Is motorcycle tourism ready to rev up in Pennsylvania? An exploratory study of suppliers’ business attitudes of motorcycle tourism

Donna Quadri-Felitti, Diane Sykes, Feier (Faye) Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Motorcycle tourism, as an emerging segment of travelers, has steadily increased in the USA and UK. While previous literature reveals that the attributes of both the journey and the destination are motivations for motorcycle tourists, the extent to which supply-side stakeholders are aware of those motivators is not clear. This study aims to explore the perceived value of motorcycle tourism between differing tourism suppliers in the US state of Pennsylvania and investigates whether they exhibit sufficient agreement to satisfy the cooperation and collaboration identified as necessary in stakeholder theory. Design/methodology/approach: For this exploratory study, an electronic survey captured data from different tourism suppliers (N = 123) in the US state of Pennsylvania. A series of analysis of variance and equality of means tests assessed differences and agreements between types of suppliers perceptions of the value of motorcycle tourism and issues associated with successful development of the niche segment. Findings: Results reveal alignment among tourism suppliers, as well as between identified motorcyclists’ motivations. While negative perceptions about riders within popular culture appear to continue among some tourism operators, the economic value of the segment is growing in its appeal among the respondents. Research limitations/implications: The unique characteristics of Pennsylvania’s substantial rural areas and the sample being drawn from tourism organizations suggest generalizing the results with caution. Practical implications: Practitioners can capture more of these tourists by highlighting amenities that attract motorcyclists, collaborating together on events and welcoming messages for motorcyclists, as well as educating their communities and policymakers about their interest in the segment’s economic value. Social implications: Overall the study’s findings suggest that while a cultural stereotype of the “outlaw” motorcyclist remains, this negative image may be waning among tourism operators. Additionally, these results indicate a possible consistency among the state’s tourism supply-side stakeholders desire to host this segment because of potential positive benefits of these tourists. Originality/value: There is scant academic research on this visible and growing tourism niche. There is none that these authors found that examined the tourism suppliers’ sentiments regarding the segment’s contribution to tourism, nor explored stakeholder theory relative to tourism suppliers and this niche segment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Culture, Tourism, and Hospitality Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 20 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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