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Understanding the Consumer: Travel Motivations and Buyer Behavior


Understanding the Consumer: Travel Motivations and Buyer Behavior Objective: Discussing the meaning of and marketing implications of buyer behavior for travel and ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Understanding the Consumer: Travel Motivations and Buyer Behavior

Understanding the Consumer Travel Motivations
and Buyer Behavior
  • Objective Discussing the meaning of and
    marketing implications of buyer behavior for
    travel and tourism.

Individual Motivations and Buyer Behavior
  • Consumer buying behavior refers to the buying
    behavior of the individuals and households who
    buy goods and services for personal consumption.
  • Individuals make their choices among various
    vacation destinations and particular types of
    products based on several factors.
  • It is necessary for marketing managers to
    understand how internal or psychological
    processes influence travelers.

Understanding needs and wants
  • What are people looking for when they visit
    different destinations?
  • Why would a tourist choose to holiday in Florida
    rather than Spain what variables are at work
    apart from cost?
  • Why would he choose to travel with British
    Airways, but not with Lufthansa?
  • Why would he buy an independent inclusive tour,
    but not a group tour?

Need Satisfaction Theory
  • All consumer purchases, including choice of
    travel destination, are made to satisfy a need of
    the consumer. The individual has a desire for
  • Do people travel just to travel?
  • People do not travel just to travel. Travel fills
    some need in each consumer. Travelers needs

Do we really need?
  • Often people talk about what they need, say a new
    television set, a new dress, or a holiday. But do
    they really need these things? Or are they just
    expressing a desire for more?
  • Due to todays increased material consumption
    patterns, it is becoming difficult to distinguish
    wants (e.g. reference group influence) from

Maslows hierarchy of needs
  • Self-actualization
  • (e.g. self-fulfillment, etc.)
  • Ego needs
  • (e.g. self-respect, status, success, etc.)
  • Social needs
  • (e.g. affection, love, friendship, etc.)
  • Safety needs
  • (e.g. security, protection, etc.)
  • Physiological needs
  • (e.g. food, water, air, etc.)

  • According to Maslow, the more basic needs have to
    be satisfied (satisfied according to the needs of
    our cultural group) before our interest will
    focus on higher level needs.
  • However, according to Alderfer, and his ERG
    (existence, relatedness, and growth needs)
    theory, (1) more than one need may be operative
    at the same time, (2) if the satisfaction of a
    higher level need is frustrated, the desire to
    satisfy a lower level need increases.

The Main Motives for Travel and Tourism
  • The psychological or internal infleunces
    affecting individuals choices are named as
  • Motivation for travel and tourism can be
    categorized as
  • Physical motivations
  • Cultural motivations
  • Personal motivations
  • Prestige and Status motivations
  • (Mathieson and Wall, 1993)

Physical motivations
  • refreshment of body and mind (rest and
    relaxation) beach holidays, lakes and
    mountains, etc.
  • for health purposes (i.e. either medically
    prescribed or undertaken voluntarily) spas,
  • for participation in sports skiing, canoeing,
    safari parks, ponytrekking, etc.
  • pleasure, - fun, excitement, romance and
    entertainment, to shop.

Cultural motivations
  • curiosity about foreign countries, people and
  • interests in art, music, architecture, folklore
    music festivals, theatre visits, etc.
  • interest in historical places (remains,
    monuments, churches)
  • experiencing specific international and national
    events - Olympic Games, Oktoberfest, etc.

Personal motivations
  • visiting relatives and friends
  • meeting new people and seeking new friendships
  • seeking new and different experiences in
    different environments sailing etc.
  • escaping from ones own permanent social
    environment (i.e. desire for a change)
  • personal excitement of traveling
  • visiting places and people for spiritual reasons
    (i.e. pilgrimages)
  • traveling for travels sake

Prestige and Status motivations
  • pursuit of hobbies craft or painting holidays
  • continuation of education or learning- study
    tours etc.
  • seeking of business contacts and professional
    goals fairs, etc.
  • conference and meetings
  • ego enhancement and sensual indulgence
  • fashion

Model of Buyer Behavior for Travel and Tourism
  • How do consumers respond to various marketing
    efforts that the company might use? The company
    that understands how consumers will respond to
    product features, prices, advertising has a great
    advantage over its competitors.
  • According to the model of buyer behavior,
    marketing (4Ps) and other stimuli (environmental)
    starts the response model.

  • All these enter into the buyers head (black
    box) and then turn into responses as product
    choice, brand choice, dealer choice, purchase
    timing, and purchase amount.

Process 1 Stimulus inputs
  • The marketing stimuli consists of the 4Ps
    product, place, price and promotion and other
    stimuli including major forces and events in the
    buyers environment (economic, technological,
    political and cultural) motivate individuals.
    Dozens of tour operators offer holidays packages
    in dozens of destinations to attract travellers

Process 2 Communication channels
  • Both formal communication channels or media
    (advertising, brochures, sales promotions, the
    internet etc.) and informal information received
    from family and friends and reference groups
    (word-of-mouth) influence behavior, in other
    words, the purchase decision.

Process 3 Perception filters in the buying
decision process
  • Perception may be defined as the process by which
    an individual selects, orginizes, and interprets
    information to create a meaninful picture of the
  • It is a function of attitudes, motivations,
    experince and learning related to a previous
  • All the information and stimulus inputs pass
    through a perceptual filter. This filter may
    suppress much of the information, highligh or
    distort some parts of it.
  • A motivated person is ready to act. However, how
    that person acts is infleunced by his/her
    perception of the situation.

  • As a result, in the same situation, two people
    with the same motivation may act differently
    based on how they perceive the situation. While
    one person may perceive the staff of an X
    restaurant helpful and friendly, another may find
    them unprofessional.
  • People form different perceptions of the same
    stimulus because of three perceptual processes
    selective exposure, selective distortion,
    selective retention.

Process 4 Buyer characteristics, the decision
process and motivation
  • Perception is largely determined by individuals
    characteristics and attitudes.
  • The intercation of (1) with needs, wants and
    goals, (2) socioeconomic and demographic
    characteristics, (3) psychographic attributes
    (personality traits), (4) attitudes, and (5)
    motivation determine an individual buyers
    disposition to act in certain ways. They provide
    or reinforce the motivation or act as constraints
    upon purshase decisions.

Process 5 Purchase choice/decisions/outputs
  • Action on purhases is linked directly to
    motivations which is in turn influenced from
    buyer characteristics.
  • Buyers make their decisions regarding which type
    of product, what brand, what price, at what time
    and though what distribution outlet to purchase.

Process 6 Post-purchase and post-consumption
  • The relationship between consumer expectations
    and perceived product performance determine
    postpurchase satisfaction or dissatisfaction.
  • The experience of consumption will affect all
    future attitudes.
  • If the product is satisfactory, the probability
    of repeat purchase and positive word-of-mouth is
    high. If the experience is unsatisfactory, the
    opposite will occur.

  • Consumer learns that satisfaction or
    dissatisfaction is associated with that purchase.
  • Almost all major purchases result in cognitive
    dissonance or discomfort caused by postpurchase
    conflict. Companies need to take steps to reduce

Useful Links and Sources
  • Kotler, P. Bowen, J. and Makens, J. (1999).
    Marketing for Hospitality and Tourism (2nd ed.).
    Prentice Hall. NJ.
  • Kotler, P. and Armstrong, G. (2006) Principles of
    Marketing (11th ed.). Prentice Hall. NJ.
  • Middleton, V.T.C. (2004) Marketing in Travel and
    Tourism (3rd ed). Elsevier. Oxford.
  • http//www.hotelsmag.com
  • http//www.tourism.bilkent.edu.tr/eda
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