Buyer Decision-Making Behavior in International Tourism Channels
DOI: 10.1300/J149v01n01_02
Title: Buyer Decision-Making Behavior in International Tourism Channels
Journal Title: International Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Administration
Volume: Volume 1
Issue: Issue 1
Publication Date: January 2000
Start Page: 11
End Page: 25
Published online: 12 Oct 2008
ISSN: 1525-6480
Author: Roger Marcha
a The School of Marketing , University of New South Wales , Sydney, 2052, Australia
Abstract: espite the development and maintenance of effective channel relationships in international tourism markets being critical to a firm's success, little research has been undertaken in business-to-business relationships in cross-national markets (March 1997a; Crotts, Aziz & Raschid 1998). This research paper offers insights into the decision-making behavior of a critical intermediary in international tourism channels, the inbound tour operator (ITO). In an exploratory study, the purchasing attitudes of ITOs, in their functions as purchasers of tourism products on behalf of overseas clients, are examined. Respondents were asked to assess the importance of a number of supplier attributes for three types of tourism products: hotels, coach companies and restaurants. Twenty-six inbound tour operators specialising in the Asian or Japanese inbound markets into Australia were surveyed; though small in number these firms handled over 800,000 visitors to Australia in 1998 (including 82% of the entire Japanese market). The results from a 43-item questionnaire, designed after preliminary discussions with ITOs, reveal differences between the attitudes of Japanese-market and Asian-market ITOs in their purchase decision-making behavior and in Buyer attitudes toward different product types. The findings offer useful lessons for suppliers in the management of their relationships with inbound tour operators.

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