Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Food Science and Technology

Major Professor

Louis A. Ehrcke

Committee Members

Mary Jo Hitchcock, Alan Fletcher


The identification of demographic and behavioristic characteristics of summer visitors to Cherokee, North Carolina, which would provide a basis for marketing decisions, was undertaken in this research. A survey of visitors was conducted in Cherokee during the summer season to determine characteristics of the visitors.

Data were collected with a self-administered questionnaire that was distributed at sixteen businesses which proportionately represented craft shops, motels, restaurants, campgrounds, amusement attractions, and cultural attractions. Distribution points, dates, and times were randomly selected. Analysis of the data revealed behavioral and demographic characteristics of the summer visitor and behavioral influences on demographic segments.

The strongest influences on visitors' decisions to visit Cherokee were appreciation of nature and cultural and educational attractions. Reasons in the interpersonal satisfaction and practicality categories had the least influence on decisions to visit Cherokee. Demographically, the typical visitors were in the twenties or thirties age ranges, were traveling in a group of four with children under twelve, had completed one year of college, and had an annual income above $17,000. Also, the typical visitor stayed one or two nights, had visited previously, and planned to visit again. These data indicate operators of businesses in the Cherokee area should promote natural beauty and cultural and educational attractions to families with these demographic characteristics.

An effective technique for revealing general behavioral influences and demographic characteristics of visitors could be further developed with refinement of the questionnaire and method of distribution. Such procedures should be beneficial to operators of tourist-related businesses when making marketing decisions.

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."

Included in

Food Science Commons