Porteconomics member Francesco Parola, along with Giovanni Satta (Department of Economics and Management, University of Genoa), Lara Penco and Luca Persico (Department of Economics and Business Studies, University of Genoa) presented their latest research on “Destination satisfaction as a predictor of cruiser expenditures and behavioural intensions” during the the annual conference of the International Association of Maritime Economists – IAME 2014, that was held in Norfolk, Virginia, USA.
Along with economic monetary value, cruise passengers also provide a destination with additional non-monetary benefits in the long run. In fact, being inserted in a cruise itinerary, port destinations showcase their tourist attractions to cruisers, who can decide to return or recommend the destination to others. The study investigates how destination satisfaction contributes to create value in port destinations, by influencing passengers’ expenditures, intention to return and Word-of-Mouth (WoM) attitude. Besides, the purchase of an excursion package is tested as a moderator of the interaction between destination satisfaction and cruiser’s behavioural intentions. The study is conducted by administering and processing structured questionnaires to a sample of passengers of Costa Crociere (Carnival Group) experiencing a West Med service. Research hypotheses are tested on 748 destination opinions by performing three ordinary least squares (OLS) regression analyses. The empirical outcomes contribute to the academic debate on the impact of cruise tourism on the local community, by introducing and assessing an all-embracing conceptual model. Moreover, the manuscript brings a number of practical implications and provides to policy makers and destination managers information to develop ah-hoc marketing strategies for keeping loyal tourists and capturing additional potential visitors.