Understanding how sporting characteristics and behaviours influence destination selection: a grounded theory study of golf tourism

Humphreys, C. 2014. Understanding how sporting characteristics and behaviours influence destination selection: a grounded theory study of golf tourism. Journal of Sport and Tourism. 19 (1), pp. 29-54. doi:10.1080/14775085.2014.981569

TitleUnderstanding how sporting characteristics and behaviours influence destination selection: a grounded theory study of golf tourism
AuthorsHumphreys, C.
Abstract

Sports tourism has received growing attention in academic research over the past two decades (Weed and Bull, 2009, Gibson, 2005) but greater understanding of the consumer is needed, particularly the factors influencing decisions to include sport as part of a leisure trip. This paper provides, through a focus on the sport of golf, insight into the characteristics of the sports tourist and how sports tourist behaviours influence the selection of locations deemed suitable for sports participation. This qualitative research employs a grounded theory methodology, underpinned by a constructivist epistemology, to evaluate twenty-six in-depth interviews with golf tourists.
The findings propose a model which explains the relationship between golf tourist behaviours and destination selection. This identifies six strands which determine the relationship between the golf tourist, golf behaviours and destination selection (constructing the golf holiday, emotional rewards of taking a trip, total trip spend, amenities and support facilities, course characteristics and reputation of the destination). Furthermore it illuminates the complexity of these relationships through recognition of four spheres of influence (group dynamics, competition and ability, golfing capital and intermediaries). Discussion elucidates how this increased understanding of the golf tourist behaviours and destination selection might be applied to other sports, with conclusions exploring implications for the sports tourism industry and destinations.

KeywordsGolf, sports tourism grounded theory. strands, spheres of influence
JournalJournal of Sport and Tourism
Journal citation19 (1), pp. 29-54
ISSN1477-5085
Year2014
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Accepted author manuscriptGolf Tourism and Destination Selection VRE.pdf
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1080/14775085.2014.981569
Publication dates
Published24 Nov 2014

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