Understanding tourism behavior: Examining the combined effects of prior visitation history and destination status

Robert Douglas McKercher, Donna Y.Y. Wong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

107 Citations (Scopus)


All tourism markets can be deconstructed into two basic dimensions: whether people have visited before (first/repeat) and the role played by the destination (main/secondary). As such, all destinations attract four basic types of tourists: first-time main-destination visitors (FM), repeat main-destination visitors (RM), first-time secondary-destination travelers (FS), and repeat secondary-destination travelers (RS). Previous research has examined the effect of one dimension on tourism without considering the moderating effect of the other. This article examines the combined effect of both dimensions. The authors conclude that the main/secondary-destination dimension is most appropriate in developing an understanding of differences in demographic profile of tourists, their origin and trip characteristics, while the first/repeat dimension helps understand differences in behavior and satisfaction levels.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-179
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Travel Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004


  • Destination
  • First-time visit
  • Tourist behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Transportation
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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