Are loyal visitors desired visitors? Academic Article uri icon


  • Cruise managers strive to increase visitor loyalty for it is generally assumed that retaining current passengers is more viable and profitable than searching for new passengers. Yet, Opperman (Consumer psychology of tourism, hospitality and leisure. Wallingford, UK: CABI Publishing, pp. 19-37) argues that empirical evidence has yet to show that loyal customers are any better than new customers, and that loyalty segmentation must account for the vast differences between first time visitors and multiple time visitors. Thus, the purpose of the current study was to determine if loyal cruise visitors (passengers) are more desirable (based on repurchase intentions, word of mouth publicity, price sensitivity, money spent and risk-adjusted profitability index than both first time visitors and less loyal visitors. Results found that loyal visitors were found to be more likely to visit in the future, spread word of mouth advertising and to offer a lower risk associated with their profitability, while first time visitors and less loyal visitors are less price sensitive, and spend more. Specific managerial implications are discussed. © 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

published proceedings

  • Tourism Management

author list (cited authors)

  • Petrick, J. F

citation count

  • 235

complete list of authors

  • Petrick, James F

publication date

  • August 2004