oa Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences - Determinants of visitor spending : the Wacky Wine Festival as a case study
The Wacky Wine Festival in Robertson, South Africa, is one of the country's largest wine festivals. The uniqueness of this wine festival is that it takes place on an existing wine route where 48 wine farms actively participate in the event. Events such as these have long been used to promote a destination or region and its products in order to generate revenue and grow tourism. This paper presents the results of a survey that was conducted during the festival in June 2009 in which 420 questionnaires were completed by visitors to the festival. The aim was to identify the determinants of visitors' spending at the festival. Factor analysis was applied to differentiate three types of wine tourists: Festinos, Epicureans and Social Adventurists. Consequently, these three groupings and other socio-demographic and behavioural attributes of festival attendees were regressed as independent variables against expenditure in an attempt to refine future marketing strategies. It was the first time that this type of research was conducted at a wine festival in South Africa, and the findings indicated that determinants of visitor spending differ from event to event. Results also showed that a variety of socio-demographic and behavioural determinants influence spending. These include age, days spent at the festival, place of origin and repeat visits. The study also identified the high spending market ("epicureans") that could assist marketers and event organisers in increasing the economic effects of the event.
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