Resident travel motives in a small island state: the influence of visiting friends and relatives on travel by Tasmanian residents

Goulding, Carmel (2001) Resident travel motives in a small island state: the influence of visiting friends and relatives on travel by Tasmanian residents. Research Master thesis, Victoria University of Technology.


This study is a qualitative evaluation of the holiday activities and attitudes of Tasmanian residents. In particular, the study evaluates the influence of visits by friends and relatives (VFR) on intra-state and out-of-state travel decisions by Tasmanian residents. The study is intended to clarify basic concepts, to identify variables, and to identify future research opportunities. The framework of grounded theory is used to generate observations and identify the themes that characterise the travel motivations of Tasmanian residents including their perceptions and awareness of local tourism product. Focus groups are used to explore the travel motivations of Tasmanian residents and the perceptions that they hold of their state as a travel destination. As is the case for many small island states, Tasmania's economy relies on the continued development of a viable and sustainable tourism industry. Estimates for 1998 show that the State received $551.8 million in earnings from tourism and that 10% of the local working population was employed in this sector. Considering Tasmania's heavy reliance upon tourism, it is important that the factors which influence the State's travel markets are monitored on a regular basis. One key issue for the development of Tasmanian tourism is the continued growth in out-of-state travel by the island's resident population. Expenditure on out-of-state travel is now exceeding the spending of comparable tourist arrivals to Tasmania. This is recognised as a serious threat to the state's tourism development. The relationship between population decline and the subsequent development of travel patterns is noteworthy. Population outflows from Tasmania are high and by 2051 the State's population is forecast to decline to half its present level. Historically, outward migration has played a significant influence on a population's propensity to travel. The literature reveals a relationship between migration and subsequent tourism activities particularly where migrants return to visit their friends and relatives who stayed behind. Given the high outward migration characteristic of small island economies such as Tasmania, it is likely that visits to friends and relatives will influence intra-state and out-of-state travel by island residents. Despite the likelihood of this relationship, little research has been undertaken into the travel motivations of island state residents. It is hoped that the present research will assist Tourism Tasmania in the development of strategies aimed at stimulating intra-state travel, subsequently increasing the economic impact of travel and tourism. In addition, the key findings of this exploratory study should contribute to a better understanding of the influence of 'islandness' on the holiday preferences of island state residents and in particular, the influence of visiting friends and relatives. The study concludes that further research should be undertaken into the relationship between migration and tourist outflows, with particular reference to visiting friends and relatives travel and its influence on small island states.

Additional Information

Master of Business in Tourism Management

Item type Thesis (Research Master thesis)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1506 Tourism
Historical > FOR Classification > 1599 Other Commerce Management, Tourism and Services
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Hospitality Tourism and Marketing
Keywords small island state tourism, travel motives, visiting friends, relatives, intrastate travel, Tasmania
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