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Evaluating Potential Strategies and Supporting Technologies 141 domestic passengers. These passengers park for short durations rather than for the duration of their trip. Understanding the ratio of passengers to meeters/greeters or well-wishers can be helpful at international gateway airports or those that have a separate international terminal. Infrequent travelers--Most airline passengers travel infrequently. Thus, it is helpful for air- port operators to understand the size of the customer market they are attempting to attract when evaluating the potential use of discount coupons, loyalty programs, or other programs that rely upon a customer base composed of frequent travelers. Culture and social behavior--The culture of the local market may influence parking demand and customer response to potential parking products and services--particularly short-duration parking. For example, when passengers from some cultures or countries arrive at, or depart from, the airport--whether they are flying on domestic or international flights--it is likely that they will be greeted at, or accompanied to, the airport by a large group of family members or friends and, perhaps, treated to a meal or beverage rather than just being dropped off at the curb- side. When the local community includes a large volume of such passengers (e.g., southern Florida), these travel patterns may generate demand for more short-duration parking than might otherwise be expected. Customer vehicles--The type of vehicles used by an airport's customers may influence the cus- tomers' interest in certain parking products. For example, secure parking, valet parking, and vehicle washing and servicing may be attractive options in a market where many customers drive luxury vehicles. Electric charging stations require a market consisting of a significant number of all-electric vehicles or plug-in vehicles. The need for over-height or XXL parking is likely to be greater in markets where there is a high proportion of large sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks (e.g., the Midwest, Southwest, and mountain states). Response to past changes in rates, services, or products--Customer response to past changes in parking rates, or the introduction of new services or products, is an indicator of their likely future response. For example, it may be helpful to determine the proportion of customers who diverted to less-expensive parking products or alternative access modes in response to past rate increases. The Airport Operator In selecting and evaluating potential parking strategies, it is helpful to review how the airport is financed; the current use of net parking revenues; how the airport and its parking facilities are oper- ated, including staff resources and capabilities; and the preferences of airport management (e.g., the relative importance assigned to specific objectives). These and other characteristics relevant to airport operators are described in this section. Emphasis on customer service--Although all airport operators seek to provide a high level of customer service, some place a higher priority on this goal than others. Such airport operators allocate greater budget amounts and more staff resources to programs targeted at providing high levels of customer service. They may retain J. D. Power and Associates or similar organiza- tions to evaluate how individual components of the airport, including parking, are ranked by customers of their airport and peer airports. These airport operators are often willing to forego potential net revenues to provide new or improved customer service features. Emphasis on operating efficiencies--All airport operators attempt to operate efficiently, but some make reducing or containing operating costs a higher priority than others. For example, in an effort to control costs, some airport operators may reduce shuttle bus frequencies, cashier hours, security patrols, or scheduled (or regular) facility maintenance, recognizing that such actions may inconvenience customers. These airport operators typically have limited operating budgets and higher priorities for the use of available funds. Emphasis on parking revenues--Net public parking revenues provide essential cash flow to support uneconomic airport functions (e.g., general aviation, public areas of terminals, road- ways, and curbsides) and also represent the single largest source of equity funding of airport