The group purchasing process : an investigation into the influence of the facilitator in alpine tourism
Shaw, Michael R., Hall, John, Binney, Wayne and Battershill, Fiona 2005, The group purchasing process : an investigation into the influence of the facilitator in alpine tourism, in CAUTHE 2005 : Sharing Tourism Knowldge : Proceedings of the Council for Australian University Tourism and Hospitality Education Conference, CAUTHE, [Darwin, N.T.], pp. 1-13.
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Group travel is a common feature of all tourism markets and can vary from the familiar peer group/common purpose associations of the football and cricket followers to the non-familiar co-operative travel group of the under 35 year olds bus adventures throughout Europe. This study investigates the nature of social group travel in alpine tourism. It specifically examines the phenomena of the "group facilitator"; the person within the group who takes a major role in the travel decisions and organisation on rehalf of all the other members in the travel party. The specific activities of this "group facilitator" and the role of opinion leadership, information search, organisation process, previous experience, relationship ties between the group members are examined. The 'facilitator' also influences other individuals' decision to participate who delegate selection of destination to this person as well. The 'facilitator' has many of the characteristics of an opinion leader and was recognised by group participants as a major source of information about the destination. The findings of the study have important implications for tourism marketers as they highlight an opportunity to reach many potential travellers by directly targeting one key influencer and decision maker.
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