This article addresses tourist demand during the persisting economic downturn between 2008 and 2013, within the context of expenditures on other consumer goods, taking into account different types of vacations and focusing on the “why” of the development of this demand over time. The research approach is a micro-analysis of data that are partly longitudinal and partly cross-sectional. The findings show that holidays, in particular the main summer holiday, can be positioned closer to being a necessary good than to being a luxury good, at least during an economic downturn. Many vacationers are prepared to sacrifice expenditures on a variety of products just so as to keep on going on holiday. The major explanation is the high essentiality of vacations for a better quality of life. The influence of income and personal economic situation on tourist demand at the micro-level during an economic downturn is relatively minor or nonexistent.
Keywords: consumer behavior, economic crisis, economizing on products, quality of life, inelasticities.
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