Diskussionsbeiträge: Serie II, Sonderforschungsbereich 178 "Internationalisierung der Wirtschaft", Universität Konstanz 171
Within the framework of a microeconomic model of leisure demand, the determinants of German tourists' decisions whether to spend vacation at all, which activities to pursue, and which travel destination to choose are investigated empirically. Three-stage nested multinomial logit models are applied to data from three independent samples of persons interviewed for their vacation behaviour in 1975, 1980, and 1985. Implicit prices for the bundles of activities chosen at each of the various destinations are determined by hedonic regression of total expenditure per person and day on the characteristics of the vacation spent. The estimates of these prices, together with a number of socioeconomic variables and individual judgements on destination-specific characteristics are used to explain the individual decision between the alternatives in the choice set. Estimation results clearly reflect the relevance of individual-specific search costs as well as the costs of overcrowding for the tourists' destination choice. While the budget constraint seems to have been alleviated over time, the time constraint has never lost its binding effects on the decision whether to spend vacation at all.