Original Research

The effect of income on the relationship between travel motives and destination choices

Jarè Struwig, Elizabeth A. du Preez
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 27, No 1 | a5286 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v27i1.5286 | © 2024 Jarè Struwig, Elizabeth A. du Preez | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 August 2023 | Published: 23 May 2024

About the author(s)

Jarè Struwig, Developmental, Capable and Ethical State Department, Human Sciences Research Council, Pretoria, South Africa; and Department of Marketing Management, Faculty of Economic Management Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Elizabeth A. du Preez, Department of Marketing Management, Faculty of Economic Management Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Studies investigating the relationship between travel motivations and destination choice are often unidimensional and hierarchical, presenting limited perspectives on traveller groups with diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.

Aim: This study investigates the variations in travel motives versus destination choices given different income bands. It presents a nuanced profile of income group members based on socio-demographic variables and travel experience.

Setting: South African domestic tourism.

Method: Threshold regression was applied to determine whether 13 motivations changed toward six destinations given specific income levels. Data from the 2019 South African Social Attitudes Survey (SASAS) were used and the weighted sample represented 42 573 093 South Africans.

Results: The threshold regression materialised with between four to six breakpoints for most destinations. Fun dominated as a motive among lower income groups, as opposed to relationship building for higher income groups. Relaxation, as a known core travel motivation, did not lead to varied interest in specific destinations. Apart from motives, race and travel experience produced several significant differences.

Conclusion: Income thresholds meaningfully explain variations in the relationship between travel motivations and destination choice. More effective marketing strategies should be built around travellers within overlooked markets.

Contribution: The study provides novel empirical evidence that destination choice is non-linear and multifaceted. It applies threshold regression that has not been used in destination choice studies. Finer nuanced segments are identified and suggest an amendment to the travel career pattern (TCP) to accommodate developing and emergent travellers.


Keywords

push factors; threshold regression; travel career pattern; destination choice; travel motivations; socioeconomics

JEL Codes

C19: Other; Z30: General; Z33: Marketing and Finance

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 10: Reduced inequalities

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