Juan L. Nicolau and Ricardo Sellers, both of the University of Alicante, published “The Free Breakfast Effect: An Experimental Approach to the Zero Price Model in Tourism” on November 3rd, 2011 in the OnlineFirst section of the Journal of Travel Research. Other OnlineFirst articles can be found here.
This article presents the first evidence of the zero price effect in tourism. The multicomponent nature of tourism products adds complexity to the price-setting process, but also allows managers to take advantage of the interrelationships among the different components to maximize sales. Taking the zero price model, the authors adapt and apply it to a two-component tourism product. The experiments conducted show evidence in favor of the free breakfast effect: even though people lean toward their preferred, more expensive alternative, when the cheaper option offers a free breakfast, the demand for the latter increases and for the former it decreases. This result shows that the zero price effect is not confined to single products but also applies in multicomponent contexts. Important managerial implications in the realm of sales promotion policies are drawn.
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