Title: Effects of population migration on rural tourism

Authors: Liping A. Cai, Jack (Jingrong) Liu, Joy (Zhuowei) Huang

Addresses: Purdue Tourism and Hospitality Research Center, 700 West State Street, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, USA. ' Purdue Tourism and Hospitality Research Center, 700 West State Street, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, USA. ' Purdue Tourism and Hospitality Research Center, 700 West State Street, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, USA

Abstract: The recent non-metropolitan turnaround in the USA has resulted in population migration from large cities to small towns and countryside. The marketing opportunity presented to rural tourism comes with significant challenges for its sustainability. The focus of extant literature on sustainability has been more on the environmental and socio-cultural protection of the intrinsic qualities in the countryside, but less on the economic viability and marketing feasibility of rural tourism. The understanding of rural tourists has particularly been overlooked. This study examined the relationship between population migration at tourist origins and tourist arrivals from these origins to a rural destination. Through a conceptual application of gravity model, the study found that population migration exerted a significant effect on tourist arrivals. The study also revealed that the demographic variable of gender affected the dynamics of the relationship, suggesting that demographic information of migrants at tourist origins can offer richer marketing intelligence for rural destinations. The study|s findings highlight the importance for rural communities to understand population migration at source markets, and provide a scientific tool to predict migration-induced tourist demand to rural destinations.

Keywords: population migration; rural tourism; gravity models; non-metropolitan turnaround; United States; USA; marketing intelligence; environmental protection; socio-cultural factors; countryside; economic viability; tourist origins; tourist arrivals; demographic variables; gender; relationship dynamics; migrants; rural destinations; rural communities; migration-induced tourist demand; tourist industry; tourists; tourism; sustainability; sustainable development; services management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSTM.2010.032077

International Journal of Services Technology and Management, 2010 Vol.13 No.3/4, pp.192 - 204

Available online: 09 Mar 2010 *

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