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The Role of Motivations in the Segmentation of Ecotourism Destinations: A Study from Costa Rica

Mauricio Carvache-Franco (), Wilmer Carvache-Franco (), Ana Gabriela Víquez-Paniagua (), Orly Carvache-Franco () and Allan Pérez-Orozco ()
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Mauricio Carvache-Franco: Facultad de Turismo y Hotelería, Universidad Espíritu Santo, Samborondón 092301, Ecuador
Wilmer Carvache-Franco: Facultad de Ciencias Sociales y Humanísticas, Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral, ESPOL, Guayaquil 09015863, Ecuador
Ana Gabriela Víquez-Paniagua: Escuela de Administración de Empresas, Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica, Cartago 1597050, Costa Rica
Orly Carvache-Franco: Facultad de Especialidades Empresariales, Universidad Católica de Santiago de Guayaquil, Guayaquil 090615, Ecuador
Allan Pérez-Orozco: Escuela de Administración de Empresas, Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica, Cartago 1597050, Costa Rica

Sustainability, 2021, vol. 13, issue 17, 1-18

Abstract: In recent years, the interests and motivations of tourists for nature and leisure have increased. The objectives of this study include following: (i) identifying the underlying variables or motivational dimensions in ecotourism; and (ii) analyzing the demand segmentation in ecotourism. This empirical study was conducted in The Arenal National Park and The Caño Negro National Wildlife Refuge in Costa Rica, a country with ecological importance for ecotourism. The sample consisted of 310 surveys obtained in situ. For data analysis, factor analysis and a non-hierarchical K-means segmentation were performed. In the study, seven motivational dimensions in ecotourism were obtained, such as “Self-development”, “Interpersonal relationships and ego-defensive function”, “Nature”, “Building personal relationships”, “Rewards” and “Escape”. Moreover, the characteristics of the different segments are established according to their motivations; thus, there are three segments of ecotourists: “Reward and escape”, “Multiple motives” and “Nature”. The findings of this research provide management guides to public institutions and information for companies for developing products according to demand.

Keywords: ecotourism; motivation; segmentation; satisfaction; return (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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