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Modelling transport choice behaviour traditionally has been addressed using objective measures of attribute data: price, time, etc. The authors argue that actual brand attributes may not be a good causal influence on consumer choice of long distance tourism travel. Choice is more likely to be a function of brand perceptions or brand image, which in turn is a function of past experience, expectations, promotional influences, family life stage and other personal factors.
The authors re-examine data gathered in 1985 on tourist travel between Perth and Sydney or Melbourne, Australia; about 2400 miles. The authors model actual behaviour as a function of respondents' perceptions of travel mode attributes using a customized Multinomial Logit programme which develops separate explanatory models for identified market segments. Results demonstrate the improvement in predictability over non-segmented models. Implications for tourism operators in promotions, product design and market targeting are discussed.