Using Tourist Travel Habits and Preferences to Assess Strategic Destination Positioning: The Case of Costa Rica
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A study of 118 U.S. travelers to Costa Rica is analyzed to highlight how consumer preferences and patterns of consumption can be used to reveal the status of a particular destination in its life cycle. Using a model for destinations' psychographics developed by S. C. Plog, the analysis shows that Costa Rica may be increasingly appealing to the middle of the psychographic distribution. While this trend is not inherently bad, it challenges Costa Rica's destination managers to consider carefully what type of further development they will allow. This research illustrates the means by which other destinations can assess their own positioning to ensure that they are using strategies to attract the most profitable tourist segments.
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ecotourism; Plog destination life cycle; Costa Rica; destination management; strategic planning
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