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Can Senior Travelers Save Japanese Hot Springs? A Psychographic Segmentation of Visitors and Their Intention to Visit Onsen Establishments during COVID-19

Isabell Handler
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Isabell Handler: Doshisha Business School, Doshisha University, Kyoto 602-8580, Japan

Sustainability, 2022, vol. 14, issue 4, 1-0

Abstract: To develop tourism products and campaigns that will not just help Japanese hot springs survive but revive and sustain them in the future, it is imperative to understand the behavioral intentions of its visitors during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. This study aims to investigate how the important market of senior Japanese visitors is characterized by their attitudes and feelings toward visiting hot springs during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, it explores whether external travel incentives can increase seniors’ intention to visit. A market research study was conducted on Japanese nationals, using 507 questionnaires. A factor analysis generated five attitude dimensions: (1) response efficacy, (2) perceived COVID-19 infectability, (3) self-efficacy, (4) crowding perception and feeling, and (5) perceived threat severity. Through k-means cluster analysis, the segmentation produced three distinct tourist segments: trusting seniors, concerned seniors, and indifferent seniors. Each segment is clearly described in terms of attitudes, considering distinct sociodemographic characteristics. Practical suggestions on managing and targeting these segments are also discussed.

Keywords: senior travel; Japan; hot spring; wellness; segmentation; worry (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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