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Golf in mass tourism destinations facing seasonality: a longitudinal study

Joan B. Garau‐Vadell (Department of Business at the Universitat de les Illes Balears, Palma, Spain)
Lluis de Borja‐Solé (Department of Marketing, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.)

Tourism Review

ISSN: 1660-5373

Article publication date: 20 June 2008




Mallorca is a traditional mass tourism destination that promotes golf tourism development in order to fight tourism seasonality and increase the tourist's average expenditure. Through a longitudinal study, the paper aims to analyze golf demand and its evolution; to evaluate the seasonal and economic impact of this type of tourism and to elaborate a prospective estimation of future trends.


The research was based on 1,271 personal interviews with golfers, 470 in 2005, 401 in 2001 and 400 in 1997, all conducted between March and September. 45 interviews with golf course managers were also conducted in order to obtain information related to future trends.


Golf tourism demand remains stable with minor changes with respect to profile of the players and seasonality. However, some changes have been identified: demand has stopped its growth rates; the use of tourism packages as a way of traveling and in the hotel use as accommodation has declined; the importance of the internet as a marketing channel and of the availability of low cost flights to choose a tourism destination has increased; and finally, a stagnation of the economic impact of golf tourism has been revealed.

Research limitations/implications

This work advances the knowledge of golf tourism evolution. However, it probably suffers from the fact that it has been conducted in a specific destination. Therefore it would be convenient to compare the results with other destinations to generalize patterns.

Practical implications

The results emphasize the need for a multi‐product destination development approach in order to fight seasonality and the limitations to rely exclusively in a single segment.


This paper helps tourism destination managers review their destination marketing diversification strategies by taking into account the results obtained in Mallorca, one of the most important tourism resorts of the Mediterranean.



Garau‐Vadell, J.B. and de Borja‐Solé, L. (2008), "Golf in mass tourism destinations facing seasonality: a longitudinal study", Tourism Review, Vol. 63 No. 2, pp. 16-24.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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