The influence of socio-demographic factors on feelings of attachment, involvement, loyalty attitudes, and environmentally responsible behavior toward a cultural destination
Keywords:Cultural tourism, Place attachment, Activity involvement, Intentions, Environmentally responsible behavior, Socio-demographics
Tourist demand is very diverse and there are many alternatives for segmentation, with even basic demographic factors not only effectively discriminating in some markets but serving as a valuable starting point for creating market segmentation methods. Against this perspective, this study aims to provide a deeper analysis into whether and how socio-demographic factors, in terms of nationality, age, gender, and education explain tourists’ place attachment, in terms of place dependence, place identity, and sense of belonging, both online and onsite activity involvement, recommendation and revisit intentions, and environmentally responsible behavior (ERB) toward a cultural Italian destination. Data were collected from 384 tourists participating in a cultural heritage tourism experience. Descriptive statistics were analyzed and reported, and a series of ANOVAs were performed using SPSS to analyze possible differences among nationality, age, gender, and education, regarding the variables of interest. According to the literature, factors that may affect tourists' perceptions include socio-demographic data. However, current research on cultural tourism lacks an in-depth investigation of the relationships between various socio-demographic factors and tourists’ perceptions and behavior. While studies have looked at how these elements affect marketing in general, more data is still required to forecast cultural visitors’ feelings of attachment, involvement, intention, and environmental behavior toward a cultural destination. Results highlight that tourists of an Italian cultural destination have varying levels of education, age, and gender, and are partly represented by foreign visitors. Findings mainly confirm that the variables of interest can be influenced by the socio-demographic characteristics of tourists, with a major impact coming from nationality, age, and education. Moreover, they showed that the main differences were recorded for place identity, sense of belonging, onsite and online activity involvement, revisit intention, and responsible behavior, with only nationality and age respectively affecting place identity and recommendation intention.n intention.
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