Abstract: Economizing and spending priorities on different types of vacations are investigated during two periods: an economic downturn and returning prosperity. Two nation-wide samples of vacationers are used: one during a downturn, the other one at the start of the recovery period. Through comparing the results, conclusions can be drawn about symmetric or asymmetric tourist demand across the business cycle.
The main summer holiday has an asymmetric profile: being fairly crisis-resistant during a recession and showing considerable growth during an expansion. This does not apply to short vacations and day trips, each having a symmetric profile: during a recession they experience substantial reductions and during expansion comparable growth. So when talking about tourist demand in general, one cannot say that it is symmetric or asymmetric across the business cycle: it depends on the type of vacation. Differences in tourist demand are best explained by the role of Quality-of-Life for vacationers.
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