University of Oulu

Stefan Gössling, Daniel Scott & C. Michael Hall (2018) Global trends in length of stay: implications for destination management and climate change, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 26:12, 2087-2101, DOI: 10.1080/09669582.2018.1529771

Global trends in length of stay : implications for destination management and climate change

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Author: Gössling, Stefan1,2; Scott, Daniel3; Hall, C. Michael4,5
Organizations: 1Western Norway Research Institute, Sogndal, Norway
2Service Management and Service Studies, Lund University, Helsingborg, Sweden
3Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
4Department of Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, New Zealand
5Department of Geography, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.9 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Informa, 2018
Publish Date: 2019-07-03


Length-of-stay (LOS) is a key parameter in destination management that determines the number of guest nights relative to arrival numbers, with concomitant repercussions for revenue generation and other performance indicators. This article investigates the development of LOS for 32 destinations in developed and emerging economies as well as Small Islands and Developing States (SIDS). The analysis is based on UNWTO data for 478.5 million international tourist arrivals, or about 40% of the global total in 2015, for the years 1995–2015. Results show considerable differences in LOS between destinations, with a global trend of falling LOS, by 14.8% over the study period. However, in individual destination countries, LOS was found to be increasing. Analyses of LOS trends reveal that these can neither be explained by distance–decay relationships nor business to leisure arrival ratios. Results are discussed with regard for destination management and revenue optimisation, transport infrastructure needs, as well as sector greenhouse gas emissions.

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Series: Journal of sustainable tourism
ISSN: 0966-9582
ISSN-E: 1747-7646
ISSN-L: 0966-9582
Volume: 26
Issue: 12
Pages: 2087 - 2101
DOI: 10.1080/09669582.2018.1529771
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 519 Social and economic geography
Copyright information: © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.