Destinations and crisis: profiling tourists' budget share from 2006 to 2012

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Tourist spending behavior is not only relevant in terms of volume but also in terms of trip budget composition or allocation (share or proportion of total trip budget allocated to transportation, accommodation or activities). This paper aims to profile expenditure patterns before, during and after the economic crisis, and how they affect destinations. Clustering methods and compositional data analysis is used as an appropriate statistical approach to analyze share. Incoming tourists to Spain are segmented by trip budget share using repeated cross-sections of official statistics data (2006-2012). One of the main findings is that segments are heterogeneous in their cutting back on expenditure during the economic crisis, and segments increasing in size during the crisis not only spend less but also have the lowest activity share. Furthermore, the paper identifies one of the segments being particularly attractive for destinations in terms both of total expenditure and expenditure profile, with a high activity expenditure share and usually flying with low-cost airlines. The paper contributes to understanding tourist consumer behavior in terms of expenditure pattern at micro level in times of economic recession and its implications for particular destinations ​
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