Motivations for Leisure Tourism
The tourism industry has in the recent past reached a maturity stage that is characterized by a marketplace saturated with its services and products and engaged in a very strong competition. Such a competition drives some of the marketers to target and identify those markets that were otherwise overlooked by the competitors. In the recent past, many are the studies that have highlighted the potential market that exists among the disabled person as a tourism market segment.
The travel motivation is so fundamental in tourism studies and is also essential to tourism development. When an analysis of the motivation underlying tourists' behaviour can out rightly reveal the way in which persons set goals for their destination choice and the these goals are then reflected in both their choice and their travel behaviour.
The analysis can equally provide tour tourism planners, operators, , and other tourist-related sectors with a better understanding of the real expectations, needs and goals of this segment of tourists.
Another way is from a psychological point of view, motivations are created when individuals think of certain activities they could, should, or might do in the future, activities that are potentially satisfaction producing.
Especially in the research literature on tourists with impairments mobility, Yau, McKercher, and Packer did state that people with disabilities have the same needs and desires for tourism as the others who are not disabled.
There is however less understanding of the travel needs and motivations of people with disabilities. The difficulty that exists in identifying and describing leisure travel motivation is that it reflects travellers' inner needs, and these inner needs may be harder to describe and measure.
And according to the Travel Industry Association of America, leisure travel includes visits to 6 friends and relatives, as well as travel for outdoor entertainment, recreation, and other leisure or personal reasons. Travel Industry Association of America reported that traveling generated 1.164 billion person trips in 2004. The leisure travel accounts for the majority (81%) of all U.S. domestic travel, registering 944.3 million person-trips in the year 2004.
The major purpose of analysing tourist motivation and activities is to explore visitors' desire, wants and needs. Such analysis results will assist destination developers to understand target markets and also to improve the products, services and activities that are arranged to the tourists. The tourist motivation studies are found to be useful in developing products, promotion, and marketing strategies.