The impact of price discrimination on tourism demand
Fouché, Elizabeth Maria
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The primary goal of this study was to determine the impact of price discrimination on tourism demand. Four objectives were defined with reference to the primary research goal. The first objective was to analyse the concept of price discrimination and relevant theories by means of a literature study. In this regard it was found that price discrimination between markets is fairly common and that it occurs if the same goods were sold to different customers at different prices. Price discrimination is also possible as soon as some monopoly power exists and it is feasible when it is impossible or at least impractical for the buyers to trade among themselves. Three different kinds of price discrimination can be applied, namely first-degree, second-degree and third-degree price discrimination. The data also indicated that price discrimination is advantageous (it mainly increases profit) and that it has several other effects too. The second objective was to analyse examples of price discrimination by means of international case studies. In these different case studies it was found that demand and supply, therefore consumer and product, formed the basis of price discrimination. If demand did not exist, it would be impossible to apply price discrimination. The findings also indicated that, for an organisation to be able to practice price discrimination, the markets must be separated effectively and it will only be successful if there is a significant difference in demand elasticity between the different consumers. Furthermore, the ability to charge these different prices will depend on the consumer's ability and willingness to pay. If an organisation should decide to price discriminate, it would lead to a higher profit, a more optimal pricing policy and also to an increase in sales. The third objective was to analyse national case studies. This was done through comparing the data of a tourism organisation price discriminating (Mosetlha Bush Camp, situated in the North West) to two organisations that did not implement price discrimination (Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in the Northern Cape and Golden Leopard Resort, also situated in the North West). It was found that a customer with low price elasticity is less deterred by a higher price than a customer with a high price elasticity of demand. As long as the customer's price elasticity is less than one, it will be very advantageous to increase the price: the seller will in this case get more money for less goods. With the increase in price the price elasticity tends to rise above one. The fourth objective was to draw conclusions and make recommendations. It was concluded that price discrimination could be applied successfully in virtually any organisation or industry. Furthermore, price discrimination does not always have a negative effect; but can have a positive ass well. It can have a positive effect on tourism demand. The findings emphasised that the main reason for implementing price discrimination is to increase profit at the cost of reducing consumer surplus. From the results it was recommended that more research on this topic should be conducted.
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