Demographic and travel bahaviour characteristics of visitors in Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania
With constant competition from existing and upcoming tourist sites, destination managers are constantly striving to package their products differently. This brings the need to understand market structure – a pertinent factor in creating and enhancing customized tourist experiences. This proactive move is particularly important in making informed marketing efforts for a destination. This study attempted to provide some empirical and conceptual data on the travel behaviour and demographic characteristics of tourists visiting Lake Manyara National Park - LMNP, a popular destination in Tanzania. With a target population of 1001 tourists, a sample of 500 tourists was systematically recruited and issued with questionnaires. The data collected was analyzed using descriptive statistics and the findings presented in frequency tables and percentages. The major findings revealed that majority of the visitors were first-time visitors (69.8%, n=305), mainly attracted by wildlife (92.9%, n=406), sourced travel information from park website (58.4%, n=202), enjoyed on-site game drives (90.6%, n=395) and expressed willingness to recommend the park to others (65.9%, n=288). They also had considerably high income and were informed. The study recommends that destination managers invest in satisfaction levels of customers by focusing on diversifying and packaging products that could better respond to their preferences.