Consumer behavior and commercial linkages in a waterfront development and the adjacent downtown establishments: Baltimore's Inner Harbor

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


The current study examined the characteristics, consumer behavior, and trip patterns of Inner Harbor visitors. Respondents were interviewed at various times of the day to determine trip purpose, expenditures, and the extent of linkages between the waterfront development and districts in downtown Baltimore. Generally, visitors were tourists and downtown workers, who purchased food and spent less than $10. Females outspent males, and tourists living outside the Baltimore area outspent Baltimore city and metropolitan area residents. A comparison of single (visited the Inner Harbor only) and multiple trippers showed that a district's distance from the Inner Harbor influenced the amount of linkages between it and the waterfront. The extent of linkages was small, largely consisting of trips made between workplaces and hotels and the Inner Harbor. Further, single trippers spent more than multiple trippers. Implications of the findings are discussed within the framework of planning policy.