Visiting Friends and Relatives – Distinguishing Between the two Groups: The Case of Hamilton, New Zealand
TIM LOCKYER and CHRIS RYAN
Within tourism the term visiting ‘friends and relatives' (VFR) is used with little distinction between the two components of ‘friends' and ‘relatives'. This paper examines the proposition that significant differences exist, and provides evidence of such differences derived from a survey of 763 respondents collected over a four month period. Although these differences are small, they indicate that those visiting friends are more likely to visit bars, night clubs and casinos than relatives; and relatives are more likely to visit gardens. Of particular importance is that specific patterns emerged as to attraction attendance and that age of visitor is perhaps more important than status as a ‘friend' or a ‘relative'. The data comprise both quantitative and qualitative forms. The former are analyzed by utilizing descriptive statistics, while the latter are analyzed using CATPAC software based on the principles of neural network analysis. A conceptual model is suggested to provide an insight into the phenomenon.
Keywords: visiting friends and relatives; market segmentation; leisure activities..