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Market research on rural wellbeing tourists - prowell project

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This research studies rural wellbeing tourists, their motivations and important destination attributes, preferred activities and information search channels.

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Market research on rural wellbeing tourists - prowell project

  1. 1. Rural wellbeing tourism services – market research results from Prowell- project Juho Pesonen, Ph. D., University of Eastern Finland, Centre for Tourism Studies juho.pesonen@uef.fi
  2. 2. Managerial summary: •An online survey was conducted to study the preferences of rural wellbeing tourists, mostly located in Baltic countries. •550 useful responses were obtained. •Respondents prefer a rural holiday of 3-4 nights in neighboring countries in beautiful and quiet surroundings. •A rural wellbeing holiday must also be sustainable and environmentally friendly. •Swimming, local food and walking in nature are essential for rural wellbeing holiday. •Rural wellbeing holiday is very often a family holiday. •Search engine marketing should be top priority for rural businesses. •14 rural wellbeing products were identified, each consisting of variety of core and ancillary services. 21.9.2015Juho Pesonen 2
  3. 3. Research goals: Market research for identifying the appeal of the products and the right distribution channels. •Aim is to gather information about customers interested in Rural Wellbeing tourism offering and find most attractive and suitable distribution channels to support promotional activities. 21.9.2015 3Juho Pesonen
  4. 4. Creating the survey •Literature review in April and May 2015 •Focus group in Hardanger among project participants – Identified central themes and questions: • Past behavior • Rural destination attributes • Wellbeing activities • Travel motivations • Information sources • Socio-demographics 21.9.2015 4Juho Pesonen
  5. 5. Distributing the survey 21.9.2015 5Juho Pesonen •Partner websites with banners •Also social media and e-mail marketing were used •Data collection method limits respondent group!
  6. 6. Results 21.9.2015 6Juho Pesonen
  7. 7. Who answered the survey? 21.9.2015Juho Pesonen 7
  8. 8. 550 completed questionnaires 21.9.2015 8Juho Pesonen 22 % 78 % Gender Men Women 7 % 28 % 33 % 23 % 8 % 1 % Age groups 18-25 26-35 36-45 46-55 56-65 More than 65 years old
  9. 9. Nationality 21.9.2015 9Juho Pesonen 10 % 1 % 64 % 19 % 0 % 1 % 0 % 3 % 2 % Nationality of the respondents Finnish Norwegian Latvian Lithuanian Estonian Danish German Russian Other, what?
  10. 10. Rural tourism holidays 21.9.2015Juho Pesonen 10 68 % 17 % 8 % 3 % 2 % 1 % 1 % How many times during the past three years have you been on a rural holiday in Norway, Denmark, Sweden or Finland 0 1 2 3 4-5 6-10 More than 10 times 17 % 12 % 11 % 17 % 13 % 12 % 18 % How many times during the past three years have you been on a rural holiday in Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania 0 1 2 3 4-5 6-10 More than 10 times
  11. 11. Preferred duration for a rural wellbeing holiday 21.9.2015 11Juho Pesonen 28 % 41 % 22 % 5 % 2 % 2 % How long rural holiday would you prefer? 1-2 nights 3-4 nights 5-7 nights 8-10 nights 11-14 nights More than 14 nights
  12. 12. Living area 21.9.2015 12Juho Pesonen 20 % 12 % 13 % 10 % 28 % 14 % 3 % How would you describe the area you live in (Choose only one): A large city (100,000 or more inhabitants) A medium-sized city (10 000 to 99 000 inhabitants) A smaller city (from 2000 to 9999 inhabitants) A village (under 2,000 inhabitants) A rural area Do not know Prefer not to answer
  13. 13. Preferred rural wellbeing holiday company 21.9.2015 13Juho Pesonen 47 % 19 % 24 % 4 % 6 % Preferred rural holiday travel group Family Partner Friends Alone Work group
  14. 14. What kind of destination rural wellbeing tourists prefer? 21.9.2015Juho Pesonen 14
  15. 15. Important rural wellbeing destination attributes (0:not important at all, 4: very important) 21.9.2015 15Juho Pesonen 2,09 2,30 2,34 2,38 2,46 2,49 2,54 2,54 2,71 2,72 2,82 2,84 2,98 3,26 0,00 0,50 1,00 1,50 2,00 2,50 3,00 3,50 Protected areas Geology (rocks, glaciers, dunes etc ) History of the region Long rural traditions Wilderness Mountain landscapes Open spaces Plants and animals Coastal landscapes Free access to natural resources Forest landscapes Farm landscapes Quiet places Lake and river landscapes When you think about your perfect rural wellbeing destination, how important are the following attributes?
  16. 16. Most interesting rural wellbeing activities (0:not important at all, 4: very important) 21.9.2015 16Juho Pesonen 2,01 2,03 2,06 2,07 2,09 2,27 2,28 2,28 2,37 2,48 2,51 2,83 2,86 2,92 0,00 0,50 1,00 1,50 2,00 2,50 3,00 3,50 Visiting spa (relaxation, special saunas, yoga, treatments etc ) Berry or mushroom picking Visiting recreational spa (swimming, hot tubs, slides etc ) Forest therapy Taking alternative treatments (e g sauna therapy, reiki, peat therapy) Study local flora / fauna Finnish sauna Go boating Cycling Sauna treatments Hiking Traditional local food Walk in nature trails Swimming How important are the possibilities to enjoy following activities during your rural holiday?
  17. 17. Least interesting rural wellbeing activities (0:not important at all, 4: very important) 21.9.2015 17Juho Pesonen ,57 ,62 ,82 ,84 ,87 ,90 ,91 ,96 ,99 1,04 1,06 1,08 1,11 1,12 1,13 1,14 1,17 1,20 1,21 1,22 1,29 1,32 1,33 ,00 ,20 ,40 ,60 ,80 1,00 1,20 1,40 Indoor group exercises Going to a gym Chiropractic care Doing yoga Jogging Outdoor group exercises Reflexology Nordic walking Acupuncture Spiritual training Meditating Participate in fitness- and well being seminars Taking part in personal development course (for example mindfulness) Yoga Physical research or fitness test Exercise with personal trainer Fitness exercise Volunteer work for local community Balance exercises Technology enhanced tourism experiences Charity work / events Muscle therapies Doing handicrafts How important are the possibilities to enjoy following activities during your rural holiday?
  18. 18. What motivates rural wellbeing holidays? 21.9.2015Juho Pesonen 18
  19. 19. Importance of travel motivations (-3: completely disagree, 3: completely agree 21.9.2015 19Juho Pesonen -,82 ,60 1,03 1,06 1,07 1,49 1,63 1,64 1,68 1,73 1,82 1,87 2,01 2,04 2,07 2,11 -1,00 -,50 ,00 ,50 1,00 1,50 2,00 2,50 I travel only during school holidays I want to be a part of the local community during my holidays Being one with the nature, connectivity between earth and water I prefer warm climates for my holidays I like to meet new people I want to strengthen my physical wellbeing I am always looking for good deals I go for destinations that can offer a good deal of relaxation I want to escape from the ordinary I am curious and seek information about the culture of the area that I visit I want to strengthen my mental wellbeing I want to recharge my batteries I like to experience something new and different I want to be closer to nature I am environmentally conscious when on holidays For me wellbeing is about being together with family/relatives/friends When you think of yourself as a tourist, what characterizes you?
  20. 20. Where do rural wellbeing tourists find information? 21.9.2015Juho Pesonen 20
  21. 21. Most important information sources (scale 0-4) 21.9.2015 21Juho Pesonen 1,33 1,37 1,41 1,46 1,48 1,50 1,50 1,54 1,64 1,95 2,02 2,10 2,11 2,24 2,27 2,28 2,55 2,57 2,63 2,96 3,08 3,09 0,00 0,50 1,00 1,50 2,00 2,50 3,00 3,50 Radio Newspapers Newsletters E-mail newsletters and advertisements Magazines Visiting travel agency / other expert Television Travel fairs Newspaper and magazine websites Brochures and tour operator travel catalogues Social media (eg Facebook) Travel agents' website Discussion boards / blogs Portals (eg GoFinland fi) Review websites (eg Tripadvisor) Guide books Local tourism organisation websites (eg www visitfinland com) Company website Online travel agencies (e g booking com, hotels com) Talking with family / friends Your own experience from previous visits Search engine (eg Google com) How important are the following information sources for you when you are planning a holiday?
  22. 22. Daily smartphone & Internet use 21.9.2015 22Juho Pesonen 3 % 17 % 9 % 18 % 19 % 14 % 20 % Daily smartphone use I don't know I don’t have smart phone Less than 15 minutes 15- 30 minutes 30-60 minutes 1-2 hours More than 2 hours 8 % 37 % 33 % 13 % 9 % Time spent online daily on avarage Less than 1 hour 1-2 hours 3-4 hours 5-6 hours At least 7 hours
  23. 23. 14 rural wellbeing productsPrincipal component analysis with Varimax rotation This analysis groups together wellbeing services that the tourists regard as similar to each other, creating a combination of wellbeing services that together for a wellbeing product. 21.9.2015 23Juho Pesonen •Products are divided into core services and ancillary services •Most of the tourists preferring one core service among product category are very likely to prefer all other core services. •Most of the tourists preferring core services also prefer some of the ancillary services. •Core services should be marketed and offered together with the option of choosing also ancillary services. •The higher the loadings, the more connected the services are together (1.000 is max) •Cronbach alphas confirm the reliability of the majority of the products (α>0,700)
  24. 24. 1st Product family: Treatments and spa (α=0,964) 21.9.2015 24Juho Pesonen Core services Loadings Visiting spa (relaxation, special saunas, yoga, treatments etc ) ,836 Massage ,823 Taking traditional treatments (e g foot care, facial treatments, cupping therapy) ,723 Taking alternative treatments (e g sauna therapy, reiki, peat therapy) ,717 Hot stone massage ,664 Visiting recreational spa (swimming, hot tubs, slides etc ) ,647 Muscle therapies ,627 Sauna treatments ,608 Thalassotherapy ,596 Finnish sauna ,595 Physical research or fitness test ,595 Balance exercises ,573 Participate in fitness- and well being seminars ,567 Fitness exercise ,552 Exercise with personal trainer ,548 Local fruit-based treatments ,546 Ancillary services Stress coaching ,416 Forest therapy ,367 Reflexology ,431 Chiropractic care ,420 Acupuncture ,464 Folk medicine ,376 Taking part in personal development course (for example mindfulness) ,304
  25. 25. 2nd Product family: Slow living (α=0,937) 21.9.2015 25Juho Pesonen Core services Loadings Slow living studies ,725 Participating in growing your own food ,716 Charity work / events ,699 Volunteer work for local community ,678 Silence tour ,666 Protection of local resources ,659 Digital detox ,648 Collect your own herbs ,612 Ancillary services Forest therapy ,400 Doing handicrafts ,355 Meditating ,353 Spiritual training ,385 Staying in an eco-villages ,443 Visiting an eco-village ,446 Technology enhanced tourism experiences ,383 Photography tours ,401 Local fruit-based treatments ,306
  26. 26. 3rd Product family: Exercises (α=0,933) Core services Loadings Indoor group exercises ,811 Outdoor group exercises ,699 Nordic walking ,650 Going to a gym ,638 Ancillary services Jogging ,474 Meditating ,335 Taking part in personal development course (for example mindfulness) ,374 Doing yoga ,455 Muscle therapies ,337 Physical research or fitness test ,383 Balance exercises ,340 Participate in fitness- and well being seminars ,356 Fitness exercise ,450 Exercise with personal trainer ,444 21.9.2015 26Juho Pesonen
  27. 27. 4th Product family: Alternative medicine (α=0,944) 21.9.2015 27Juho Pesonen Core services Loadings Reflexology ,723 Chiropractic care ,723 Acupuncture ,692 Folk medicine ,537 Ancillary services Spiritual training ,410 Hot stone massage ,409 Muscle therapies ,381 Thalassotherapy ,407 Balance exercises ,376 Stress coaching ,403
  28. 28. 5th Product Family: Local Life (α=0,816) Core services Loadings Doing handicrafts ,694 Buying local handicrafts and other local products ,678 Study local traditions (like weaving, embroidery) ,562 Cooking classes ,553 Traditional local food ,543 Ancillary services Collect your own herbs ,372 21.9.2015 28Juho Pesonen
  29. 29. 6th Product family: Wilderness (α=0,678) Core services Loadings Go boating ,744 Fishing ,679 Berry or mushroom picking ,625 Swimming ,581 21.9.2015 29Juho Pesonen
  30. 30. 7th Product family: Outdoor adventure (α=0,880) Core services Loadings Kayaking ,859 Canoeing ,846 21.9.2015 30Juho Pesonen
  31. 31. 8th Product family: Meditation (α=0,864) Core services Loadings Meditating ,628 Taking part in personal development course (for example mindfulness) ,596 Doing yoga ,556 Ancillary services Spiritual training ,412 Folk medicine ,315 Stress coaching ,331 21.9.2015 31Juho Pesonen
  32. 32. 9th Product family: Eco-village (α=0,869) Core services Loadings Staying in an eco-villages ,617 Visiting an eco-village ,569 Ancillary services Forest therapy ,367 Local fruit-based treatments ,395 Finnish sauna ,422 Sauna treatments ,451 21.9.2015 32Juho Pesonen
  33. 33. 10th Product family: Outdoor activities (α=0,608) Core services Loadings Hiking ,716 Cycling ,563 Ancillary services Riding therapy ,394 Jogging ,338 21.9.2015 33Juho Pesonen
  34. 34. 11th Product family: Learning nature (α=0,742) Core services Loadings Study local flora / fauna ,699 Ancillary services Walk in nature trails ,306 Protection of local resources ,424 Silence tour ,325 Study local traditions (like weaving, embroidery) ,449 21.9.2015 34Juho Pesonen
  35. 35. 12th Product family: Walking in nature (α=0,560) 21.9.2015 35 Core services Loadings Walk in nature trails ,532 Traditional local food ,527 Ancillary services Trekking ,489 Juho Pesonen
  36. 36. 13. Product family: Museums (α=0,628) 21.9.2015Juho Pesonen 36 Core services Loadings Visiting museums ,664 Technology enhanced tourism experiences ,517 Ancillary services Photography tours ,452 Visiting recreational spa (swimming, hot tubs, slides etc ) ,353
  37. 37. 14. Product family: Sleeping 21.9.2015Juho Pesonen 37 Core services Loadings Sleep more than at home ,828
  38. 38. Marketing channels for rural wellbeing activities Correlation analysis 21.9.2015 38Juho Pesonen
  39. 39. Five categories of information sources (PCA) 1. Traditional media – Magazines, Newspapers, Radio, Television, Newspaper and magazine websites, Guide books, Brochures and tour operator travel catalogues 2. Experts – Visiting travel agency / other expert, Newsletters, Travel fairs, E-mail newsletters and advertisements, Travel agents' website 3. Social Media – Discussion boards / blogs, Social media (eg Facebook), Review websites (eg Tripadvisor), Online travel agencies (e g booking com, hotels com) 4. Destination information – Local tourism organisation websites (eg www.visitfinland.com), Portals (eg GoFinland fi), Search engine (eg Google com) 5. Personal information – Your own experience from previous visits, Talking with family / friends, Company website 21.9.2015Juho Pesonen 39
  40. 40. Correlations between information channels and rural wellbeing products 21.9.2015Juho Pesonen 40 Correlations Treatments and spa Slow living Exercises Alternative medicine Local life Wilderness Outdoor adventure Meditation Eco-village Outdoor sports Learning nature Walking in nature Museums Sleep Traditional media Pearson Correlation ,041 ,245 ** ,158 * ,290 ** ,091 ,098 ,000 ,073 -,042 -,240 ** ,116 ,065 ,200 ** -,007 Sig. (2- tailed) ,545 ,000 ,020 ,000 ,182 ,151 ,996 ,283 ,543 ,000 ,087 ,342 ,003 ,919 N 217 217 217 217 217 217 217 217 217 217 217 217 217 217 Experts Pearson Correlation ,327 ** ,175 ** ,334 ** ,154 * ,125 ,005 ,016 -,039 ,072 ,022 ,071 ,019 ,141 * -,050 Sig. (2- tailed) ,000 ,010 ,000 ,023 ,067 ,947 ,814 ,567 ,293 ,747 ,296 ,778 ,037 ,465 N 217 217 217 217 217 217 217 217 217 217 217 217 217 217 Social media Pearson Correlation ,120 ,078 ,147 * ,034 ,052 ,040 ,083 -,040 ,047 ,115 -,144 * ,026 -,037 ,051 Sig. (2- tailed) ,077 ,252 ,030 ,613 ,449 ,560 ,221 ,562 ,489 ,092 ,033 ,701 ,590 ,453 N 217 217 217 217 217 217 217 217 217 217 217 217 217 217 Destination information Pearson Correlation ,031 ,109 -,066 ,148 * -,030 ,098 -,004 ,074 -,062 -,008 ,121 ,232 ** ,201 ** -,017 Sig. (2- tailed) ,647 ,108 ,331 ,029 ,664 ,151 ,950 ,276 ,367 ,909 ,075 ,001 ,003 ,807 N 217 217 217 217 217 217 217 217 217 217 217 217 217 217 Personal information Pearson Correlation ,101 ,093 -,059 ,005 ,086 ,257 ** -,063 ,012 ,053 ,177 ** ,111 ,152 * ,056 ,062 Sig. (2- tailed) ,139 ,174 ,386 ,945 ,207 ,000 ,358 ,859 ,435 ,009 ,104 ,025 ,414 ,367 N 217 217 217 217 217 217 217 217 217 217 217 217 217 217 Yellow: Very good marketing channel for the product category(top row), Orange: Good, Red: Bad
  41. 41. Analysing the correlations: •People preferring treatments and spas use experts to find information. •Slow living services are best marketed through experts and traditional media. •Experts are also important in marketing exercise services. •Alternative medicine services should be marketed through traditional media. •Museums should be marketed in traditional media and destination websites. •Nonetheless, seach engines are most often used information channel. 21.9.2015Juho Pesonen 41
  42. 42. Conclusions: •Transnational rural wellbeing products are viable. – People still prefer to travel to near-by countries. – Short holidays up to four nights are preferred. – Family is most popular travel party. •Rural wellbeing tourism is also connected to water and quietness. – Moving around in the nature, eating local food. – Environmental friendliness is a must for rural wellbeing companies and should be actively promoted. •Rural wellbeing tourists can take holidays outside school holidays, but only for longer weekends. •Search engines are most often used information channel and should be focused on. – Also personal information is very important, meaning that the quality of the rural wellbeing services must be very high. 21.9.2015 42Juho Pesonen
  43. 43. Conclusions (cont.) •The rural tourism services should be considered as categories. – 14 rural wellbeing product families. • Core services should almost always be offered and marketed together • Ancillary services should support core services and be an option for tourists. •For some services special attention need to be paid to information channels used. – Traditional media is good for slow living, alternative medicine and museum products – Experts should be used in marketing of treatments and spas, exercies and slow living. – Personal information is important for those enjoying wilderness services and outdoor sports. 21.9.2015Juho Pesonen 43
  44. 44. For more information see www.uef.fi/mot/prowell www.matkailututkimus.fi www.facebook.com/uef.mot www.uef.fi

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