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Travel companions and activity preferences of nature-based tourists

Joseph S. Chen (Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Studies, Indiana University at Bloomington, Bloomington, Indiana, USA.)
Wei Wang (Department of Economic Development and Tourism, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, USA.)
Nina K. Prebensen (School of Business and Economics, University of Tromsø, The Arctic University, Breivika, Norway.)

Tourism Review

ISSN: 1660-5373

Article publication date: 18 April 2016




This paper aims to reveal the similarities and variances in activity patterns among those traveling alone and with a different mix of travel companions in the context of nature-based tourism.


In this research, five different travel parties (alone, with small children, with older children, with friends and with partner) and 25 tourist activities are research variables. The study selects Norway as the destination country in relation to activity patterns. Its data, collected from a questionnaire survey of residents from the United Kingdom, Sweden and France, contain 6,935 responses.


The study finds that traveling with a partner is the preferred mix for traveling to Norway. A correspondence analysis on activity patterns reveals that traveling with friends and traveling with a partner show some similarities in activity patterns, where the other three groups prove notable differences in activity patterns compared to these two groups.


The study empirically tests the relationship between the mix of travel party and the choice of tourist activity in the context of nature-based tourism in Norway. It provides new market insights that can assist tourism businesses to further tailor products and services to traveling public involving different types of companions.



The authors would like to express their gratitude to Innovation Norway for providing the research data.


Chen, J.S., Wang, W. and Prebensen, N.K. (2016), "Travel companions and activity preferences of nature-based tourists", Tourism Review, Vol. 71 No. 1, pp. 45-56.



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