Tourists and residents use of a shopping space

David J. Snepenger, Eric Gregg, Leann Murphy & Ryan O’Connell

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Snepenger, D. J. , Gregg, E. , Murphy, L. & O’Connell, R. (1). Tourists and residents use of a shopping space. Annals of Tourism Research, 30(3), 567–580.

lifecycle model , market segmentation , Shopping spaces

In many communities tourists and residents share shopping spaces. These common areas offer a setting for understanding how the host and guest populations utilize and perceive a leisure locale at one point in the tourism lifecycle. An investigation of tourists and residents of a US city explored the use of and attitudes towards the traditional shopping district. Four segments were developed based on whether the consumer was a tourist or a local and whether this person was a heavy or light user of the shopping place. Findings demonstrate that information from these four groups enhances understanding of tourism lifecycle models.

Main finding
Users of the shopping district are not monolithic, and their behavior and attitudes vary considerably among tourists, residents and light or heavy users. Tourist-heavy users see themselves as reflected in the retail mix having positive to neutral impacts on the host community. Tourists believe that tourism is an important part of the economy while being neutral on the congestion they cause. On the other hand, local-heavy users feel comfortable shopping,socializing, and sharing space with tourists. This group utilizes the space for entertainment rather than necessities and takes umbrage with high prices, a lack of parking, and congestion caused by tourism. Thus, even though they view tourism as an important part of the economy, many have started to avoid tourist areas. Tourist-light users have notably different activity preferences than both tourist-heavy and local-heavy users. This group views the downtown area as accessible with unique products but is less positive about the impact of tourism than the tourist-heavy group. Finally, the local-light users generally hold negative views of the district, believing that it only serves the needs of the wealthy and tourists. These residents strongly believe that prices are too high and that traveling and parking are difficult in the dist

Description of method used in the article
A survey of residents conducted in the spring of 1997 using a geographic cluster probability sample resulted in 258 valid surveys from 20 clusters, with a response rate of 90%. A following survey of 228 tourists was conducted in the summer of 1997 using a convenience sample. People visiting the downtown area were approached and asked if they were out of town and visiting for pleasure, and were asked to fill out the survey. Respondents were sought every day of the week. Participants of both surveys were partitioned as either tourists or local users and as heavy or light users of the space. These four partitions were compared to descriptors such as income and attitudes towards the shopping district using chi-square tests and one-way analysis of variance tests, with an alpha level of 0.05.

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Economic Transactions
Physical types
Geographic locations