The North American coach tourist to Ireland: a factor analysis approach

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Ryan, Marie
Deegan, Jim
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Centre for Policy Studies, University College Cork
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The objective of this paper is to identify the most significant travel behaviours and characteristics of North American coach tourists visiting Ireland. The data, identifying travel behaviours and characteristics, such as travel constraints, motivation, activities, accommodation attributes, life focus and personality traits was elucidated from questionnaires (n = 741) distributed to North American coach tourists that visited Ireland between June 2007 and March 2008. Factor analysis, which is a statistical technique that uses correlations between variables to determine the underlying dimensions represented by the variables, is used to identify the most significant factors that have common characteristics amongst the tourists. Results show, over 59% of the coach tourists surveyed are under 65 years. Coach tourists are largely active individuals with a strong propensity for cycling. They tend to be culturally aware and are drawn to historical destinations. They have a desire to learn new things. Fear of terrorism is their main travel constraint. They focus on sharing their beliefs with others. Finally, those surveyed tend to be independent and family orientated. These findings suggest tourism policies can now be directed more succinctly to cater for a specific type of coach tourist visiting Ireland rather than supplying a generic tourist product. The findings also help target future niche markets of coach tourism by suggesting eight coach tour niches worthy of further research. The active coach tourist: the spa retreat tours: the spiritual tourist: the historical coach tours: the health conscious coach tourist: the adult-only coach tourist: the family orientated coach tourist and the luxurious coach tourist.
Coach tourists , Tourism niche markets
RYAN, M. & DEEGAN, J. 2010. The North American coach tourist to Ireland: a factor analysis approach. Centre for Policy Studies Working Papers. Cork: Centre for Policy Studies, University College Cork
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©2010 Marie Ryan & Jim Deegan