Rural Midwest community case studies in retail tourism: identifying community appeal and satisfying visitor needs
Bloms, James L.
University of Wisconsin--Stout
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Retail tourism development and success is a function of several factors. Prospective and active Tourism Destination Areas (TDAs) need to assess their visitor drawing potential, including both the natural and human resources of their area, as well as their prospective market. Analysis of the inter-relationship between those elements that attract visitors to an area and those elements that propel them to leave their home areas is paramount to understanding retail tourism. This research is a case study examining the relationship between the tourism markets and business strategies of a sample of Midwest retailers and the primary tourism draw of the TDA in which the retailers operate. This research expands on a University of Wisconsin-Extension Service study identifying retail tourism strategies in the Midwest. Its objectives include identifying selected tourism variables within a sample of 21 retail businesses and analyzing their corelationships. Information is gathered through a literature review, personal interviews and a mailed questionnaire. Statistics are analyzed by the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) and significant relationships are identified by the chi-square test. The findings and their interpretation illustrate the comprehensive nature of a case study approach. Utilization of both personal interviews and a mailed questionnaire reinforce the credibility of the results, and provide both quantitative and qualitative data. Although conclusions are confined to a limited generalizibility, practical information useful in the expansion of knowledge on the subject is revealed. This study demonstrates the significance of the compatibility between area tourism appeal and business concepts, strategies and products. It expresses the importance of matching business concepts with TDA themes, and matching the both of them to visitor markets. As an academic endeavor, this study expands the knowledge on the subject. As an industry tool, it provides useful information for the practitioner.