Segmentation of active international sport tourists by destination loyalty

Rei Yamashita*, Kosuke Takata

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Destination loyalty has become a crucial concept in both academia and practice. Numerous studies have revealed the antecedents of destination loyalty to discriminate from other rival destinations. Although increasing destination loyalty is anticipated as the key milestone to achieve from both practical and academic purposes, previous research lacks understanding of the characteristics and profile of loyal travellers. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to segment the profile of active international sport tourists by their perceived destination loyalty and to reveal the differences among three segments of their destination loyalty: low, high, and extremely high. Using a paper–pencil questionnaire, data were collected from international tourists who visited the Niseko ski resort in Japan (N = 298). The results of the confirmatory factor analysis, chi-square test using residual analysis, and ANOVA with post hoc analysis implies that there were significant differences among the three segments. The more loyal tourists feel toward the destination, the more involved with and familiar with a sport they perceive themselves to be, and the more they have visited the destination previously. These results of this study contribute to destination marketing organizations, in particular for snow resorts, to understand their loyal customers, which will be the fundamental material to build their management strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-251
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Sport and Tourism
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • International sport tourists
  • destination loyalty
  • familiarity
  • previous visitation
  • sport involvement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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