Potentielle Teilnehmer an inklusiven Urlaub...
Potentielle Teilnehmer an inklusiven Urlaubsreisen identifiziert anhand der QCA-Methode (Qualitative Comparative Analysis)
Holidays organized in an inclusive format, where persons with and without visual impairment travel together, are a niche product. Despite the socially beneficial nature of such offers, there is little known about the market for this product and its potential. In order to provide a better guidance to charities and social enterprises that traditionally offer such holidays, the objective of this study was to identify and describe the groups of persons within the German-speaking population of Europe that are likely to choose inclusive holidays as a form of leisure. For this purpose, a survey was distributed to a sample of individuals without visual impairment within the SOSCI panel. The questionnaire presented the concept of inclusive holidays to the respondents, measured their interest in participating, probability of participation within the next two years, individual characteristics – including general demographics, innovativeness (Steenkamp & Baumgartner, 1995), involvement in travel (Laurent & Kapferer, 1985), sociability (Spake & Megehee, 2010), altruism (Paek & Nelson, 2009), – as well as perceived characteristics of the holiday product – uncertainty (Dimoka, Hong, & Pavlou, 2012) on the one hand and relative advantage on the other hand (operationalized through the perceived advantages in terms of social contact and experiential value).
The choice of variables measured in the survey was based on findings from a previous qualitative study conducted by the author as well as existing research on innovation adoption. The majority of the questions were built based on existing scales. The questions were designed for a subsequent analysis conducted through Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA). QCA is a set-theoretic research approach and data analysis technique that uses Boolean algebra to identify configurations of antecedents that result in an outcome. It aims at causal interpretation and assumes equifinality, asymmetric and conjectural causation and thus offers several advantages over other approaches including statistical ones (Schneider & Wagemann, 2013). To follow QCA logic, the questions in the survey were designed to reflect concepts that are dichotomous in principle. The majority of these were formulated using 5-point Likert scales which were consequently calibrated into fuzzy sets based on suggestions by Emmenegger et al. (2014).
The QCA analysis did not identify any necessary conditions neither for interest nor for the probability of participating in an inclusive holiday in the near future. This can be interpreted in a way that none of the chosen factors serve as hygiene factors or frames that limit product adopters. Consumer characteristics on their own provided little causal explanation in terms of sufficient paths. While being an innovative woman with higher education or a sociable woman with higher education were almost fully consistent with high probability of participation, the relevance of these combinations was meagre given the low coverage values for these solution paths. Combining respondent characteristics (non-demographic ones) with perceived product characteristics provided better insight. Innovativeness in combination with a presence of a family member with a disability and perceived low uncertainty was a robust combination leading to a high interest in participation identified by two different QCA minimization algorithms (the standard Quine-McCluskey and an enhanced algorithm developed by Thiem (2018)). Other combinations leading to interest, yet more ambiguous ones, included perceived advantages in terms of experiences combined with innovativeness or with travel involvement. Sufficient condition conjunctures for probability of participation within the following two years differed significantly from those found for interest, which is in line with previous findings reported in innovation adoption literature (Arts, Frambach, & Bijmolt, 2011). Here, the two robust combinations were perceived advantage in terms of experiential value with either NON-perceived advantage in terms of social contact or with NON-innovativeness, absence of family members with disability, and sociability. The more ambiguous and less relevant path solutions hinted that the perceived advantage in terms of social contact was associated with likely participation only in a combination with innovativeness. As for non-probability of participation (i.e. respondents expressing that they will not participate within the next two years), perceived uncertainty or NON-perceived advantage in terms of experience as well as NON-sociability in combination with innovativeness or travel involvement were shown to be sufficient.
The study concluded that there are several paths towards interest in inclusive holidays which hints at the existence of several distinct customer segments. Innovative people or those that consider travel as important part of their lives are the two main groups. In order to translate the interest into a willingness to book, however, the focus should be made on decreasing the perceived uncertainty related to the holidays, and emphasize the experiential benefits connected to participation in the holiday.
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Dimoka, A., Hong, Y., & Pavlou, P. A. (2012). On product uncertainty in online markets: Theory and evidence. MIS Quarterly, 36(2), 395–426.
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