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The subject of
consumer behavior and tourism demand is crucial to make marketing activity
successful. Understanding how consumers make their decisions to use a tourism
product or purchase helps to optimize the effectiveness and efficiency of marketing
strategies.

We have also to
mention that the International tourism grew by 5% during the first half of 2013
compared to the same period of 2012, according to data released by World
Tourism Organization UNWTO. “The fact
that international tourism grew above expectations confirms that traveling is
now part of consumer patterns for an increasing number of people in both
emerging and advanced economies,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb
Rifai. “This underlines the need to
rightly place tourism as one of the key pillars of socio-economic development,
being a leading contributor to economic growth, exports, and jobs” (UNWTO,
2013).

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The United
Nations has nominated the year of 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable
Tourism for Development. Tourism is one of the world’s largest economic
sectors; Travel & Tourism creates working positions and generates
prosperity across the world. The International Year provides a tremendous
opportunity to further platform for the enormous economic, social, cultural,
environmental, and heritage worth that the sector can convey (WTTC, 2017, 3-5).

Despite the
consequences of the unpredictable shocks from terrorist attacks and political
instability, to health epidemics and natural disasters, tourism continued to
show its elasticity in 2016, contributing direct GDP increase to 3.1% and
sustaining 6 million net additional jobs in the sector. In total, tourism
industry generated US$7.6 trillion (10.2% of global GDP) and 292 million jobs
in 2016, equivalent to 1 in 10 jobs in the global economy. The sector amounted
to 6.6% of total global exports and almost 30% of total global service exports
(WTTC, 2017, 3-5).

 

The
main purpose of the thesis is to study and analyze
consumer behavior of Russian tourists in Trentino Alto Adige, to understand
what influences on their demand. Also, to refine and to explore the main
factors those are influencing their buying patterns, their habits.  In order to identify the rising effect of
Russians on Italian tourist market caused the interest to start this thesis. This
study investigates these influencing factors from the point of view of leisure
related tourism in the area of Trentino.

In our report we
will be mostly focusing on the Russian tourists in Trentino-Alto Adige, trying
to understand what attracts and motivates them mostly, despite the fact that in
an economic environment, which saw a 4-5% GDP growth, today Russia is in crisis
and the collapse in oil prices has aggravated the situation (Vanderlei J.
Pollack, 2016).  «Italian tourism destinations have always offered more expensive
holidays compared to Turkey or Greece, but made up for it with quality
(Vanderlei J. Pollack, 2016) ». In fact, Russian company Aeroflot doubled the
number of daily flights to Bologna. They are also thinking of launching
charters to other airports. From Bergamo, there is a connection flight with the
Vnukovo airport in Moscow. It is operated by the airline Pobeda which belongs
to the Aeroflot group (Vanderlei J. Pollack, 2016).

Because of the
fact that the Russian presence in Trentino in the summer periods is not
significant, in this work we will be mainly concentrated on the winter seasons.
The confirmation of this could be the fact that, for example, in summer 2016
among the foreign presence mainly the Germans have been, who alone is about
half of the foreigners in Trentino. Other important countries are the
Netherlands, Austria and the United Kingdom. In the summer the Poles with a
1.7%, occupies the tenth place in importance, while the Russians with a 0.6%
take the eighteenth place.    

The
intent is to gain more knowledge about purchase decision
making processes from the viewpoint of Russian tourists and evaluate how the
different factors influence their purchase decisions in real life analyzing the
data collected from the different sources and see the common picture of the
traveling behavior of Russians in Trentino.

The
theoretical part of the thesis starts with a general
introduction and description of the general situation in Italian tourism and
nowadays picture of Russian tourists’ presence in Italy. In chapter 2 the
concept of consumer behavior and tourism demand was revealed. We have discussed
the factors of international demand in tourism in Chapter 3. Each factor
captures a certain amount of the overall variance in the observed group of
variables.  Profound explanation of each
variable is presented in the analysis of tourism demand: demand segmentation
and a measurement that is discussed in next head number 4. Afterwards, in the
practical part, the segments of Russian consumers are generally defined
according to the demand segmentation variables that were discovered in the
theoretical part.

Empirical
study focuses on practical information about Russian
customers in Italy and other European countries in a broader context. In the
practical part of the research, we will look at the primary and secondary data.
Some of them were provided by Trentino Marketing Team. Supplementary, data was
gathered from an additional literature, recent newspaper articles, annual
reports of official internet portals such as WTTC (World Travel and Tourism
Council) and UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization). The news
article from official and reliable websites of Russian Federation and Italy has
been looked through to broaden the vision. 
More to the point, we also reviewed the interviews of local Russian
experts in the field of Russian marketing. We will look at the figures of
coming Russian tourists, try to figure out their consumer behavior, to
distinguish their patterns and what factors influenced their decisions to go to
Trentino Alto Adige for some last years in a row.

The
outcome showed that the subjects discussed in the
theoretical part of the thesis noticeably influence the behavior of Russian
consumers in real-life experiences. It was also noticeable that people who come
from different social backgrounds behave differently when choosing where to
spend their vacations and sort of leisure activities. Because of the small
sampling in the empirical study due to the fact that Russian tourists mostly
visit Trentino in winter seasons, the findings cannot be presented as a
comprehensive description of the target group, but to a certain extent as a
directional survey of the subject.

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