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Open access

Tannaz Alizadeh Ashrafi and Øystein Myrland

Abstract

How long a tourist stays in a host country acts as an indicator of tourism industry’s contribution towards the national economy. The purpose of this study is to examine how socio-demographic characteristics of international tourists, their travelling purpose, tourism products and characteristics of the destination influence the length of stay in Norway, by estimating a parametric survival model. Total cost of trip, purpose of travel, type of accommodation and transportation, age of tourist and geographical area are key elements that explain the variation in the length of tourist stay in Norway. The Cox proportional hazard model with time-independent covariates indicates the survival probability of tourists with less budget constraints and younger ages is higher than that of low-spending tourists and elderly travelers. Moreover, tourists with the purpose of friend and family visitation are at lower risk of leaving Norway than are tourists with other purposes. In terms of tourism products, choosing camping sites as the type of accommodation and road transport as the mode of transportation are associated with the highest survival probability. Another key finding is that tourists stay longer in northern Norway than in southern Norway; hence, on average, tourists’ overall expenditures are higher in northern Norway.