How Can We
Tourists are the main characters in the
tourism industry and the tourism industry
exists to cater to their needs.
Tourism businesses acknowledge the fact
that their success depends also on how
much they know and understand their
A professional understanding of the consumer is at
the core of the successful business practice in
the tourism industry.
(Goeldner and Ritchie, 2003)
A good grasp of who their tourists are would guide
businesses in their operations, marketing and
research, and development tasks.
Clearly, a study on the behavior of tourists is
very vital to the tourism industry.
Understanding tourists require a background
on psychology and consumer behavior.
Tourism businesses should be concerned with
what motivates tourists, how they make
decisions, what they think of the products they
buy, how much they enjoy and learn during their
holiday experiences, how they interact with the
local people and environment and how they feel
about their holidays.
Knowing why tourists travel is the most
fundamental question among the study of
Although it is the most basic question,
knowing the wants and needs of tourists in
traveling is a complicated task.
The wants and needs of tourists are often
regarded as travel motivators.
Something that stimulates interest or causes
a person to act in a certain way.
Needs and wants of tourists are seen as the
driving force that causes an individual to
travel. (Cook, 1999), simply explained
travel motivation as the drive to travel.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of
This theory by Abraham Maslow in his 1943
work, “A Theory of Human Motivation,”
explains that as humans meet basic
needs, they seek to satisfy successively
higher needs that occupy a set of
This pyramid of five levels represents
human needs which Maslow further
grouped into two as deficiency needs and
Deficiency needs are related to physiological
needs while growth needs are related to
Description of the Different Human Needs by Maslow
Physiological Need to breath, need for water, need to eat, need to
Needs dispose of bodily wastes, need for sleep, need to
regulate body temperature, and need for sexual
activity, body comfort, and exercise, etc.
Safety Need for security of employment, revenues and
resources, need for physical security (safety from
violence, delinquency, aggression), need for moral
and physiological security, need for familial security,
need for security of health
Love / Belonging Need for friendship, sexual intimacy, having a family
and need to belong in a group.
Esteem Need to be respected, need for self-respect and
need to respect others, need for recognition, need
for activity that gives the person a sense of
contribution and self-value.
Actualization Need to make the most of one’s unique abilities and
need to strive to be the best.
• The Maslow hierarchy of needs is an
explanation of an individual’s behavior.
• In tourism, every piece of information that
would help the business owners,
managers, and staff understand tourists’
behavior is important.
• This hierarchy of needs is used in the
tourism industry in several ways.
• First, tourism experts also consider these
different levels to be intrinsic factors that
could drive a person to travel.
• For example, an individual may join a
cruise because of his/her need for
friendship. One of the attractions of joining
a cruise is the many opportunities it
provides its of meeting new people.
• The level of needs would provide tourism
businesses a guide in understanding their
travel market and thus advertise their
• A cruise liner would emphasize in their
advertisement the chances of meeting
people instead of traveling to new places.
• Second, tourism businesses could come
up with different facilities and services with
features that attempt to address certain
needs of tourists.
• Tourism businesses also uses them as
their competitive edge over others. The
hierarchy of needs guides them in coming
up with specific service that they know
would be important to their clients. It may
not be a main attraction but it may also
enhance tourist experience.
• For example, services that address needs
of belonginess or esteem such as elite
programs and frequent visitors program or
simple tokens that make the guests realize
that the tourism business knows them
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Tourist Needs:
• Tour packages that offer frequent rest stops
• Easily accessible food outlets in theme parks
• Sleeping shelters strategically located
• Reservation service provided at government-approved agencies or
• Cruise ship lines providing medical facilities and doctors
• Tour guide services provided in exotic or unfamiliar locations
• Group tours with people having similar interests and/or backgrounds
• Group recognition gained by membership in frequent-user programs
provided by airline
• Trips to explore one’s ancestral roots
• Elite status in frequent-user programs such as gold, silver or bronze
• Incentive travel awards for superior company performance
• Flowers, champagne and other tokens provided to guests in recognition of
• Educational tours and cruises
• Theme parks providing educational opportunities and glimpses of other
• Learning the language and culture before traveling to another country.
Leisure Ladder Model
• This model is developed by Philip Pearce.
• It attempts to explain individual behaviors
on the basis of stages in a tourist life cycle
which is said to be similar to an
individual’s experience of work.
• It is assumed that as the tourists become more
experienced, they also become more proficient
• It is somehow similar to Maslow hierarchy of
needs because the model also explains that
tourists ascend only to higher needs once lower
needs for a tourist experience are fulfilled.
Relaxation and Bodily Needs
Need for basic services (food, space, toilet) for
restoration and personal maintenance and repair
Need for excitement and safety (fun and thrill of rides,
experience of unusual, out-of the-ordinary settings and
different foods and people)
Need to build and extend personal relationships
(tenderness, affection, joint fun, joint activities, altruism
and being directly involved)
Self-Esteem and Development
Need to develop skills, knowledge and abilities (how
others see a person and one’s desire to be competent,
in control, respected and productive)
Need to feel peaceful, profoundly happy (magical as if
transported to another world, spiritual and totally
involved in the setting)
• This model emphasizes that the choice of
destination of a tourist is driven by two forces:
push and pull.
• The first force, push, pushes a tourist away
(from home) and the second one, pull, is a
region-specific lure that pulls a tourist towards a
• The push refers to a general desire to go and be
somewhere else, without specifying where that may be.
• These are the intangible, intrinsic desires of a tourist to
go on vacation.
• Pull, on the other hand, refers to the tangible
characteristics or attributes of a destination that are
primarily related to its perceived attractiveness.
• This push-and-pull model was exemplified by
Lundberg, in an advertisement directed towards
potential tourists showing sunny beaches with
• The advertisement promotes a specific location
and generates a push force that attempts to pry
potential tourists out of their homes.
• Another way of understanding tourists is
knowing how they decide on tourism
product/services and destinations.
• Their decision-making process would provide
tourism businesses insights to effective
marketing and advertising, techniques to
effectively reach their target markets.
• This emphasize four successive fields
which he believed exert influences on
the decision of tourists.
– Travel Stimuli
– Personal and social determinants
– External variables
– Characteristics and features of the
(refer to figure 7. page 24)
• These comprises external stimuli that can awaken an
individual’s desire or need to travel in the form of
promotional stimulation, personal and trade
• Examples: advertising and promotion, travel literature,
suggestions, reports from other travelers, travel trade
suggestions and recommendations.
Personal and Social Determinants
• These determine customer goals in the form of travel
desires and expectations and the objective and
subjective risks thought to be connected with travel.
• Examples: socio-economic status, personality features,
social influences and aspirations, attitudes and values,
motivations, desires, needs and expectations.
• These involve the prospective traveler’s
confidence in the service provider, destination
image, past experience and cost and time
• Examples: confidence in travel trade intermediary,
destination service, previous travel experience,
assessment of objectives, subjective risks,
constraints in time, cost, etc.
Characteristics and Features of the
• These also have a bearing on the decision and its
• Examples: cost/value relations, attractions/amenities
offered, range of travel opportunities, quality/quantity of
travel information, type of arrangement offered.
Matheison and Wall
Similar to the Schmoll model, Matheison and Wall
model also identifies four interrellated factors:
1. Tourist profile
Age, education, income, attitude, previous experience and
2. Travel awareness
Image of destinations’ facilities and services which is based upon
the credibility of the source.
3. Destination resources and characteristics
Attractions and features of the destination
4. Trip features
Distance, trip duration, and perceived risk of
the area visited
Five-Stage Model of Decision-Making
by Matheison and Wall
Felt need/ Information Travel decision
Travel Desire Collection and (choice between
Evaluation by image alternatives)
Travel preparations Travel satisfaction
And travel experience Outcome and evaluation
Stages of the Buying Behavior of Tourists
Felt need or A desire to travel is felt and reasons for and against that
Travel desire desire are weighted
Information and Potential tourists utilize travel intermediaries, brochures
Evaluation and advertisements as well as friends, relatives and
experienced travelers. This information is evaluated
against both economic and time constraints and factors
such as accessibility and alternatives
Travel decision Stage advancement occurs with destinations, mode of
travel, accommodations and activities being selected
Travel preparations Travel takes place once bookings are made and
And travel confirmed, budgets organized, and clothing and
equipment equipment are arranged.
Travel satisfaction During and after travel the overall experience is
Evaluation evaluated and the results influence subsequent travel
Hansal and Eiselt
• Hansal and Eislt (2004) provided a simple
explanation of the decision-making
process of tourists. This process is divided
into two phases which are described as:
• Planning phase – where travelers decide
on the basic parameters concerning their
trip. Decisions in this phase are made at
home, usually over a significant amount of
time prior to the trip. Sometimes initial
decisions are subjected to modification or
• Modification phase – during which details
are decided. This phase covers
modifications made during the trip.
Examples are choices of specific sites that
were advertised in brochures that travelers
obtained from tourist information centers
or decision to stay at a hotel whose
services are announced on a billboard.
Models describing tourist decision-making process would
make a long-list. They have basically the same purpose
and that is to guide the tourism industry in understanding
how tourists get motivated in traveling, what things
influence or discourage them to travel, and where they
information, and purchase their selected product.
In short, these models have two fundamental roles: to
identify factors that influence the decision-making of the
tourists and to enumerate the stages of their decision-
• Refer to classifications of tourists based on their
• Over the years, the number of tourist typologies
has grown. It is an indicator of how marketers
have relied on understanding their consumers
through their behavior.
• These typologies serve as guide to tourism
business owners as to what products, services
and facilities should be sold to certain tourists
having the same behavior.
• Marketers and planners as well as
managers of tourism businesses consider
these typologies to guide their marketing,
planning, and development and
• Several tourist typology models were
developed by tourism experts and
scholars. Some of the more popular
models include the following:
– Plog’s Psychocentric-Allocentric Model
– Cohen’s Tourist Typology
– Global Travel Survey
– Pearce’s Travelers Category
Plog’s Psychocentri-Allocentric Model
• Stanley Plog classifed tourists along a
continuum with allocentrics on one end and
psychocentrics on the other end.
• Generally, allocentrics seeks adventure while
psychocentrics seek the comfort of familiar
surroundings in their tourism experiences.
Cohen’s Tourist Typology
• Eric Cohen categorized tourist into four
organized mass tourist, individual mass
tourist, the explorer and the drifter. This is
similar to Plog’s model wherein
psychocentrics are further divided into
organized and individualized and the
allocentrics into explorers and drifters.
Cohen’s Tourist Categories
The organized mass tourist
•package tour fixed itineraries, planned stops, guided organizers making the
•Familiarity at a maximum and novelty at a minimum
The individual mass tourist
•Tour not entirely planned by others
•Tourist having some control over his/her itinerary and time allocations
•Major arrangements made through travel intermediary
•Tourist remaining largely within the environmental bubble of home country
ways and mixing little with locals
•Tourist usually planning his/her own trips and trying to avoid developed tourist
•Desire to mix with locals but still protected within the environmental bubble.
•Dominant novelty, tourist not fully integrating with locals
•Tourist plan their trip alone
•Tourists avoid tourist attractions and live with the locals
•Almost entirely immersed in the host culture, sharing its shelter, food and
•Novelty is dominant and familiarity disappears.
Global Travel Survey
• This survey done in the United Kingdom in 2005
has a more general approach to classifying
tourists into adventurers, worriers, dreamers,
economizers and indulgers.
• These are based on how tourists perceived
• Are motivated to seek new experiences
• Value diversity
• Seek new activities, cultures and people
• Are independent and in control
• Travel plays a central role in their lives
• Don’t need to be pampered
• “I feel confident that I could find my way
around a city that I have never visited before.”
“I really hate traveling with a group of people,
even if they’re people I know.”
• Suffer considerable anxiety about traveling
• Travel is relatively unimportant to them
• Are not particularly adventurous
• “Most traveling is too stressful for me.” “I worry a
lot about home when I’m away.” “I have a fear of
• Are fascinated by travel
• Their own travel tends to be more mundane than
might be expected give their travel ideas.
• Their trips are oriented more toward relaxation than
• Lack confidence in their ability to master the details
• Anxious about the stresses of travel.
• “I like I have to travel to enjoy life fully.” I like to be
able to impress people by telling them about the
interesting places I’ve visited.” “I really rely on
maps and guidebooks when I travel to a new
• They travel primarily because they need a break,
travel is not a central activity for them.
• Seek value in travel
• Their experience of travel does not add meaning
to their lives
• Their sense of adventure is low
• “Traveling first-class is a waste of money, even if
you can afford it.”
• Like to be pampered
• Their travel is not a central or important
• Are generally willing to pay for a higher level of
service when they travel
• Do not find travel intimidating or stressful
• “I don’t worry about how much things cost when
I travel.” “It’s worth paying extra to get the
special attention I want when I travel.”
Pearce’s Travel Category
• Pearce developed 15 traveler categories
based on major role-related behaviors.
– Tourist - Explorer
– Traveler - Missionary
– Holidaymaker - Overseas student
– Jetsetter - Anthropologist
– Businessperson -Hippie
– Migrant - International
– Conversationist - Overseas journalist
Takes photos, buys souvenirs, goes to
famous places, stays briefly in one place,
does not understand the local people.
Stays briefly in one place, experiments
with local food, goes to famous places,
takes photos, explores privately.
Takes photos, goes to famous places, is
alienated from society, buys souvenirs,
contributes to the visited economy.
Lives a life of luxury, is concerned with
social status, seeks sensual pleasures,
prefers interacting with people of his/her
Concerned with social status, contributes
to the economy, does not take photos,
prefers interacting with people of his/her
own kind, goes to famous places.
Has language problems, prefers
interacting with people of his/her own kind,
does not understand the local people,
does not live a life of luxury, does not
Interested in the environment, does not
buy souvenirs, does not exploit the local
people, explores places privately, takes
Explores places privately, is interested in
the environment, takes physical risks,
does not buy souvenirs, keenly observes
the visited society.
Does not buy souvenirs, searches for the
meaning of life, does not live a life of
luxury, does not seek sensual pleasures,
keenly observes the visited society.
Experiments with local food, does not
exploit the local people, takes photos,
keenly observes the visited society, takes
Keenly observes the visited society,
explores places privately, is interested in
the environment, does not buy souvenirs,
Does not buy souvenirs, does not live a
life of luxury, is not concerned with social
status, does not take photos, does not
contribute to the economy.
Not alienated from own society, does not
exploit the local people, does not
understand the local people, explores
places privately, searches for the meaning
Takes photos, keenly observes the visited
society, goes to famous places, takes
physical risks, explores places privately
Searches for the meaning of life, does not
live a life of luxury, is not concerned with
social status, does not exploit the local
people, does not buy souvenirs.
• Market segmentation is similar to tourist
• It is another way of classifying tourists and
• Segmentation is a sort of grouping people
with the same characteristics such as
geographic, demographic, psychographic,
and product-related characteristics.
Tourist Market Segmentation
Geographic Grouping of potential tourists is based on their
Demographic Grouping is based on the tourist’s gender, age,
segmentation ethnicity, occupation, income, household size and
Psychographic Grouping is based on how tourists live and on their
segmentation priorities and interests.
Product- Grouping of tourists is based directly on what they
related want and need in a particular good or service.