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Communicating with Key Travel Decision Maker for Stronger Competitiveness of Destinations: A Multilevel Perspective for East Asian Family Vacations

International Journal of Tourism and Travel

Volume 13 Issue 1

Published: 2020
Author(s) Name: Yi-Fang Lan, Che-Jen Su | Author(s) Affiliation: Graduate School of Tourism, Wakayama University, Wakayama City, Japan.
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Destination marketing organizations (DMOs) find it challenging to appeal to the key decision-maker on travel destination for family vacations because family members have diverse and competing needs and preferences. Research has suggested that family members make decisions about travel destinations for family vacations jointly. The authors contend that in decisions about the destination for family vacations, the family’s role structure for decision-making is subject to the characteristics of the society, the travel, and the household. The investigation was undertaken among 1,016 respondents from the senior high school students from China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. Exhaustive chi-square automatic identification detector analyses was employed to predict the likely decision maker (LDM) – the father, the mother, or the child(ren)––using a decision tree model. The results revealed that: a). Society, which represents people’s socio-cultural and ideological backgrounds, was the strongest predictor of the LDM for decisions about family travel destinations. The “father” was found to be the most acceptable target category when we considered both its cumulative gain and recall rate; b). The study finds an above-average probability of the fathers’ dominance as decision maker, suggesting that the decision tree technique is appropriate for DMOs to use in targeting the father-dominant market of travel destinations in East Asia. The managerial measures that can be applied to improve promotion strategies of DMOs have also been proposed.

Keywords: Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), Exhaustive Chi-Square Automatic Identification Detector (E-CHAID), Family Vacation Decision Making (FVDM), Likely Decision Maker (LDM), Travel Destination

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