. Furthermore it identified a only moderate role of the driving experience itself, when compared to the typical tourist activities, such as socialising, enjoing culinary experiences etc. Research implications and limitations: The sampling method of adressing to members of classic car clubs, of course has influenced several aspects, such as the role of socialising, as those members might be rather group-oriented classic car enthusiasts compared to those not being member of such a club. Therefore it can be assumed that there is a much higher share of individuals belonging to the identified clusters of not group orientated ones. References: • Carson et al. 2011 • Fyall, 2014 • Gather, M., & Kagermeier, A. (2002). Freizeitverkehr als Gegenstand der Mobilitätsforschung [Recreational traffic as a subject for mobility research]. In M. Gather & A. Kagermeier (Eds.), Freizeitverkehr, Hintergründe, Probleme, Perspektiven [Recreational traffic: Background, problems and perspectives] (pp. 9_12). Mannheim: MetaGis. • Guiver, J., Lumsdon, L., Weston, R., & Ferguson, M. (2007). Do buses help meet tourism objectives? The contribution and potential of scheduled buses in rural destination areas. Transport Policy, 14(4), 275_282. • Gössling, S., 2002. Global environmental consequences of tourism. Global Environmental Change 12 (4), 283–302. • Holyoak N., Carson D., Schmallegger D. (2009) VRUMTM: A Tool for Modelling Travel Patterns of Self-Drive Tourists. In: Höpken W., Gretzel U., Law R. (eds) Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism 2009. Springer, Vienna. • Kraftfahrtbundesamt, (2020) (accesed 05.10.2020).
Citation: Gronau, W. (2020). Understanding drive tourists - A typology of German classic car enthusiasts. ZPID (Leibniz Institute for Psychology).
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