Sunday 10 December 2023

Young tourist seeks adventure and recreation, older more rest and culture, study reveals

Research analyzes motivations and satisfactions of tourists to visit Costa Rica

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QCOSTARICA – Recreation and adventure experiences are what young tourists look for the most, while older tourists focus on sharing with the family and resting, according to a study that determines the motivations and satisfactions of people to visit Costa Rica.

Another result shows that the tourist with the lowest level of education is greatly attracted by innovation, which is one of the novelties in the travel experience today.

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On the other hand, foreign tourists are interested in nature and learning about culture, while Costa Ricans are more motivated to share with their family or friends.

“There is a variable that was used, called self-development, which is related to the fact that those who travel a lot know and become culturalized. Younger people are more motivated to make this type of visitation, while a tourist of an older age and with less income is more interested in rubbing shoulders with family or meeting new people from the destination visited,” said Ana Gabriela Víquez, collaborator of the investigation.

The study also revealed that loyalty to ecotourism services is more related to the experience they had when visiting the places and that the satisfaction of the visit was given by aspects such as infrastructure, having security and having enjoyed a good gastronomic quality.

The first phase of this research began in 2019 and was applied in the Northern Zone, specifically in the Arenal Volcano National Park and the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge.

In these places, more than 350 surveys were carried out on national and international tourists.

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In addition to determining the motivations and satisfactions of the tourists who visit the country’s areas, the researchers intend to provide inputs to small tourism entrepreneurs and local Chambers of Tourism, so that they can identify how to channel their promotions for the different profiles of tourists.

For this reason, they sent the results to the Protected Wildlife Areas (Áreas Silvestres Protegidas) and, furthermore, they hope that the results of this first phase can be disseminated to small businessmen in the area to contribute to the growth of tourism.

This investigation has a second part, which began in July 2021 and was applied in the Pacific coast, specifically in Playa Jacó. The results would be ready at the end of this year with the intention of comparing both tourist poles of the country.

Determining the main factors that drive the visitation of different tourist areas is the objective of the project that has been carried out in other countries such as Mexico and Ecuador.

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The idea was created by three Ecuadorian researchers who, after visiting the country, proposed to replicate it in Costa Rica, and together with Ana Gabriela Víquez and Allan Pérez, from the TEC School of Business Administration in San Carlos, they worked on the development especially for the national tourist poles.

Intentions to return, recommendation of the site and loyalty to tourist attractions were some variables to determine the different reasons why tourists visited the destinations.

“What the research measures are the satisfactions and motivations that national and foreign tourists have for visiting the country, trying to shape the tourist a bit,” said Víquez.

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