Are Sportsmen Willing to Practice Sports during their Holidays? The Case of Sports Faculty Students in France
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The study was conducted in northern France at the sport management department at the University of Lille. It attempts to highlight the type of summer vacation of its students. Previous studies have shown the modalities of mobility (Urry, 2000; Seewer, 2004). Although models exist to explain destination choice, many of these have limitations, including the assumption of a rational consumer and a focus on the functional attributes of travel and tourism (Lewis, Kerr, & Pomering, 2010). However, few studies handle the behavior of consumption of students during their holidays, especially the sports students. In making their travel decisions, consumers assess the attractiveness of a destination (Sirakaya et al., 2001). Positive associations with a destination increase the likelihood of selection (Woodside & Lyson-ski, 1989). The main hypothesis concerned the type of sports that students were engaged while on vacation. That is, we postulated that students also practiced sport during their vacation time. The second hypothesis concerned the mobility that these students should be accustomed to in order to travel in competitions abroad or at least away from home. The study was conducted in a quantitative manner, with questionnaires (N=451). The main results are based on 451 Physical Education (PE) students from the area of Lille, France, who participated in this study. In this population, 55.2% were single, 44.8% were married or in a relationship (10.2% had children). Initial results show that the average household income per month is about EUR 2,500; over 74% of them go on holiday for two weeks, on average. These students are coming from wealthy families. When they say that they are “going on vacation”, a majority of them (68.7%) indicate that the main reason is to relax. Contrary to the announced hypothesis, few PE students (4.9%) wish to practice physical activities during the holiday. Independently, we noticed that a majority of student (79.5%) preferred a single destination when the purpose was to make cultural trips (51.5%). However, the question of the budget remains an issue and they favor (78%) being hosted in the cheapest accommodations. For instance, the accommodations concerned are mostly camping or holiday villages. These findings can be interesting to satisfy this kind of demand and help providers build better strategies.
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