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The primary objective of this research was to explore the criteria that came into ply when a tourist judges one area over another. It examined the relative importance of tourist attributes in contributing to the attractiveness of a travel destination. This research is a study of over 1,000 German tourists to Ireland, having purchased and experienced the tourism product. Extensive review of consumer behaviour literature on theorists such as Schiffman and Kanuk (19940, Engel et al (1995), Lewis (1984 and 1987), Mowen (1995) and Loudon and Della Bitta (1993) laid a basis for research into tourism literature. This resulted in research by Moutinho (1987), Dann (1996), Loker-Murphy (1996), Crompton (1997), Callan (1998), Gyimothy (1998) and all recent Bord Failte reports. The findings of the research displayed a preference by German tourists to seek beautiful scenery, contact with hospitable Irish people, and history and culture when selecting Ireland as their holiday destination. With 96.2% of German tourists indicating they would return to Ireland for a holiday in the future, this shows satisfaction with their holiday in Ireland. Results were similar for each region in Ireland. These results can indicate where marketing is insufficient, or where there is a gap between demand and supply. If there is a gap, marketers much rectify this error to ensure sale of their services to a targeted market in the future and to sustain the development of tourism. Development of city destinations outside of Dublin, access transport, shopping facilities and an improved view of value for money is required resulting from this research. This research will contribute to the body of knowledge in developing an understanding of consumer behaviour in the tourism and services industries.
Conway, A. (2009) Consumer Decision Making as a Basis for Destination Selection: An Empirical Study of German Tourists to Ireland. Dissertation Submitted Higher DipLoma Hotel and Catering Management. In Fulfillment of the Requirements of the Degree of Masters of Philosophy to Faculty of Tourism, Dublin Institute of Technology. 2009